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Housing Crisis and Opportunity

During testimony on the Hill yesterday about the foreclosure crisis, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty noted that the problem has not been as severe in the District as it has been for other jurisdictions but still has serious implications for city residents.

"As of last fall, residents of the District had more than 11,000 outstanding sub-prime loans and had experienced almost 2,000 subprime foreclosures," the mayor said. "While this is a fairly low rate in comparison to many other states, the sub-prime lending crisis has still affected us quite severely -- through loss in home values,
neighboring property values, and property tax revenues totaling over $257 million as predicted by the JEC. In addition, we cannot know how many of the 9,000 remaining sub-prime loans in the District will end up in foreclosure."

Tomorrow, in fact, the Greater Washington Urban League is sponsoring its annual housing fair and this time it's going to include details about sub-prime lending.

Sub-Prime Survival: Home Ownership through the Housing Crisis is being held at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Urban League is sponsoring the event in conjunction with the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development, the D.C. Department of Insurance Securities and Banking and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8).

The third annual fair will continue its practice of offering general information to low- and moderate-income potential first-time homeowners. You can pick up info on lenders, repairing credit and details about programs that offer up to $77,000 in assistance on down payments and closing costs.

The sub-prime survival session is an add-on to the fair. A sign of the times.

Another sign of the times is the free bus tour being offered to potential buyers. Barry certainly has been talking up the new, revitalized Ward 8, and now those attending the fair can hop on a bus for a free tour to see what the Urban League calls an "affordable housing option."

By Marcia Davis  |  April 11, 2008; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  City Life  
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