DeKalb County, Ga., will use federal economic stimulus money to help local law enforcers and firefighters buy foreclosed homes, reports the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. The program has earmarked $1.5 million for police officers and another $1 million for firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and other sworn “first responders.” It will provide a subsidy of $14,150 for those who stay in a home at least five years and $25,000 for those who remain a decade.
It aims to stabilize neighborhoods dragged down by foreclosures while also assisting with the recruitment and retention of officers. As of August, there were 7,000 foreclosed homes in DeKalb County. Officials said an increase in the number of police officers living within the county would serve as a crime deterrent.