Foreclosure crisis still in full swing, especially in Southeastern Queens

December 01, 2009 11:31AM

Though rumors of a real estate recovery circulate, the foreclosure epidemic — especially in hard-hit Southeastern Queens — is not subsiding, despite government intervention. Throughout Queens, foreclosure filings in the first three quarters of 2009 nearly surpassed the number of filings for all of 2008, according to data released by NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. In Jamaica alone, there have been 1,589 foreclosure filings through Sept. 30 while there have been 1,077 in nearby Queens Village, the center found. While non-profits like Neighborhood Housing Services, which offers counseling for troubled homeowners have been successful in helping some homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying their mortgage through federal programs like the Making Home Affordable program, most homeowners still fall into foreclosure due to lengthy waiting games and excessive bureaucracy. Although the Bloomberg administration has donated more than $24 million to another non-profit called Restored Homes, which is looking to buy more than 100 foreclosed homes throughout the outer boroughs, many citizens are calling for additional governmental intervention. However, Ingrid Gould Ellen, co-director of the Furman Center said it’s impossible to help every troubled homeowner. “Policy shouldn’t be directed at keeping all residents in every home. It can’t be,” Ellen said . “If they really can’t, we want to figure out how they can exit as gracefully as possible.”