By JENNIFER CHEN
Capital News Service
LANSING – Although the state has received nearly $500 million in federal funds to assist homeowners, many Michigan residents are still fighting foreclosures. According to a U.S. Treasury Department report, Michigan has committed about $30 million, only 6.1 percent of that money, helping 2,897 homeowners avoid foreclosures. Only three states received larger grants. It is crucial to create programs that allow families to stay in their homes, stopping a significant drop in real estate values and encouraging economic growth in all regions, said Mary Lou Keenon, communications director at the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. She said Michigan uses money from the Hardest Hit program for mortgage subsidies and loans.