A program aimed at rehabilitating empty foreclosed homes and offering affordable low-downpayment mortgages and downpayment assistance has been launched by Freddie Mac and several partners in Gwinnett County, Ga.Under the program, Building a Better Block Gwinnett, renovated homes will be marketed and sold through participating local real estate professionals, Freddie Mac said. The properties will be renovated by HomeSteps, Freddie Mac's real-estate-owned sales unit. The partners of the government-sponsored enterprise are The Impact! Group, a Georgia nonprofit community development corporation; Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., a wholesale mortgage lender based in Ocala, Fla.; and Brand Bank. In addition to expanding homeownership opportunities, the initiative is expected to "stabilize communities that have deteriorated due to the high number of foreclosures that Gwinnett County continues to face," said Marina Peed, executive director of The Impact! Group. The organizations can be found online at http://www.freddiemac.com, http://www.theimpactgroup.org, and http://www.taylorbean.com.

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