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Indiana foreclosure prevention program expanding

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About 10,000 more Indiana homeowners could get help in making their mortgage payments under an expansion of a federally funded foreclosure prevention program, state officials announced Wednesday.

Changes to the Indiana's Hardest Hit Fund program include broader eligibility and nearly doubling the amount of mortgage aid each household could receive. The program first started in 2011 with $221 million in federal funding.

"Our goal is to ensure that every Indiana homeowner who qualifies for assistance has that opportunity to get help," Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann said.

Some 1,500 Indiana households have received up to $18,000 in assistance since the program was started, said Mark Neyland of the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, which oversees the fund.

Only those who were unemployed have been eligible for the program — and officials are looking for a big jump in applications by broadening eligibility. Those newly eligible include those who can't afford their house payments for reasons such being forced into a lower-paying job, the loss of income from a family member's death, large medical expenses and being called to military service.

Household can receive up to $30,000 in assistance over a two-year period, with those in the program having to complete a financial literacy course.

State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, said that more education on handling money was an important part of the program to make sure that those who've gotten help to stay in their homes don't fall back into the same situation.

Northwestern Indiana's Lake County, which includes Gary, has long been troubled by a double-digit unemployment rate, and Rogers said expanded mortgage aid will give residents "a ray of hope in what is very often a dim surrounding."

Indiana is among 18 states and the District of Columbia sharing about $3 billion in federal grants announced in 2010 to help homeowners facing foreclosure in the country's toughest job markets.

Indiana had nearly 4,000 new foreclosure filings in March, about the same as a year earlier, according to the foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc.

Details on the program are available here.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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