It is, perhaps, the defining image of the economic downturn: abandoned homes shuttered by foreclosure, padlocks on doors, windows boarded up, and lawns overgrown. In happier times, the sign on the lawn said, “Under Contract” and then “Sold.” Now, it says “Bank-Owned.”
Each home, and the people who lived there, have their own story of how things were once good and then went bad. A job loss, an unaffordable mortgage -- whatever the reason -- these homes have become just houses again. And it can have a domino effect, causing property values to drop, chasing homeowners away and sucking the life out of vibrant neighborhoods.
HLN money expert Clark Howard is committed to helping bring neighborhoods back to life through his work with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. This is Clark’s 17th consecutive year partnering with Habitat to build affordable homes for hard-working people who have never owned a home before. One house at a time, one new homeowner at a time, Clark and Habitat are turning blighted neighborhoods into strong communities where people can raise their children and have hope for a bright future.
Besides his work with Atlanta Habitat, Clark also will be helping build a home this year for a family who was displaced by last year’s devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri.
Watch HLN and HLNtv.com this spring for coverage of Project Home, Clark’s mission to revive neighborhoods through home ownership.