Housing help program struggles to compete with investors

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The federal government set aside nearly $13 million to help homebuyers and reduce housing inventory in Palm Beach County, but none of the 400 applicants who initially rushed to participate in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program in April have since settled under new roofs. The program, which allows buyers to bid on foreclosed, vacant and abandoned houses, keeps losing out to investors, who can pay more than the government’s loan cap of 1 percent below a property’s appraised value. The program also has a 45-day deadline to sign a contract after potential buyers are approved for a loan, a scant amount of time given participants’ struggle to compete with investors. So far, eight participants have signed contracts, but none have closed. [Palm Beach Post]

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