Homeowners are not the only ones affected by a foreclosure. The far reaching effects extend to neighbors, entire communities, cities and even state offices. Fixing the foreclosure crisis isn’t only about lenders and federal programs, but how residents and city officials can make a local impact.
For many of the hardest hit communities, fixing the devastation left from the foreclosure crisis is going to take an intentional and committed effort. Sinking home values, abandoned properties and tax burdens are all major aspects left over from a foreclosure. Neighborhoods that have multiple foreclosures have an even greater challenge on their hands. Several cities across the nation have developed a plan to help “clean up” the foreclosure mess.
The city government is often left to foot the bill for abandoned foreclosures. Yard maintenance costs typically end up in the city office as these expenses are necessary to maintain city code and the integrity of the rest of the neighborhood. Foreclosures can also bring an increase in crime, which costs the city money for increased police presence. In order to reduce these costs, some cities are developing task forces made up of local volunteers who will help clean up yards, perform basic maintenance on the exterior of the home and participate in a community watch program to help keep crime at bay. Together with the help of state and federal governments, local residents can make a big impact in giving communities a fighting chance at recovery.