Thursday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) announced that her state would become the latest to devote its portion of funds from the $25 billion mortgage fraud settlement to balancing the state budget. The funds were intended to go toward relief for struggling homeowners, but Brewer and the state legislature will use $50 million of its funds elsewhere.
Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D) isn’t pleased with Brewer or the legislature and said as much Friday, saying Brewer took away “the once chance” homeowners had “to get some help,” The Nation reports:
“Working families were given the short end of the stick, and now Gov. Brewer and the Legislature won’t even let them have that,” Grijalva said. “This decision takes away the one chance Arizonans had to get some help navigating the banking bureaucracy that greased the skids on millions of foreclosures. It’s a clear statement of principles, that’s for sure.”
Arizona has been torched by the housing crisis — it lead the nation in foreclosures in March, and nearly half of its homeowners are underwater, the second most in the country. According to the Arizona Housing Alliance, the $50 million could help as many as 85,000 homeowners. Instead, it will go toward balancing a state budget that hands out more than a half-billion dollars in corporate tax cuts.