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Aurora, Colorado Receives $4.5 million for Neighborhood Stabilization
Fletcher Plaza in Aurora, Colorado served as the stage for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) opening act in Colorado. The city received its $4.5 million grant agreement in early March the first NSP grantee in Region VIII. The check was presented by Colorado's U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and HUD's Deputy Regional Director Deborah Griswold to Mayor Ed Tauer and City Councilwoman Deborah Wallace. Numerous other members of the community were in attendance including Congressman Ed Perlmutter's staff, city council and staff, as well as interested citizens.
The NSP will generate emergency assistance to targeted neighborhoods by acquiring and redeveloping foreclosed properties that might otherwise become sources of abandonment and blight. HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and provides nearly $4 billion to every State and certain local communities. The program permits State and local governments to purchase foreclosed homes at a discount and to rehabilitate or redevelop them in order to respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values.
Aurora has a head start in implementing the new program due to prior experience with property rehabilitation and an existing vacant building database. This experience allowed Aurora to begin to stabilize neighborhoods impacted by foreclosed, vacant and abandoned residential properties. The sale of the renovated properties will fund the program for four additional years. The goal is to purchase and rehabilitate nearly 100 homes during that time. Aurora will receive additional State NSP funds.
The rehabilitated properties will be sold to individuals and families whose income does not exceed 120% of the area median. All buyers must be owner-occupants. Many will qualify for assistance with down payment and closing costs. NSP also seeks to prevent future foreclosures by requiring housing counseling for families receiving homebuyer assistance. The properties will remain affordable for many years due to deed restrictions. Property rehabilitation may include energy efficiency, health and safety concerns, code deficiencies and system upgrades to more affordable upkeep and utilities. Depending on the required rehabilitation, each home may create up to 30 construction jobs.
The first home that is 85% complete has already had an impact on the neighborhood. One existing homeowner liked the new basement egress windows so well that they contracted with the HUD NSP home private contractor to install a window in their home. Another boarded-up home on the block now has a construction dumpster in preparation for another rehabilitation that has begun by a private party.
The first act has begun, and it is anticipated that Aurora's "great show" will have a successful run, resulting in improved, energy efficient and sustainable neighborhoods.
Content Archived: April 5, 2011