Midland County Gets Federal Cash for Foreclosed Properties and Abandoned Homes

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND CO.- Foreclosures in Midland County have risen since 2008 but only slightly. According to First American CoreLogic, Midland County's foreclosure rate rose from 0.20 percent in 2008 to 0.40 percent in 2009. The statistics lag far behind the state average of 1 percent and the national average of 2.63 percent.

Midland County's 90+ Day Delinquency Rate for June was also relatively low at just 1.8 percent. That number is lower than the state average at 4.20 percent and far lower than the national average of 6.72 percent. Despite the relatively low figures for Midland County, the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) doled out $6.8 million dollars in federal dollars awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The low foreclosure rates may have some wondering if it's a waste of federal tax dollars. Neighbors in Midland County say absolutely not.

"I think it's a great deal if Midland County can that kind of money, I think it's wonderful. We need it," Janet Null said.

Luckily, the funds won't just go to foreclosures. The Midland County Housing Authority can use the money to help repair or rebuild homes in order for those homes to be sold or rented to area families. Some potential buyers may even qualify for assistance.

A spokesperson for the TDHCA said the agency looked at many factors when awarding the $102 million dollars in federal funds, to ensure the money was spread throughout the state and not concentrated in areas like Tarrant or Harris Counties only because of their high foreclosure rates.

The news of the extra funding is good for people like Vilma Anaya who is renovating a home in South Midland County to sell. Anaya has spent $10,000 dollars on supplies alone since she started working on the home a month ago.

"I would like to see nice yards, nice houses." Anaya said the federal dollars will go a long way by helping her property value go up.

Demolishing dilapidated homes may also have other benefits.

"We've got one at the end of the street that's been abandoned for a long time and we've seen people go in and out you know drinking there and things like that," Janet Null said.

Null believes abandoned homes are a safe haven for criminals.

"You don't want to live close to one of those because you don't know what kind of homeless people are living there or people who are on drugs. You sure don't want your kids playing around there," she added.