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Building Community Blog

Although Habitat for Humanity is probably best known for our homebuilding and homeownership programs and services, we also offer Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention support for residents of Minneapolis, and health and safety repair services for existing low-income homeowners in the Twin Cities metro area through our A Brush with Kindness (ABWK) program.

Fix it and forget it is a popular saying, but Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity wants everyone who came to, or heard about, our annual Fix It Fair to Fix It and Remember. While volunteers helped repair small, non-functioning household items for anyone who brought them to the fair, the event also served as a way to remind people of the mission of Habitat and all the ways we carry that mission out.

The year is almost over, but there’s still time to make a donation this year and deduct from your 2012 taxes. Tax-deductible donations effectively reduce your annual taxable income, increasing your return in April, or lowering the amount you owe to the IRS. You can think of it as doing good for your community now, and getting an unexpected return in April.  

Foreclosure has affected many people across the country during the last five years; but one group is becoming more and more in need of foreclosure prevention assistance. Veterans are increasingly facing foreclosure as unemployment continues to rise for post 9/11 veterans at a higher rate than the rest of the country.

The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) was put in place to protect veterans from civil matters such as breach of contract, bankruptcy and foreclosure. However, several banks that have improperly overcharged and foreclosed upon deployed servicemembers during the past year.  This is in violation of the SCRA.  The Servicemembers Rights Enforcement Improvement Act of 2012 was introduced by United States Sen. Patty Murray in April of this year. This bill aims to strengthen the protections of SCRA and help enforce them. 

Announced in February and officially approved in April 2012, the National Mortgage Settlement was negotiated by the top five lenders and various government officials to provide assistance to current and previous homeowners who were negatively impacted by the foreclosure crisis. 

However, given the overwhelming budget deficits experienced by many states, controversy is forming around the specific use of the funds.  Will closing the budget gaps directly aid in mitigating foreclosure effects on homeowners? 

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