The Real Deal Miami

State opts not to pursue $250M of foreclosure relief

Florida agency that distributes foreclosure-relief funds decided not to apply for more

May 15, 2016 11:00AM

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Governor Rick Scott

Governor Rick Scott

An arm of state government that distributes federal foreclosure-relief funds to distressed homeowners opted against reaching out for $250 million of additional aid.

Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) never applied for the $250 million, a Treasury Department spokesman told the Sun-Sentinel.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, D-Florida, called the decision by FHFC “tragic for Florida homeowners who are fighting to keep their homes.”

Governor Rick Scott, who appoints the board members of FHFC, has resisted federal funding from the Obama administration for the state’s health-care and transportation needs.

Cecka Green, communications director of FHFC, said Florida received $78 million of federal foreclosure relief under the U.S. government’s Hardest Hit program without applying for it. According to the Treasury Department, actively applying for these funds was not required.

Florida is eligible to receive in excess of $1 billion of federal foreclosure relief under the Hardest Hit program during the 10 years ending in 2020.

But a special inspector general last year reported that, among the 18 states where homeowners can participate in the Hardest Hit program, Florida admits the smallest percentage of applicants. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth