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(NYT) — When a federal housing agency asked dozens of suburban cities in the Chicago area to band together to request a share of a $2 billion federal fund to help renovate foreclosed homes, they did exactly that.

But when the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the awards as part of the federal stimulus program on Jan. 14, these cities got nothing, while Chicago — which had fewer foreclosed homes in 2009 — got $98 million.

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