The national sub-prime loan crisis continues to make news every day. You’ve heard that foreclosures are on the rise across the nation and that all of this is weighing heavily on our economy. But you may not know what the situation looks like here in Grand Rapids.
Like many places across the nation, foreclosures in Grand Rapids are on the rise. According to the Kent County Register of Deeds office, foreclosures were up 74 percent in 2006 and 35 percent in 2007. “This is an epidemic,” said Dave Jacobs, Executive Director of Home Repair Services. His organization offers a program to provide emergency financial counseling to local families facing foreclosure. Last year they were able to avert 285 foreclosures. “We see ourselves as the emergency room for foreclosures in Kent County, but we also know that the community needs a lot more than an emergency room in an epidemic,” Dave said. In December, Home Repair Services received a $50,000 grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation to support expanding its financial counseling services. The additional funds will allow the organization to hire one additional full time financial counselor to work with local families at risk of losing their home. “The additional staff person will add almost 30 percent to our staff levels, which will be a huge relief to our other financial counselors. It will also give our lead counselor time for more community collaboration.” Home Repair Services hopes to increase its number of averted foreclosures to 350 in 2008. To learn what you can do to help, please visit www.homerepairservices.org.