Treasury funds to address housing, foreclosure needs

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., announced that Oregon will receive more than $36 million from the U.S. Department of Treasury to assist homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure.

An opportunity exists for the state of Oregon to apply for an additional $110 million from the Treasury Department to address housing needs in the state, a news release said.

“Homeownership is the greatest wealth-building tool the middle class has ever known, but too many Oregonians are still struggling with underwater mortgages and high interest rates, and are on the brink of foreclosure,” Merkley said. “This funding will help many Oregonians stay in their homes and get back on track to the American dream.”

Funding from the Treasury Department comes from its authority to obligate up to $2 billion in additional Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program, the release said.

The programs have helped hundreds of Oregonians avoid foreclosure by using a strategy in which a home is purchased through a short sale and resold to to the owners at its current value.