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The UNC Center for Community Capital will team with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency’s (OHFA) Office of Affordable Housing Research and Strategic Planning on a $460,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to evaluate the effectiveness of federally funded mortgage payment assistance for unemployed homeowners.

OHFA received one of six grants totaling $2.8 million awarded by the foundation for its How Housing Matters to Families and Communities Initiative, designed to explore the ways housing may affect social, health and economic outcomes of children, families and communities.

“MacArthur-supported How Housing Matters research has already revealed that stable, quality housing matters in ways critical for children’s emotional and physical development, improves school performance, and diminishes psychological stress,” said Julia Stasch, MacArthur’s Vice President for U.S. Programs. “In future research findings, we may find that a particular housing attribute or intervention does not achieve the outcomes we hypothesize. Arming policymakers and practitioners with evidence of what works and what does not is vital to drive innovation and more effectively target scarce resources to meet the housing, social and economic needs of families and communities.”

In partnership with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Ohio State University, Washington University St. Louis, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, OHFA will utilize the grant to conduct a multi-state study of foreclosure prevention programs. The study will mainly focus on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) established to provide financial assistance to families in states most impacted by the downturn of the housing market. The HHF earmarked $7.6 billion for 18 states and the District of Columbia in 2010. OHFA was allocated $570.4 million to implement its foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.

“As a leader among the states who received an allocation of HHF dollars, Save the Dream Ohio has assisted thousands of distressed homeowners, namely unemployed and underemployed persons,” said OHFA Executive Director Doug Garver. “The MacArthur grant will allow OHFA to assess the long-term impact of mortgage payment assistance provided to unemployed homeowners, explore the lasting effects of housing stability on gainful employment, and shape policies at the state and federal levels.”

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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an 11 member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the State of Ohio. OHFA is also the administrator of the state’s foreclosure prevention program, Save the Dream Ohio.

About the MacArthur Foundation
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. The Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places and understand how technology is affecting children and society.

About the UNC Center for Community Capital
The UNC Center for Community Capital, the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. The center’s in-depth analyses help policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people, more effectively. For more information, visit


Topics(s): Affordable Homeownership, Default, Bankruptcy, & Foreclosure, Housing Policy, Mortgage Finance
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