From the Arizona Republic:
A newly released federal audit found that Arizona has one of the worst records of any state in dispersing federal housing aid to struggling homeowners.
The audit, released late Monday, found that Arizona distributed the second lowest percentage of federal “Hardest Hit” mortgage aid directly to homeowners, despite being one the states hardest hit by the recession-fueled housing bust.
The audit’s findings largely mirror an investigation published in July by The Arizona Republic, which found Arizona had one of the worst records among the 18 states plus Washington, D.C., that received federal “Hardest Hit” funds. The state failed to dispense aid quickly, and tallied some of the highest administrative costs among funding recipients, the newspaper found.
Hardest Hit funds can be used to help homeowners through principal reductions of loans, mortgage modifications, second-lien reductions and unemployment assistance.
The new federal audit, conducted by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), found Arizona through June 30 spent only 11 percent of the $268 million in available money directly for helping homeowners.
Only Indiana had a worse record, spending 8 percent of its money on homeowners.