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Critics: Home Buying Program Is Slow Going

Home for sale, file. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Home for sale, file. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WBBM) – Several new homeowners in Lake County are praising a federal program that helped them become first time buyers, although critics say the program is slow going.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports, the federally-funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program has spent nearly $5 million in Lake County to purchase, renovate and sell foreclosed abandoned homes.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

Those who have qualified for the program had to have made less than 120 percent of the median income in the Chicago area.

The point, according to officials, is to get rid of the empty homes, which have been associated with declining home values. But so far, the number available far outweigh those that have been salvaged, according to the Chicago Tribune.

For example, 11,000 homes in Lake County were found to have been in default last year, and only 20 are set to be rehabbed.

Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development say they are responding by sending assistance to help jump start the process.