In the end it was another loan that came to the Mercados’ rescue: the Federal Housing Administration’s 203(k), also known as the F.H.A. rehab loan, which is designed to cover not only buying the home but also renovating it, and is then paid back like a regular mortgage. A hybrid that has been around for more than 30 years, the loan program has recently surged in popularity.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced the measure that expands the Neighborhood Stabilization Plan, and would offer $15 billion in grants for fixing up residential and commercial properties left vacant following foreclosure. It would also increase support for land banks, which work with communities to buy, hold and redevelop distressed properties as part of a long-term redevelopment strategy.