Last week, state lawmakers reached an agreement regarding how to spend the initial $60 million of the $334 million Florida received in the $26 billion mortgage settlement with the nation’s five largest lenders. The Palm Beach Post reported that more than half of the fund will go to first-time homebuyers for down payment assistance and while millions will be used to provide borrowers with legal aid and housing counseling.
The Florida’s circuit courts will also receive $5 million to hire additional employees charged with handling foreclosures and to support “technology solutions” intended to speed up cases. Some $140 million dollars intended to go to housing related issues in Florida has yet to be spent.
“Florida seems to be moving in the right direction,” Andrew Jakabovics, who wrote a report in the fall for the Maryland-based Enterprise Community Partners outlining how states are spending their settlement money, said. “The question is, what happens with the rest of it.” [PBP] —Christopher Cameron