Struggling Florida homeowners and consumer advocates are questioning how plans by state lawmakers to spend $200 million in bank foreclosure reparations will stave off foreclosures.
The plans, which in the Florida House’s version include paying for college dorm rooms, domestic abuse shelters and mortgage down payments for assistant state attorneys, are being pitched as ways to spend part of the state’s take from the National Mortgage Settlement. The settlement was negotiated last year with the country’s five largest banks to atone for foreclosure- and mortgage-related wrongdoing.
Subscribers get total access to this story, and all our in-depth news, digital editions and exclusive content. Subscribe today, or try a 24-hour or 7-day digital pass.
All Day Access — 24-hour digital pass99¢ for 24 hours
All Week Access – 7-day digital pass$3.99 for 7 days
All Access, All the Time – Print & DigitalView Offers
Post Print Subscriber — I need to register my account for digital access.Access Digital
Registered Post Subscriber — Sign me in.Sign In
Where the money would go
• Dorm fees: $15 million to pay for two years of dormitory costs through the Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program.
• Court tech: $5.3 million for better court technology to process foreclosures faster.
• Down payments: $45 million in down payment assistance to teachers in low-performing schools, rural health care providers, including doctors and nurses, assistant state attorneys, public defenders, and veterans and active military. ($3 million to administer the program)
• Court resources: $13 million
• Court clerks: $6.7 million
• Domestic violence: $20 million to the Department of Children and Families to provide more bed space for victims of domestic violence.
• Homes: $35 million to Habitat for Humanity
• Developers: $50 million to affordable housing developers.
• Legal aid: $5 million
* Promotion: $2 million
* Legal aid: $5 million
* Local governments: $70 million for various housing uses through the State Housing Initiative Program, or SHIP.
* Developers: $65 million for low income housing projects.
* Courts: $25 million over two years to reduce foreclosure backlog.
* Court clerks: $15 million
* Legal aid: $10 million
* Promotion: $2 million
* Administration: $3 million to Florida Housing Finance Corporation to oversee programs.