The 2011 statistics show that 23 percent of home sales were short sales or bank-owned sales; when in 2009 only 12 percent of sales were short sales or bank-owned.
While these situations mean lower prices for buyers, there are two stories in every sale. What about the family who is losing their home — whether they are forced to sell it or it is foreclosed on?
As a community, we cannot hide behind temporary upswings in a consistently fluctuating market. We must continue to recognize home foreclosure as a very serious issue — one that puts many families at high risk for homelessness and communities struggling to provide basic services their residents have come to expect.
The market may be on the rise, but many families are still experiencing a severe housing cost burden. We can no longer ignore that for every “great deal” one family gets on a foreclosed home, another family’s housing stability is shaken to its foundation.
Many agencies and organizations in the county are working to assist such families. For those Ottawa County residents who are facing foreclosure, Neighborhood Housing Services provides foreclosure prevention and advocacy services through the city of Grand Haven. For more information, you can call at 616-935-3270, or e-mail email@example.com.
— Char Seise and Karen Reenders
co-chairwomen, Northwest Ottawa Area Housing Coalition