Today, the Federal Reserve announced that it will sponsor a national summit to “discuss methods and resources for encouraging neighborhood stabilization in the aftermath of the U.S. home mortgage foreclosure crisis.” The summit will take place on September 1st and 2nd at the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. Speakers will include Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth Duke; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan; Federal Reserve Presidents Charles Evans (Chicago), Sandra Pianalto (Cleveland), and Eric Rosengren (Boston); and “representatives of various sectors involved in the foreclosure process and community stabilization efforts.”

The summit will examine “practical and tested strategies that nonprofit organizations, local and regional governments, federal officials, and lenders can use to mitigate the impact of vacant and real estate owned (REO) property--property held on the books of banks, typically after failure to sell at foreclosure auction.” The summit will also showcase various Federal Reserve research policy papers and policy efforts addressing the foreclosure crisis on a national and community level. In connection with the summit, the Federal Reserve will release a publication entitled REO and Vacant Properties: Strategies for Neighborhood Stabilization, which is comprised of 17 articles that outline key issues related to neighborhood stabilization. The publication also highlights both “areas of need--such as for data, technology, and collaboration--and promising solutions, such as the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, land bank that holds vacant properties until they can be returned to productive use, and Boston Community Capital's efforts to purchase foreclosed properties and sell them back to former owners or tenants using a licensed mortgage affiliate.”

Governor Duke highlighted the need for the conference and noted that "[a] foreclosure not only hurts the person who loses their home, it hurts their neighbors and their communities." She also noted that "[a]s delinquencies and foreclosures continue to increase, we must think creatively and focus our research, outreach, and community development efforts on ways to help these communities recover."