Obama housing plan will help Minneapolis

Forbes.com has a new article out that lists Minneapolis #4 among the top ten cities most likely to benefit from President Obama’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. The plan helps families restructure or refinance their mortgages to avoid foreclosure. According to Forbes, homeowners in cities like Minneapolis could benefit from Obama’s plan more because “the local real estate market didn’t boom and bust as badly as in overbuilt, over-hyped places like Miami and Tampa, Fla., where home values have fallen by nearly half since the bubble burst.”

When it comes to foreclosures and delinquencies, the Twin Cities aren’t even on the top half of our 50. The nation’s most stable population is interested in staying put, so long as they can refinance. With average incomes in the $40,000 range, the tax credit for new buyers would also go a long way here.

President Obama’s housing initiative comes at a perfect time for the City of Minneapolis, which has been at the forefront in the fight against foreclosures since the first signs of the crisis began two years ago. Minneapolis’ comprehensive effort to fight the foreclosure crisis has centered on three main strategies: preventing foreclosures, investing directly in neighborhoods hit with foreclosures, and re-positioning neighborhoods with foreclosures to attract new home-buyers. Key among this effort is the Minneapolis Advantage, a program championed by Mayor Rybak offering $10,000 forgivable loans for homes located on blocks with vacant or foreclosed homes. With help from the federal government to bolster the City’s housing market strategies, there is more hope that we can re-vitalize these neighborhoods and build a new economy with stable housing.