Va. Communities Receive $30 Million in Housing Redevelopment

The foreclosure crisis is long over in Prince William County, but hundreds of the abandoned, decaying properties are still left behind.

A coalition of religious organizations is launching a plan to use $30 million to rehab foreclosed units and create more affordable rentals.

Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) has spent the past three years pressuring lenders at the center of the foreclosure crisis to help financially with the fallout.

General Electric and Bank of America have agreed to contribute half of the money. The Virginia Housing Development Authority is also supplying $15 million.

The fund will be used to rehabilitate 100 abandoned foreclosures and to build or preserve 300 affordable rental units.

Sen.Mark Warner, who serves on the Senate banking committee, has worked with VOICE for the past three years to put pressure on the lenders.

"I think they are going to make it happen," Warner said. "The banks have come through. This shows people of faith can move institutions that sometimes you turn on tv and think can never be moved. It gives me faith that we can get stuff done."

The announcement of the foreclosure rehab plan came during a packed meeting at Woodbridge Middle School Monday evening.

VOICE leaders are still pressuring JP Morgan Chase to also contribute to the fund.

Manassas homeowner Vanessa Allen lives next door to an abandoned townhome that emptied out during the foreclosure crisis.

She has spent thousands of her money on a broken down fence and roof leak caused by deteriorating conditions next door. Allen is hopeful the rehab plan will move ahead.

"It sounds good," Allen said. "I just hope it goes the way it's planned."


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