Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Senator Jim Whelan (D-2) and Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2) sent a letter to the commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and the executive director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency Thursday calling for the agencies to come forward with aid for homeowners in Atlantic City and Atlantic County.
The letter asks that the agencies set aside grant money for homeowners who have been hit hard doubly hard by New Jersey’s sluggish overall economic recovery and by the shuttering of several Atlantic City casinos earlier this year. Sweeney, Whelan and Mazzeo are calling for immediate action, as casino workers laid off this year will soon see the end of unemployment benefits.
“Both agencies — HMFA and DCA — have tools at their disposal to help stem the tide of foreclosures. HMFA and DCA could provide grant dollars to local nonprofit organizations designed to assist troubled homeowners, and should implement aggressive communication strategies to inform homeowners of the resources available to them,” said the three in the letter.
“We request that your agencies send representatives to Atlantic County to provide in-person assistance to distressed homeowners. Representatives should provide guidance to homeowners and assist them in registering for mortgage modification programs.
“We also request that your agencies provide our offices with the most recently available information regarding the magnitude of assistance provided through programs like the federal Home Affordable Modification Program, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, the Making Homes Affordable program, the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program, and New Jersey’s HomeSaver program.”
The area has some of the worst unemployment numbers in the country, with one in every 258 homes in the county being in foreclosure according to the Press of Atlantic City.
See the full letter here.