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County will request funds to help redevelop foreclosed homes

The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved an application June 23 for federal stimulus funds to help pay for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes in the county.

Washington County will enter a consortium with Anoka, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott and Chisago counties to apply for the funds, which will be awarded on a competitive basis.

If the $2.5 million is awarded, it would be used in specific neighborhoods in St. Paul Park, Woodbury, Forest Lake, Hugo, Cottage Grove and Oakdale. The money would be used to buy and rehabilitate some units, provide loans to owners to rehabilitate their homes, and provide down payment assistance for other potential homeowners. The cities were chosen because of their numbers of foreclosed homes.

If received, the funds must be spent by Sept. 1, 2012, and a portion of the funds must benefit households at or below 50 percent of the median income in the metro area.