Sheila L. Ashley
(414) 297-3214 ext. 8014
January 14, 2010
HUD SECRETARY DONOVAN ANNOUNCES $25 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT GRANTS TO STABLIZE NEIGHBORHOODS, REBUILD ECONOMIES IN WISCONSIN
Neighborhood stabilization grants to Milwaukee communities hard hit by the housing crisis
MILWAUKEE - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced that HUD is awarding $25 Million in Recovery Act funding to Milwaukee under HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The NSP grants announced today are part of $2 billion awarded nationwide to local communities and nonprofit housing developers to combat the effects of vacant and abandoned homes while creating jobs.
Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, this round of NSP grants is being awarded competitively to applicants who developed the most innovative ideas to address the impact the housing crisis has
had on local communities, while demonstrating that they have the capacity to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.
"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 from eyesores into community assets. The Neighborhood Stabilization program
is a key part of the Obama Administration's comprehensive approach to address the national housing and economic crisis."
The City of Milwaukee will use the NSP2 funds in targeted areas across the City in 91 census tracts. The City will use NSP2 funds to work in collaboration with actions already being carried out by the City and its partners to provide homebuyer assistance, rental rehabilitation assistance, leveraged loan funds, and redevelopment assistance for 590 foreclosed homes, acquisition and rehabilitation of 46 foreclosed homes, demolition of 125 vacant properties, redevelopment of 180 vacant or demolished properties, and land banking of 100 units. The city will make these redeveloped and rehabilitated homes available to households whose income is at or below 120 percent of the average median income for that area, with 25 percent of the funds benefiting households at or below 50 percent of area median income.
The City of Milwaukee's NSP2 program is highlighted by broad public engagement of the Milwaukee Foreclosure Partnership Initiative (MFPI) to support the City's overall goal of neighborhood stabilization. MFPI is a public-private partnership made up of over 100 representatives of lenders, foundations, real estate professionals, government representatives, community stakeholders, and even local television stations.
MFPI programs include a foreclosure mediation program, increased intervention counseling, expanded homebuyer education efforts, a targeted neighborhood marketing campaign around foreclosed properties, and a code
enforcement "strike force" which will aggressively ensure code compliance. The neighborhoods targeted for NSP2 funded activities will be implemented alongside several separately-funded initiatives developed by the MFPI to strengthen the City's ability to achieve its neighborhood stabilization goals.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created to confront the effects of the housing crisis, 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.
On August 26, 2009, HUD also awarded $50 million in technical assistance grants to help grantees more effectively manage the inventory of abandoned homes they purchase undertheNeighborhood Stabilization Program. HUD's NSP technical assistance grants are helping NSP recipients to implement sound underwriting, management, and fiscal controls; measure outcomes in the use of 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.
The additional $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 downpayment 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 Neighborhood Stabilization Program will also help to prevent future foreclosures by requiring 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.
Secretary Donovan and HUD are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are spent quickly and efficiently. It is crucial that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can
be reviewed and tracked at HUD's Recovery Act website. The full text of HUD's funding notices and tracking future performance of these grants is also available at HUD's Recovery Act website.