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Housing in the news

HUD Secretary Donovan on NPR

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan appeared on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition" this Sunday. He discussed the Federal Housing Administration, disaster recovery and homelessness with NPR's Liane Hansen.

Listen to the interview or read the transcript online.

Washington Post: Foreclosure relief participation low

The Washington Post says participation in the federal government's foreclosure relief program is low.

The article, published Friday using figures released by the U.S. Department of the Treasury the day before, says just 4 percent of homeowners in the Making Home Affordable program have proceeded past the trial period to achieve a permanent loan modification.

Read the Post story online.

Activist helps put new face on homelessness

CNN segment on Mark Horvath, a former television executive and homeless man, who has established a Web site to let homeless people tell their stories.

Homeless shelter could be coming to Bellows Falls

A new homeless shelter could be opening in Bellows Falls this winter.

Approximately 35 people attended a public forum last night to discuss plans to open an overnight shelter at 33 Canal Street. According to the story in this morning's Brattleboro Reformer, most who spoke at the gathering support the initiative.

The shelter would be open from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and provide space for 15 people.

Read the Reformer story online.

Credit crisis puts a pinch on first-time homebuyers

The Rutland Herald and Times Argus published a piece yesterday about the global credit crisis and its effect on the ability of Vermont organizations such as VHFA to serve first-time homebuyers.

"It's diminished our ability to serve those low-income homebuyers that are our mission to serve," Executive Director Sarah Carpenter says in the article. "In the big picture, it's meant less opportunity for Vermont borrowers."

BusinessWeek: St. Albans "most affordable" Vermont suburb

businessweek logoBusinessWeek has named St. Albans Vermont's "most affordable" suburb.

"Housing prices across the nation are being flattened by the worst economic crisis in decades," Prashat Gopal writes, "but it's still not necessarily easy to find affordable suburbs.

Report: Counseling reduces foreclosures, lowers payments

The Washington Post reported yesterday that a new report published by the Urban Institute shows homeowners having difficulty making their mortgage payments are 60 percent more likely to avoid foreclosure if they receive homeownership counseling than those who do not.

Those receiving counseling are also 60 percent more likely to have their mortgage payments lowered "significantly."

Homebuyer tax credit extension; local media coverage

The U.S. Senate has voted to extend the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit and President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law today. (Read our previous posts about the credit.)

Vermont closing costs one of lowest in nation

A recent survey by bankrate.com revealed closing costs for home purchases in Vermont were the 48th lowest in the nation.

Researchers built the list by polling at least four lenders in each state, as well as the District of Columbia, asking for estimated closing costs on a $200,000 loan, assuming a 20 percent downpayment and good credit.

The numbers do not include taxes, and other government and escrow fees.

Video: Housing initiative on Fox

National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) President Susan Dewey made an appearance on Fox Business yesterday to talk about the Obama administration's new initiative to help state housing agencies, such as VHFA.

Watch it here:

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