Foreclosure Response and Neighborhood Preservation
The Foreclosure Response and Neighborhood Preservation grantmaking program supports projects and initiatives that help families avoid displacement, protect family and community assets, and preserve and stabilize neighborhoods. Learn more about our 2013 Foreclosure Response and Neighborhood Preservation grantees.
While public attention to the foreclosure crisis has ebbed and flowed over the last three years, the foreclosure crisis has continued to grow and the need for intervention remains great. In Bay Area communities such as Antioch and Richmond, foreclosure rates have improved slightly over the past year, but still remain above historical norms, with one in every 164 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in Antioch and one in every 212 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in Richmond during June 2012 alone1. Oakland’s foreclosures have dipped slightly, but still remain high; 1 in every 350 housing units received a foreclosure filing in June 2012, down from 1 in 284 in 20112.3
The impact of all this foreclosure activity on communities is all too well known: neighborhoods falling into disrepair, tenants evicted as landlords default, declines in property tax revenues forcing cuts to critical services, and the overall health, stability, and economic future of families being severely affected.
The foreclosure crisis has been particularly devastating for low- to moderate-income families, especially people of color and immigrants. The Center for Responsible Lending reports that these populations were disproportionately targeted for subprime loans, and that Latino and African American borrowers experience foreclosures at twice the rate of non-Hispanic white homeowners4.
All told, seven of the nation’s 10 hardest-hit cities by foreclosure rate in 2011 were located in California, with more than one million homes lost to foreclosure between 2008 and 2011— and an additional 700,000 currently in the foreclosure pipeline5.
To address this disproportionate concentration of foreclosures, the state legislature passed the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on July 11, 2012.
While this legislation is a major step forward in helping to level the playing field between homeowners and mortgage servicers, it is clear that the foreclosure crisis is far from over, and focus must now be kept on ensuring consistent implementation of these vital consumer protections.
Also, to ensure that foreclosure issues continue to get the attention of policymakers, relief program administrators, financial institutions, and the public, we believe we have to step up our collective communication. Highlighting success stories as well as cases that vividly illustrate the gaps in current programs, regulations and policies is important, which is why we believe creating a story bank will help all of us individually and collectively to educate residents and policymakers.
3 RealtyTrac foreclosure statistics combine data on notice of defaults, foreclosure auction, and bank repossession.
4 Debbie Gruenstein Bocian, Peter Smith, Ginna Green, Paul Leonard. Center for Responsible Lending, “Dreams Deferred: Impacts and Characteristics of the California Foreclosure Crisis.” August 2010.
5 State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General: http://oag.ca.gov/hbor.
Objective One: Foreclosure response and asset preservation
To prevent foreclosure displacement and preserve wealth in lower-income and communities of color by supporting efforts that help families and individuals stay housed and avoid or recover from foreclosure.
Strategies will support efforts to:
- Provide direct foreclosure prevention, mitigation, and recovery services including mortgage counseling, legal assistance, family support services, and information and referral for both renters and homeowners.
- Coordinate and integrate foreclosure mitigation programs; raise awareness of the effects on foreclosure on health, community safety, and family well-being; and address the disparate impact of foreclosures on people of color, children and youth, special needs populations, and immigrants.
- Promote safe and responsible homeownership and asset-building through pre-purchase counseling and education and access to fair lending products.
- Provide assistance to renters who have been directly or indirectly impacted by foreclosures, by supporting tenant education, services, and advocacy, and direct assistance to displaced tenants of foreclosed properties.
- Highlight the successes, challenges and systemic issues preventing satisfactory resolution for homeowners facing foreclosure.
- Support policy advocacy for financial institution accountability, tenant protections, and foreclosure mitigation, including disbursement of California’s National Mortgage Settlement Fund and implementation and enforcement of the Homeownership Bill of Rights, the California Keep Your Home Program, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Objective Two: Neighborhood stabilization and innovation
To support the rehabilitation and reuse of foreclosed homes, encourage reinvestment in hard-hit communities, preserve existing affordable housing, and expand innovative housing options for lower-income populations.
Strategies will support efforts that:
- Promote neighborhood stabilization efforts including acquisition and rehabilitation of foreclosed homes as affordable properties.
- Improve affordability, habitability, and sustainability of existing affordable homes through weatherization and energy efficiency retrofits.
- Promote and scale alternative models of housing as a response to foreclosure, including cooperative and community wealth-building strategies such as shared housing, limited-equity housing, and community land trusts.
- Support policy and advocacy that promotes innovation, collaboration, and increased resources for housing preservation, rehabilitation, and retrofitting, and for neighborhood stabilization.
Particular consideration will be given to programs and organizations that:
- Target and reach lower-income communities, communities of color, immigrants, refugees, and other populations that have borne the disparate burden of discriminatory practices and disinvestment.
- Reflect a high degree of collaboration and integration with other nonprofits, public entities, and the private sector to develop collaborative frameworks to help service providers, advocates and community residents stay informed about changes in assistance programs and regulations, communicate the hardship of foreclosures on residents and communities and help document the impact of community-based organizations to policy makers, financial institutions, donors and the public.
This priority area is not intended to fund:
- Services and programs meant to assist individuals in immediate crisis or facing homelessness (see our Safety Net grantmaking program).
- Emergency housing or short term homeless shelter (see our Safety Net grantmaking program).
- Ongoing efforts to produce new units of affordable rental housing (see our Community Development program area).
Please note that is not an open call for proposals. Only invited organizations may apply.
Grant funds will be awarded on a competitive basis to invited organizations. In order to be considered for funding, invited organizations must submit a full grant proposal and all of the requested materials through The San Francisco Foundation’s online grant application system, Grantee Center.
Current grantees of the Foreclosure Response and Neighborhood Preservation programs will submit final reports in November 2013. An update about application timelines will be available in early 2014.