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Home Prices Up
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Funds Bypass Metro
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Harvard Annual Study
PBP Douglas Wins
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Piece by Piece Update

June is National Homeownership Month

June 28, 2012





Please take note of the following news and calendar items. 

Georgia Leads the Nation in Foreclosure Activity


Georgia has moved from fourth to first to claim the unenviable lead position in foreclosure filing activity for the month of May 2012 according to the most recent data released by RealtyTrac.  Foreclosure filings in Georgia in May were up a staggering 33% from the previous month. MORE

Metro Sees Slight Uptick in Home Prices


(Courtesy AJC.com) For the first time in eight months, the region saw an increase, in home prices. Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index reported an increase of just under 1% for the month of April. The national average was an increase of 1.3%.  MORE

Foreclosure Filing Snapshot: Metro Atlanta


andp brownARC's Mike Carnathan presented regional foreclosure filing data (2010 to present) from Equity Depot at the June Piece by Piece Local Governments meeting.  See Mike's slides here.

Economic Development Funds from National Mortgage Settlement Bypass Metro Atlanta


andp brown(Courtesy of the Saporta Report)  As guest writer for the Saporta Report, Georgia State Trade Association of Nonprofit Developers (GSTAND) executive director Kate Little writes about the National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) and the state's decision to direct $99 million in funds allocated for Georgia to economic development instead of foreclosure relief.    "To combat the continuing foreclosure crisis, Georgia needed all of the $99 million spent on helping troubled borrowers stay in their homes and helping neighborhoods and communities to reclaim vacant and abandoned foreclosed properties. Cities and counties concerned about stopping the encroachment of blight, the creation of public safety hazards, and falling property values could have used these funds to make a difference. Acquisition and rehabilitation of foreclosed properties does create jobs and would have put these properties back on the tax rolls to benefit the bottom line of local governments. The allocation of NMS funds to rural Georgia for "job creation" represents a missed opportunity to help Georgia citizens in both urban and rural areas keep living their American Dream."  MORE

AJC:  Spotlight on Regional Land Banks


The area around Six Flags has been on the downside of the economic roller coaster for years. Businesses have moved out and neighborhoods have disintegrated, leaving a decaying southern gateway into metro Atlanta's fourth-largest county. Now, county leaders are considering a land acquisition program used in two other metro counties to gain control of eyesore properties and try to spark redevelopment. MORE


NOTE: In Saturday's newspaper, the AJC takes a look at the practice of land banking and its effectiveness.

Harvard Annual Housing Study Points to Recovery


andp brown(Courtesy of Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies)  Housing markets are showing signs of reviving, concludes The State of the Nation's Housing report released by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. "While still in the early innings of a housing recovery, rental markets have turned the corner, home sales are strengthening, and a floor is beginning to form under home prices," says Eric S. Belsky, Managing Director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies. "With new home inventories at record lows, unless the broader economy goes into a tailspin, stronger sales should further stabilize prices and pave the way for a pickup in single-family housing construction over the course of 2012.  While gaining ground, the homeowner market still faces a number of challenges, the Harvard report cautions. The backlog of roughly two million homes in the foreclosure process will keep distressed sales elevated and could keep price increases in check in places hardest hit by foreclosures. At the same time, growth may remain muted due to the more than 11 million homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. These owners cannot sell without incurring a loss and have no home equity to borrow against to fund major remodels.  MORE

Westside Home Builders Association Receives National Award for Piece by Piece Douglas Initiative


(Courtesy of Chris Collier) The Westside Home Builders Association (HBA)has been recognized for its foreclosure initiatives with two Awards of Excellence from the Executive Officers Council (EOC) of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).  Westside HBA received an Award of Excellence for Piece by Piece Douglas, a county-based PBP initiative that addresses three major issues facing homeowners that are losing their home to foreclosure: (1) "Save A Home," a program to inform homeowners of the options they were facing; (2) "Sell A Home," directed at the sale of existing foreclosure properties;  and (3) addressing "Employment or Under Employment" by providing a network for individuals facing that challenge.  Westside HBA also received an Excellence Award for the West Metro Atlanta Foreclosure Workshop, an initiative hosted jointly with the Atlanta Regional Commission in Douglasville where representatives from Cobb, Paulding, Carroll, Douglas, Haralson and Coweta Counties met to share their programs and activities with regard to the foreclosure crisis that we are experiencing.  The Association Excellence Awards is an annual program designed to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of state and local home builders' associations and executive officers in the field of association management. EOC membership is comprised of the staff executives who direct more than 750 NAHB-affiliated state and local home builders' associations representing more than 140,000 home builders in communities across the United States.

