Contact: Casper Hill, Communications Department, (612) 673-2342

Minneapolis 311 joins fight
to prevent home foreclosures

Nov. 15, 2006 (MINNEAPOLIS) City residents facing possible foreclosure now have a simple way to ask for help. By calling 311, a call center agent can put them in touch with agencies that assist homeowners.

"Minneapolis 311 has helped residents in so many ways since it started taking calls at the start of the year," said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "Now, it’s a tool to help people keep their homes."

"Anyone in Minneapolis who feels that they’re facing a possible foreclosure can call 311," said Council President Barbara Johnson. "The sooner they call 311, the better."

When 311 call center agents receive calls from residents worried about foreclosure, they’ll ask for some information about the address and whether they want to get help by phone or by making an office visit. Depending on their answers, agents will put them in touch with the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, the Northside Residents Redevelopment Council or Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

"Minneapolis 311 makes it easier for residents to ask for help," explains Minneapolis 311 manager Don Stickney. "We want people to call the moment they sense they may not be able to pay their mortgages. The sooner they call, the more options they have."

Foreclosures are rising all across the nation, and Minneapolis is no exception. There have been more than 1,300 foreclosures in the city so far this year, far surpassing last year’s total of 871. A particularly hard-hit area of Minneapolis is the north side, where more than 600 foreclosures have been recorded through September.

"These foreclosures harm more than the individual homeowners; they can destroy communities," Rybak added. "Foreclosed homes can stay empty for months or even years, becoming targets for arsonists, graffiti taggers and other vandals."

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Communications Department
301M City Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55415

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Published Nov 15, 2006