NeighborWorks America Announces $1.9 Million in Community Stabilization Grants
Grants Will Help Local NeighborWorks Organizations Reduce Inventory of REO Properties and Stabilize or Increase Residential Property Values
WASHINGTON---NeighborWorks® America announced that it awarded a total of $1.9 million in community stabilization grants to 38 local NeighborWorks organizations throughout the country. Each NeighborWorks organization will use its $50,000 grant to support its community stabilization efforts, which are primarily focused on acquiring, renovating, and selling foreclosed or vacant homes to low- and moderate-income families. The grants will help the community-based NeighborWorks organizations launch local housing activities designed to reduce the inventory of bank-owned (REO) properties in their communities, reverse the deterioration caused by foreclosures, and market their neighborhoods to potential homebuyers.
Altogether, the NeighborWorks organization grantees and their local strategic partners plan to purchase 2,800 housing units. After necessary improvements, 1,400 homes will be sold, 630 will become rental housing, and 322 will be sold through lease-purchase programs. In addition, approximately 451 blighted homes are slated for demolition. Just over 8,000 prospective homeowners will be served through pre-purchase counseling programs expanded to address the challenges of buying bank-owned properties.
While stabilization strategies will vary by market, many of the NeighborWorks grantees plan to use their grants, combined with other resources, to support the creation of new housing opportunities for renters and buyers seeking affordable, quality housing. Most of the grantees are planning a variety of programs designed to bring people back to homes that are foreclosed or abandoned.
In addition to strategies designed to attract residents back to communities abandoned in the wake of the foreclosure crisis, green building will play a significant role in one-third of the grantees’ stabilization plans. These include producing energy-efficient properties, using green rehab design standards, creating alternate green space from vacant lots, and counseling homebuyers about energy reduction strategies.
Most NeighborWorks grantees will leverage their grant toward projects supported by the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) administered by HUD. The grantees will implement their community stabilization activities with a host of partners, including banks, county and municipal agencies, and other nonprofit groups. Many grantees are working with the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST) – a partnership co-founded by NeighborWorks America that helps grantees acquire properties from servicers and provide supplemental financing through one streamlined entity.
For more information about NeighborWorks America’s Community Stabilization Program, please visit www.StableCommunities.org, or contact Erin Angell Collins, 202-220-6317.
About NeighborWorks® America
NeighborWorks® America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. Since 1991, we have assisted nearly 1.2 million low- to moderate-income families with their housing needs. Much of our success is achieved through our support of the NeighborWorks network â more than 235 community development organizations working in more than 4,400 urban, suburban and rural communities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $15 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.