Farmington’s foreclosure rate tops in Dakota CountyWalk or drive through just about any neighborhood in Farmington and chances are there will be at least one vacant home along the route.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
Walk or drive through just about any neighborhood in Farmington and chances are there will be at least one vacant home along the route.
The signs are evident — longer grass, unkempt yards. Several pieces of paper hanging on the door, notifying no one in particular that utilities have been shut off. An occasional For Sale sign posted in the front yard. Almost by first glance it’s clear — it’s another foreclosed home.
Farmington has had numerous foreclosures over the past 18 months. And indications are those foreclosures will continue well into 2009.
In 2007, there were a total of 1,581 foreclosure sales in Dakota County. At the end of August, 2008, 1,451 had already been held. Burnsville ranked highest with 217, followed by Lakeville and Apple Valley with 193 each. Eagan had 191 and Farmington had 129.
Farmington has the highest percentage of homes up for foreclosure in Dakota County, though, with a full 2 percent of the homes in the city in foreclosure last year, and 1.8 percent registered as foreclosed through August this year. South St. Paul follows this year with 1.4 percent in foreclosure, then Rosemount and Lakeville with 1 percent each.
Earlier this year, President George Bush signed the Federal Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, allocating millions of dollars to communities throughout the U.S. to help homeowners retain ownership of their homes.
According to Farmington community development administrative assistant Lisa Dargis, the state of Minnesota received approximately $38.8 million through the program. Of that, $2.7 million has been allocated to Dakota County.
The funding comes as a one-time emergency Community Development Block Grant. Distribution will come through the Dakota County Community Development Agency, which has until Dec. 1 of this year to set up a plan on how to distribute those funds. In the next month, the CDA will have to establish a list of criteria to be met, and determine how it will prioritize the grant allocations. All funds must be distributed within 18 months.
In the meantime, the CDA is scheduling workshops for homeowners concerned about losing their homes to foreclosures. Upcoming seminars are tentatively scheduled Nov. 6 and Dec. 4, with possible locations in Burnsville and Hastings. Interested residents can check the Dakota County CDA’s web site at www.dakotacda.org, or they may also contact Farmington City Hall at 651-463-7111 for more information.