Making Home Affordable program moving slowly in the city

June 15, 2009 08:40AM

Housing advocates say that while the Obama administration’s mortgage modification program could help thousands of New Yorkers, it has been slow to get off the ground, and the majority of people who have applied for help have yet to hear whether they will receive it. The Center for New York City Neighborhoods, a public-private agency that connects homeowners with counselors approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has overseen 400 applications for the Making Home Affordable program, and so far, only about 100 of those mortgages have been modified. The rest of the applications are pending with lenders, with people often waiting more than 60 days for a response. “The promise of this program is enormous,” said Rafael Cestero, commissioner of the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. “It’s a brand-new program and it’s a very complicated issue, but we all share the feeling that it’s been moving too slowly.”