The 2008 Global Credit Crisis ravaged the U.S. and global economy. The complete meltdown in the sub-prime mortgage industry brought utter destruction upon the housing market in the U.S. as home values were slashed by up to 50% in certain parts of the country. Few parts of the country were hit as hard as the state of Florida. In hopes of alleviating a still weak housing market in Florida, the U.S. government has recently initiated a new program called, The Florida Hardest Hit Fund.
The primary objective of the fund is to help aid homeowners who are facing foreclosure due to unemployment. The fund is poised to issue $1 billion in aid to needy homeowners. In 2010, it was estimated that roughly 450,000 mortgages were in some stage of foreclosure in Florida, according to real estate research firm RealtyTrac. The fund is expecting to bring aid to about 40,000 homeowners, which would amount to about 10% of all homeowners facing foreclosure.
The aid that is distributed will cover about 6 months of mortgage payments, thereby alleviating the stress on homeowners and offering them a further window of time in order to hopefully find employment and once again gain a solid financial footing. The continued unrest in the national housing market continues to weigh on the U.S. dollar in fx trading.
Critics Bring Concerns To Light
The fund has come under fire from some critics, though. The only way to apply for assistance is to fill out an application on _The Florida Hardest Hit Fund _ website. This poses a few problems. There is no real way to measure how many homeowners do not have computer access, but it is surely a decent number. This automatically puts these homeowners at a significant disadvantage. Considering the fact that the fund is distributing aid on a first-come, first-serve basis, this could prove catastrophic for some homeowners.
A further argument being raised by critics is the fact that the application on the website is in English only. Considering the fact that a large percent of the South Florida population is Spanish-speaking, this poses a formidable obstacle. It is estimated that nearly a third of Dade County residents are not proficient in English, and many of these people who own homes and are facing foreclosure, are prime candidates for also not owning a computer. This puts these homeowners at a significant disadvantage.
The ongoing sluggishness in the housing market is partially responsible for the U.S. dollars continued decline versus the euro in the EUR USD currency pair.
A further critique of the program is that there is no live assistance available via phone. An English-language recorded message simply redirects people to the website.
Although the fund has much promise since it has the ability to aid so many homeowners, critics are fighting for these discrepancies to be straightened out.