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Regional Council Offers Help in Fighting Foreclosure

Homeowners in danger of losing their homes can get assistance through the Real Options Overcoming Foreclosure Project.

75 homes in North Haven have fallen into foreclosure actions in the past three years according to information provided by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority.

Four of those foreclosures have occurred since January, 2011.

To combat those statistics, the South Central Connecticut Regional Council of Governments is partnering with the Real Options Overcoming Foreclosure Project to provide assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure.

SCRCOG is made up of 15 mayors and first selectmen in the Greater New Haven area, including North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda.

In 2008, the council first paired with the ROOF Project to help distressed homeowners in New Haven and is now extending that program to Hamden and the other communities, including Bethany, Branford, East Haven, Guilford, Madison, Meriden, Milford, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge.

Volunteer representatives, appointed by the mayors and first selectmen, have formed a Regional Housing Committee to help guide this new community based initiative.

The past few years have shown that this foreclosure crisis is not limited to urban areas in relation to subprime loans.

The impacts of foreclosures have spread to all communities within the South Central Connecticut region as residents have become affected by job losses and decreased incomes. 

Since 2008, South Central Connecticut has seen over 12,000 foreclosure cases, affecting approximately 1 in every 12 homes. 

ROOF will offer foreclosure clinics on a monthly basis in different sub-regions within South Central Connecticut, with outreach taking place in all 15 communities represented in SCROG. Outreach will include direct mailing to inform about available resources, training for municipal staff, and assistance to those struggling with their mortgage in order to avoid foreclosure all together.

ROOF is a free service provided in conjunction with SCROG, and the public needs to know they should never have to pay for this type of help. ROOF also advises homeowners in foreclosure to participate in Connecticut's mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Program, which assists homeowners and lenders in coming to a mutually agreeable resolution to mortgage foreclosure action.

For more information about The ROOF Project, visit www.theroofproject.org.

Do you think regional programs like this will help stem the town and region's foreclosure tide? 

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