A Dent in the Housing Market

In 2008, when there was a justifiable fear that the housing market was going to collapse, Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which included $4 billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

One of the ideaswas to allow agencies working with low-income families to buy up properties on the foreclosure market, helping the families have stable housing for up to two years until they could get out on their own. The other rationale for the program was that it would take potentially empty homes and fill them, reducing the downward pressure on real estate values. While it might not be the issue here that it is in places like Detroit, Baltimore, or Miami, two zip codes within Kitsap County did show higher-than-average foreclosure rates. One is in Bremerton, the other in Port Orchard.

Kitsap County overall went from a foreclosure rate of 1.4 percent in 2008 to 5.7 percent by April of this year, according to Bill Mandeville, manager of the Washington Neighborhood Stabilization Program out of the state’s Department of Commerce.

For Kitsap County the end result is $671,745 for Kitsap Community Resources to buy between two and four housing units it will use for transitional housing and at least one that could become a permanent home. KCR bought a duplex in Bremerton and is buying a house in Port Orchard. Whether there will be enough funding to buy a fourth house remains to be seen.

We’ll have a story with more details on this later.

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