Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Stories in Kentucky

(The following story was contributed by HUD)

The Housing Authority of Henderson Builds Green with Neighborhood Stabilization Program Funds

(The following stories were contributed by the Kentucky Department for Local Government, which administers the NSP in many localities throughout Kentucky.)

HUD's NSP Keeps Miracles Alive for Kentucky Veteran

George Fletcher, a 68-year Vietnam-era veteran of the 101st Airborne, will get the keys to his new Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) home in Paducah, Kentucky, by the end of March 2011.

The home means a great deal to Mr. Fletcher, who lost his partner of many years to a reoccurrence of cancer last July. After Sarah passed away, he found that the home they shared and the benefits of the work they'd done together for more than a decade were vested in a trust: "I was sitting on Monday, the day after Sarah passed away, trying to figure out, 'What the heck do I do now'?"

George had learned that he would have to find another place to live.

When he receives the keys to 2134 Homewood Street, he says, "it will be an incredible thing. It keeps my faith in miracles. Through what I consider to be wonderful effort and understanding, I'll be the recipient of one of the NSP homes. I'm 68 years old and really do not have what I call 'recovery time' - when someone is 42 and something happens, you've got 20-25 years of recovery time. When you are 68, you are out of that recovery period; it doesn't leave you with enough productive life to start over."

"A country should always measure itself by what we are doing for the people on the lower end of the financial levels," he adds. "This has been an incredible gift that allows me, on my Social Security, to have a home - a place where I don't have to worry about somebody saying you can't be there anymore."

HUD's NSP Provides Energy-Efficiency and Lower Mortgage Payment to Rockcastle County Resident

Before she was able to buy her own home through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Anna Oswalt lived in a dilapidated, rented in a trailer in rural Rockcastle County, Kentucky. Anna's utility bills were more than $400 a month during the winter - and with her rent, it left very little of her $865 per month in Social Security for other living expenses. In her new home at 393 Burchwood Drive in Berea, her utility bills this past winter were about $200 each month.

"I was warm," she says. "I wasn't even warm before. It was a great help to me because I don't know where I would have ended up, with rent so high. I'm in a better situation."

The NSP program provided Ms. Oswalt a safe, decent place to live. And it helped stabilize the neighborhood through improved property values - the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises bought the foreclosed home for only $73,000. After repairs and energy efficiency improvements, the home appraised and sold for $97,000 -- not only providing a stabilizing influence for the neighborhood, but increasing the community's tax base as well.

Anna Oswalt believes the Neighborhood Stabilization Program should continue: "Other people out there need the same help that I received, and I'd hate to see the program end. I really appreciate what's been done for me."

HUD's NSP Sparks Neighborhood Revitalization

When the owners of the Shiloh Motel lost the property to the local bank in foreclosure, the property sat vacant for nearly a year. Boarded up, it created an eyesore in the mixed commercial/residential neighborhood in Russell Springs, Kentucky. The bank was left with an unmarketable $450,000 property in a declining economy, and a loan that would never be repaid.

At the same time, the Russell County Emergency Shelter Board was receiving increasing requests for emergency and transitional shelter and was struggling to find a solution. In the past it had paid for short-term lodging, but between increased demand due to job losses and fewer donations due to a tight economy, it had no way to meet the ever-spiraling demand for services.

Through a partnership of the board and county government, today the foreclosed motel has been repaired and divided into seven apartment units for homeless families, and two single-occupancy rooms for homeless individuals. The transitional and emergency housing will be ready to house families who have been economically dislocated, or lost their homes to foreclosure or other challenges, within the next two weeks.

Two nearby properties with blighted, vacant homes have also been purchased. After structures are demolished, Habitat for Humanity will build new homes and enable two families to achieve their dream of homeownership.

HUD's NSP Provides Homeownership Legacy for Family

Growing up with nine brothers and sisters, Juawanda Coleman spent most of her childhood moving around. Graduating from Madisonville North Hopkins High School in Madisonville, Kentucky, Juawanda eventually moved to Bowling Green in 1993 with her two children. Having always lived in rental housing, the idea of homeownership was not even something she had considered until she met Abraham Williams, Executive Director of the Housing Authority of Bowling Green. Williams remembers meeting Coleman stating, "Wow, could she sing." He introduced himself, learned her situation and helped her get moved into an apartment at the Housing Authority of Bowling Green in 1995. While at HABG, Coleman participated in the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, learning how to work through the barriers she had in her life to become more self-supporting and involved in the community. With several physical challenges as well as a work-related injury, Coleman applied for and qualified to receive disability in 2000. She is currently raising her two grandchildren. Even with her disabilities, Coleman does not just sit around. She is co-pastor at her church, Alpha and Omega Pentecostal and is working on making a solo CD of her vocal gospel music.

Of homeownership, Coleman has the desire to create a legacy for her children and grandchildren. "I want to have something to leave for them," she states. "Owning a home would provide them with stability that will help them become more in their lives." The Neighborhood Stabilization Program has made her homeownership dream a reality. Coleman has selected a home that was refurbished through the program and is awaiting final approvals to move in. She has completed her homeownership counseling, received pre-approval for her home loan, and plans to close in the next 30 days. Without NSP and the assistance it provides, she would not be ready for homeownership. Homeownership is a dream come true for Coleman, who says, "I really like the idea of owning my own home, not answering to a landlord, but just making those house payments and the home being mine. I love the idea of being in a safe environment, a safe neighborhood and knowing the home will be mine and my children's and grandchildren's. It's like a burden will be lifted off of my current situation."


Content Archived: February 18, 2014