REO & Vacant Properties: Strategies for Neighborhood Stabilization

A Joint Publication of the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and Cleveland and the Board of Governors

The foreclosure crisis that the nation continues to grapple with has led to scores of real-estate-owned, or REO, properties. These and other vacant properties erode the values of nearby houses, fracture neighborhood stability, and threaten to undo decades of economic progress made in communities across the country over the past 25 years. How big is the REO problem? How are communities, banks, and policymakers dealing with the challenge? Most important, what approaches are showing the most promise for success.

REO & Vacant Properties: Strategies for Neighborhood Stabilization, both a national summit and a companion publication, focus on how policy makers and community development practitioners can help stabilize neighborhoods most at risk for decline. The publication contains 17 articles that aim to shed light on the scope of the problem in specific areas of the country and to showcase some methods for dealing with the challenge of vacant and REO properties.

The Drawing Board (Video)

Really bad drawings…real simple explanations

Download the complete publication (PDF)


Table of Contents and Acknowledgments (PDF)

Letter from Presidents Rosengren and Pianalto and Governor Duke (PDF)

About the MORE Initiative (PDF)

Foreword (PDF)

Section I: Research and Analysis

The Scope and Nature of the REO Challenge

REO Properties, Housing Markets, and the Shadow Inventory (PDF)

by Allan Mallach, Brookings Institution

Shuttered Subdivisions: REOs and the Challenges of Neighborhood Stabilization (PDF)

by Carolina K. Reid, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Holding or Folding? Foreclosed Property Durations and Sales during the Mortgage Crisis (PDF)

by Dan Immergluck, Georgia Institute of Technology

REO and Beyond: The Aftermath of the Foreclosure Crisis in Cuyahoga County, Ohio (PDF)

by Claudia Coulton, Michael Schramm, and April Hirsh, Case Western Reserve University

Examining REO Sales and Price Discounts in Massachusetts (PDF)

by Kai-yan Lee, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Maximizing the Impact of Federal NSP Investments through the Strategic Use of Local Market Data (PDF)

by Ira Goldstein, The Reinvestment Fund

Servicing REO Properties: The Servicer's Role and Incentives (PDF)

by Stergios Theologides, CoreLogic

Section II: Solutions

Strategies for Dealing with REO and Vacant Properties

Acquiring Property for Neighborhood Stabilization: Lessons Learned from the Front Lines (PDF)

by Craig Nickerson, National Community Stabilization Trust

REO Disposition and Neighborhood Stabilization: A Servicer's View (PDF)

by Jay N. Ryan Jr., Fannie Mae

Acquiring Privately Held REO Properties with Public Funds: The Case of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (PDF)

by Harriet Newburger, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Nonprofit Strategies for Returning REO Properties to Effective Use (PDF)

by Daniel Fleischman

Purchasing Properties from REO and Reselling to Existing Occupants: Lessons from the Field on Keeping People in Place (PDF)

by Elyse D. Cherry, Boston Community Capital, and Patricia Hanratty, Aura Mortgage Advisors

The Community Asset Preservation Corporation: A New Approach to Community Preservation (PDF)

by Harold Simon, National Housing Institute

Embracing Renting to Accelerate Neighborhood Recovery (PDF)

by Danilo Pelletiere, National Low Income Housing Coalition

Cleaning Up After the Foreclosure Tsunami: Practices to Address REOs in Northeast Ohio (PDF)

by Frank Ford, Neighborhood Progress Inc.

How Modern Land Banking Can Be Used to Solve REO Acquisition Problems (PDF)

by Thomas J. Fitzpatrick IV, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Community Reinvestment Act and NSP: A Banker's Perspective (PDF)

by Mike Griffin, KeyBank