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NR 2009-20
Contact: Dean DeBuck
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OCC Focuses on Stabilizing Communities Affected by Foreclosures

WASHINGTON — The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today published a Community Developments Insights report that describes how banks and their partners in the community are working to dispose of foreclosed properties in creative ways that will preserve affordable housing opportunities and stabilize communities.

"Banks are tapping into the existing strength of community-based organizations and local government agencies to facilitate the purchase and rehabilitation of vacant and foreclosed properties for their rental and homeownership initiatives," said Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan. "These partnerships will not only help revitalize and stabilize communities by providing much needed affordable housing, they can also help banks reduce the costs associated with managing foreclosed properties."

This Insights report reviews initiatives and strategies for building partnerships between banks and nonprofit organizations, for-profit affordable housing developers, government entities, and others. The report discusses how national banks may use a variety of funding and financing tools, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the new markets and low income housing tax credit programs to facilitate the sale of foreclosed properties. The Insights report also provides banks with guidance regarding stabilization activities that may qualify for consideration under the Community Reinvestment Act.

The OCC has a team of Community Affairs Officers who are located around the country and are able to assist community-based organizations in identifying foreclosed property initiatives with successful track records.

The Insights report can be accessed on the OCC's Web site. Contact information for OCC's Community Affairs Officers is available at: http://www.occ.gov/topics/community-affairs/contacts.html.

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