Neighborhood Nexus Launches Neighborhood Corner to Capture Revitalization Success Stories


(Courtesy of Neighborhood Nexus) What do you have to show for all your hard work and dedication?  All your efforts to revitalize your community, to reinvigorate your neighbors or to raise awareness of your successes may sometimes go unnoticed.  Now there is a way to share your story including photos, videos and reliable statistics.  Neighborhood Corner, a program of Neighborhood Nexus, will help to put your community "on the map."  Through a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation grant, Neighborhood Corner is well on its way to becoming the Atlanta region's online destination for neighborhood stories - stories that can help to build partnerships or to get funding.  To get started uploading stories, simply visit www.NeighborhoodNexus.org, click on Neighborhood Corner and create an account.  Neighborhood Corner is free and open to the public.  By adding your voice, help to provide a richer, clearer understanding of your community through the stories, history, culture, demographics, unique challenges and collaborative accomplishments that make each neighborhood throughout the region come to life.  

Free Monthly Trainings on Neighborhood Nexus


Data-driven strategies are critical to long-term success in neighborhood stabilization.  Want an overview on how to use Neighborhood Nexus? Participate in a monthly webinar.  RSVP by emailing MCarnathan@AtlantaRegional.com and you will receive a confirmation and link to the webinar.  NOTE:  the next webinar is Wednesday, July 18th @ 2pm.  

This is NOT Your Parents' Housing Market!


Atlanta Regional Housing Forum - June 6th, 2012
Atlanta Regional Housing Forum - June 6th, 2012

For those who missed Dr. Chris Nelson's thought-provoking presentation at the June housing forum on the future of the nation's housing markets, you can watch his presentation on You Tube. Also available, the panel discussion that followed Dr. Nelson's comments. Panelist included: Eugene James, Metrostudy Atlanta; Egbert Perry, Integral Group; and Dan Reuter, Atlanta Regional Commission. 
Panel Discussion



June 30Super Saturday" Home Buyer Education Workshop and Resource Fair;  June 30, 2012, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM;  Jean Childs Young Middle School; 3116 Benjamin E Mays Dr. SW Atlanta, GA 30311.  The event is hosted by the Urban League of Greater Atlanta, a HUD approved Local Housing Counseling Agency, H. Lamar Willis, and Councilmember at Large Post 3 of the Atlanta City Council, and State Farm Insurance Company. Please register on line to confirm your participation in this event at www.ulgatl.org or contact Johnette Brown at jbrown@ulgatl.org.


July 9:   The Link Between Access to Mortgage Credit and Neighborhood Stabilization; Monday, July 9, 2012 from 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM; Brought to you by Enterprise Community Partners.  Responsible homeownership is an important piece of a comprehensive neighborhood stabilization plan. What are the major barriers to homeownership in destabilized neighborhoods? How are problems, such as access to mortgage credit, being addressed at the local level? Join us for a discussion with three groups who are tackling these challenging questions - Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation of Minnesota, Homeport Ohio and Massachusetts Housing Partnership. Register


July 13:  As a convener on important topics affecting growth and development, the Council for Quality Growth and ULI Atlanta have partnered to present an educational forum on the July 31 transportation referendum; July 13; 11:30am-1:30p.m.; Cobb Galleria; 2 Galleria Parkway SE - Atlanta, Georgia 30339;Lunch & Program $45, Tables of Ten Available;  MORE



Susan Adams

Piece by Piece Coordinator  



andp brown