For Immediate Release
January 15, 2010
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Second Round of Stabilization Dollars Latest Boost to Boston's Aggressive Neighborhood Stabilization Track Record
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced that the City's Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) has been awarded $13.6 million in the second round of Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funding to assist the City's ongoing foreclosure prevention and reclamation efforts. Specifically, the competitively awarded funding will allow the City to support responsible redevelopment of up to 275 foreclosed homes in those neighborhoods most burdened by Boston's bank-owned properties, namely Dorchester, East Boston, Roxbury, Hyde Park, and Mattapan.
"This award accelerates our ability to impact the foreclosure challenges that we're facing. We're making important progress, but our neighborhoods are still in danger," said Mayor Menino. "I want to thank Senators Kerry and Kirk, as well as Congressmen Capuano and Lynch for their continued support of Boston's neighborhoods. And, in particular, I want acknowledge Congressman Frank for his tireless advocacy on the issue of foreclosure."
Boston was one 482 total applicants requesting over $15 billion from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in foreclosure funding. Since passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) nearly one year ago, of which this foreclosure funding is part, the City has received close to $280 million in formula and competitive grants as well as bond allocations.
The NSP initiative was created as part of the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008," designed to boost local economies through the provision of resources to purchase and rehab foreclosed homes. The City of Boston was allocated $4.23 million last winter in this first funding round, and subsequently received a matching grant from state of Massachusetts' share of NSP funding. The latest award brings Boston's total federal foreclosure funding to more than $21 million.
With these new NSP funds, the City believes it can greatly expand its efforts to acquire, renovate and return many of the 860 derelict foreclosed homes back to productive use and get them into the hands of responsible owners. These new resources will also enable the City to significantly expand its first-in-the-nation initiative to buy foreclosed homes before the tenants are evicted. Originally launched with Bank of America, the initiative now also includes Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo Bank with the National Community Stabilization Trust.
"The City of Boston has been in the forefront of efforts to reclaim foreclosed properties and put them back to productive use," remarked Aaron Gorstein, Executive Director of Citizens Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA). "We look forward to continuing our work in partnership with the Mayor to provide desperately needed affordable housing for Boston residents."
The award significantly enhances the City's Homeownership Stabilization campaign – an $18 million initiative announced last summer by Mayor Menino targeted at helping Boston's homeowners overcome the problems that come with declining values and rising foreclosures.
The campaign seeks to allow Boston's neighborhoods to recoup from the nationwide foreclosure crisis through targeted programs that support existing homeowners while adding new buyers to the market, among other things. Under the umbrella of this initiative, DND has overseen the direct acquisition of 33 units of housing, and is in the process of negotiating the purchase of more than 100 others from banks.