NORWALK - ? A hearing on proposals designed to combat the mortgage crisis in southwestern Connecticut is scheduled to take place in Hartford Thursday.

State Democrats have two proposals on the table to help curb the rise in foreclosures around the state. One is an affordable loan program, the other is an emergency mortgage assistance program. Democratic lawmakers say they are taking action because only about 25 families have been helped by the state Housing Authority?s program for first-time homebuyers.

The move to help southwestern Connecticut homeowners comes on the heels of alarming housing statistics. In January, Connecticut ranked eighth in the U.S. for foreclosure rates. That?s a 185 percent jump from last year.

Close to 4,000 property owners filed for foreclosure in January alone.