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I read the second article in two weeks giving accolades to Pennsylvania for helping homeowners stay in their homes. While the jobless may not be getting much help from the President’s loan modification program, those in Pennsylvanians have a place to turn.

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency offers the jobless and those suffering financial hardship loans of up to $60,000 for as long as three years to cover their monthly payments or take care of their arrears. Created in 1983, the program boasts an 80% success rate in preventing foreclosures. “If you allow people some time to find a job, they can keep their home, which saves their family, their neighborhood and their communities,” said Brian Hudson, the agency’s executive director.

The emergency mortgage assistance program, which is funded by the state and borrowers’ repayments, has come into the spotlight in recent weeks as the president searches for a way to help the unemployed stay in their homes.

The administration late last month announced a $1.5 billion initiative that gives money to the states hardest hit by the mortgage crisis: Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada. The effort calls for the states’ housing authorities to assist the jobless and those who owe more than their homes are worth.

Already, officials in Nevada, California and Florida have been in touch with Hudson to learn how to replicate Pennsylvania’s program, which has distributed $450 million on behalf of 43,000 homeowners since inception. Similar efforts also exist in Delaware, North Carolina and Massachusetts.

Congratulations Mr. Hudson for all of your help.

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