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Foundation launches foreclosure program

Oct. 16, 2008 at 2:01 PM

CHICAGO, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The U.S. foundation best known for its "genius grants" has announced a program to help low-income Chicago residents keep their homes.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which is headquartered in Chicago, initiated the $68 million program in March, the Chicago Tribune reported. But the foundation only announced it Wednesday.

Officials said they hope to help 10,000 homeowners by providing counseling on how to avoid foreclosure. They also plan to provide legal advice to renters living in buildings threatened by foreclosure.

The foundation is also depositing $15 million in ShoreBank's rescue loan program and entering a partnership with the city and Mercy Housing Inc. to buy and redevelop buildings in neighborhoods with a high rate of foreclosure.

The MacArthur Foundation was founded in 1978 at the death of insurance executive John D. MacArthur. Its best-known program is the MacArthur Fellows, who are given one-year grants to continue creative work in any field, nicknamed "genius grants."

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