HUD Secretary Donovan Announces $2 Billion in Recovery Act Grants to Stabilize Neighborhoods, Rebuild Local Economies
WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today that HUD is awarding $2 billion in Recovery Act funding to states, local governments and non-profit housing developers, under HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), to spur economic development in hard-hit communities and create jobs. Nearly 60 grantees are receiving awards. A full list of grants awarded today can be found on HUD’s Recovery Act website.
Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, this round of NSP grants is being awarded competitively to applicants who developed the most innovative ideas to rebuild local communities, while demonstrating that they have the capacity to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.
“By investing Recovery Act dollars in revitalizing hard-hit neighborhoods, we’re not only creating new job opportunities, but giving communities across the country an opportunity for a fresh start,” said Vice President Biden. “These competitive awards go to the heart of the Recovery Act: funding innovative projects that both provide immediate relief and help lay a new foundation for long-term economic growth.”
“Vacant homes have a debilitating effect on neighborhoods and often lead to reduced property values, blight, and neighborhood decay,” said Donovan. “This additional $2 billion in Recovery Act funding will help stabilize hard hit communities by turning vacant homes into affordable housing opportunities. The Neighborhood Stabilization program is a key part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive approach to address the national housing and economic crisis.”
The $2 billion in NSP grants being awarded today will build on the work being done now to help state and local governments and non-profit developers collaborate to acquire land and property; to demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties; and/or to offer down-payment and closing cost assistance to low- to middle-income homebuyers. Grantees can also create “land banks” to assemble, temporarily manage, and dispose of foreclosed homes.
The awards will also require housing counseling for families receiving homebuyer assistance funds through NSP. In addition, it will protect homebuyers by requiring grantees to ensure that new homebuyers under this program obtain a mortgage from a lender who agrees to comply with sound lending practices.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created to redevelop hard-hit communities, create jobs, and grow local economies by providing communities with the resources to purchase and rehabilitate vacant homes and convert them to affordable housing. Last year, HUD awarded nearly $4 billion in NSP formula funds to over 300 grantees nationwide to help state and local governments respond to the housing crisis and falling home values.
In addition, on August 26, 2009, HUD awarded $50 million in technical assistance grants to help grantees more effectively manage the inventory of abandoned homes they purchase under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. HUD’s NSP technical assistance grants are helping NSP recipients to implement sound underwriting, management, and fiscal controls; measure outcomes created by public funds; build the capacity of public-private partnerships; develop strategies to serve low-income households; incorporate energy efficiency into NSP programs; provide support, and training on the operation of ‘land banks’; and train NSP recipients on HUD program rules and financial management requirements.
President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law on February 17, 2009 as the country faced the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. The $787 billion Recovery Act program has already provided nearly $100 billion in tax relief for families and businesses, helped fill critical budget gaps for hard-hit state and local governments and jump-started tens of thousands of projects that are creating jobs and laying a new foundation for long-term economic growth. To learn more about the story of the Recovery Act, visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/Recovery. To follow Recovery Act dollars, visit www.Recovery.gov.