Mayors struggle to cope with foreclosures

June 23, 2008 at 1:13 PM
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MIAMI, June 23 (UPI) -- Mayors from across the United States say they need to find ways to deal with the ever-growing number of vacant or abandoned properties in their cities.

Meeting Sunday in Miami at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the civic chief executives said the nation's foreclosure crisis is getting increasingly difficult for them to handle as decay spreads in cities and drives down property values, The Miami Herald reported.

The gathering cited a prediction from economists that 2.2 million homes will fall into foreclosure before the mortgage meltdown has ended, and many will remain empty for months or years, with cities having to spend precious resources to clean up the trash and vandalism left behind.

"There is a huge bubble just beyond the horizon and I am really scared," the newspaper quoted Bridgeport, Conn., Mayor Bill Finch as telling the gathering. "I have two (foreclosures) on my block and I live in a nice neighborhood and there is grass growing high."

One speaker told that conference that nationwide, some 44.5 million homes are sited adjacent to subprime mortgage foreclosures alone, and each of those homes stands to lose $5,000 in value as a result.

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