(12/06/07) THE BRONX ? Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the creation of a nonprofit organization Thursday that is designed to tackle the home foreclosure crisis in the Bronx and New York City.

Bloomberg made the announcement along with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. The Center for New York City Neighborhoods will help homeowners at risk of foreclosure with referrals and legal assistance. CNYCN will also offer loan mediation, education, training and research.

The program is expected to cost about $5.3 million in its first year and help approximately 18,000 homeowners.

The U.S. mortgage crisis was brought on, in part, by homeowners defaulting due to the ballooning interest rates of subprime mortgages.

The Bush administration has also developed a plan to freeze interest rates for five years for thousands of strapped homeowners whose mortgages were scheduled to rise in the coming months.

Local and national leaders are moving to ease the foreclosure crisis because they believe it is having a domino effect on the economy.

Associated Press wire reports contributed to this story.

Related information: Official News Release