Real estate recap: DDD launches facade improvement grant program … B.R. foreclosure rates inch lower in February … Home builders, former NFL players partner on ‘Touchdown for Homes’

From the Baton Rouge Business Report

Discounted facelifts: The Downtown Development District has launched a grant program benefiting homeowners in the DDD boundaries who make improvements to the facades of their homes. The Downtown Residential Facade Grant Program provides up to $500 to eligible improvements that are visible from the public right of way. The grants require a 50% match and do not have to be repaid as long as property owners meet the general requirements of the program. Grant guidelines and a pre-application form are available here.


On the down low: A report from CoreLogic says 2.39% of homes in the Baton Rouge metro area were in some stage of foreclosure in February—a decrease of 0.41 percentage points from February 2011 and a smaller dip of 0.03 points from January. The U.S. foreclosure rate in February was 3.41%, a drop of 0.18 percentage points on the year, while the Louisiana rate was down 0.51 points from February last year, to 2.48%. Baton Rouge’s mortgage delinquency rate—the percentage of home loans more than three months past due—also dipped 0.22 points year-over-year to 5.75% in February. That’s also lower than the U.S. rate of 7.24% and the Louisiana rate, which dropped 0.31 points on the month to 6.3%. See a CoreLogic map of February foreclosure rates in the Baton Rouge area by ZIP code here.


Home field advantage: A coalition of homeownership industry professionals will gather on the steps of the Capitol at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday to promote homeownership and kick off a partnership program between the Louisiana Home Builders Association and the National Football League Players Association’s New Orleans Former Players Chapter. The groups’ efforts are part of a nationwide charitable outreach program called “Touchdown for Homes,” which brings together former NFL players and home builders to strengthen communities by constructing or renovating homes for local families in need, including U.S. military veterans. New Orleans was selected to be a participating city because it will play host to the 2013 Super Bowl. To learn more about the program and find out how you can contribute, visit the National Association of Home Builders website here.