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On Friday I mentioned the Housing Commission’s plan to buy and resell foreclosures under the federal neighborhood stabilization plan.

I wondered (and a commenter asked) if the other agencies administering the rest of the region’s $17 million would pursue similar plans.

I just heard from Mike Dececchi, chief of the county’s community development division, who’s administering the county government’s $5.1 million allocation. (The city has a $9.4 million chunk.)

Dececchi said the county has seen “kind of a pickup” in activity since the 15 percent mandated discount was lifted in June, but the competition in the market is still making the problem tough to administer.

“The 15 percent made it impossible, and the competition is making it very difficult,” Dececchi said.

The county has shifted the majority of its funds into the pot that would allow developers to purchase foreclosures and rent them out to low-income households. There are two developers so far going after grants to help with that, Dececchi said.

That leaves just $1 million in the homebuyer-assistance pot for individual households looking to purchase a discounted foreclosure.

One homebuyer has successfully closed on a purchase, he said. With $1 million for that piece of the program, the county might help up to 20 households get into homes.

The county won’t pursue a similar tack to the Housing Commission’s plan to buy foreclosures itself and resell them to the homebuyers, Dececchi said.

“It’s a different philosophy,” Dececchi said. “We generally don’t like to work like that. We generally like to let the market work, and us assist it.”

KELLY BENNETT

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