BRIDGEPORT - In an effort to help residents cope with the current housing crisis, Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced the creation of a new program Monday that is designed to keep people in their houses.

The Home Opportunity Preservation Effort, or HOPE, was announced at City Hall. Mayor Finch says HOPE is a three-part program that will address issues of mortgage foreclosures brought on by the subprime mortgage crisis. It?s modeled after a plan created by the mayor of Boston.

?I think Congress has been asleep these last seven or eight years,? Finch says. ?They've allowed a lot of these problems to go unchecked.?

Each component of HOPE has a task leader. The first part, ?Prevention,? will offer pre-purchase counseling. It is headed by GenWorth Financial?s Lori Jones. The second part, ?Intervention,? is meant to untangle the web some people are led into. It will be headed by Acorn?s Doris Latorre. Part three is ?Reclamation,? which is designed to keep homes occupied or bring new families in. Anne Robinson of Community Capitol Fund will head this part.

This year, it is predicted that 13,018 homes in Fairfield County will be foreclosed.

Anyone dealing with a subprime issue or looking to buy a home can attend an upcoming forum on Oct. 1 at Bridgeport City Hall Annex from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.