The House Financial Services Committee yesterday approved a bill that would provide $15 billion of federal loans and grants to help states and municipalities deal with housing woes created by the subprime mortgage crisis.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Act of 2008, sponsored by housing subcommittee chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., would provide $7.5 billion of loans and $7.5 billion of grants to states under a Department of Housing and Urban Development program to help purchase and rehabilitate owner-vacated, foreclosed homes with the goal of stabilizing and occupying them as soon as possible, either through resale or rental to qualified families.

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