City and agencies create alliance to deal with foreclosures
By Maria Hickey, KWMU
St. Louis, MO. – The city of St. Louis and five social service agencies are teaming up in an effort to stave off home foreclosures.
The St. Louis Alliance for Home Ownership Preservation includes the city along with the Urban League, Beyond Housing, Catholic Charities, ACORN, and Better Family Life.
The city has set aside $500,000 to help agencies council people in danger of losing their homes and to offer up to $1,500 in direct mortgage assistance.
Mayor Francis Slay says foreclosures have an economic impact that goes beyond individual families.
"They also can tear apart neighborhoods," Slay said. "When you have a lot of abandoned buildings, the cost there; boarding buildings up, the reduction in the value of homes around it, the potential crime that can occur as a result. So there are a lot of social costs associated."
There were about 2,500 home foreclosures in St. Louis last year.
Members of the new alliance say they expect a greater number this year.