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Federal Reserve Offers Homeowners MORE

Friday, January 1, 2010

What good is family homeownership in communities that can’t be sustained?  That’s one of the major issues the Federal Reserve has been considering since 2009.
The presidents of the 12 Reserve banks collaborated with the Board of Governors to launch the Mortgage Outreach and Research Efforts (MORE) in 2009.  MORE uses the Fed’s substantial expertise in mortgage markets in ways that are useful to policymakers, community organizations, financial institutions and the public.

“Any discussion of housing policy in this country must begin with some recognition of the importance Americans attach to homeownership,” said Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke at the Fed System and FDIC’s Oct. 25 Conference on Mortgage Foreclosures and the Future of Housing.  “For many of us, owning a home signaled a passage into adulthood that coincided with the start of a career and family.  High levels of homeownership have been shown to foster greater involvement in school and civic organizations, higher graduation rates, and greater neighborhood stability.

“But, as recent events have demonstrated, homeownership is only good for families and communities if it can be sustained,” Bernanke said. A new publication, Addressing the Impact of the Foreclosure Crisis, details the innovative, community-based foreclosure prevention and MORE neighborhood stabilization activities.  MORE highlights include bringing together housing advocates, lenders, academics, and key government officials to discuss foreclosure issues and develop solutions; partnering with the U.S. Departments of Labor and Treasury and the HOPE NOW Unemployment Task Force to assist unemployed homeowners at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure;developing online Foreclosure Resource Centers at each Reserve Bank and the Board of Governors; and sponsoring and distributing research on the foreclosure crisis, including studies on financial literacy and foreclosure prevention.

Additional information about the System’s MORE activities is available in the online version of Addressing the Impact of the Foreclosure CrisisTo access useful data and more information, see the St. Louis Fed’s Foreclosure Resources Center.