Virginia’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program Providing $7 Million in Grants

Note: Welcome news for Virginia localities becoming more and more pressed by the economic crisis … from Gov. Kaine’s office:

 

GOVERNOR KAINE ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $7 MILLION IN GRANTS THROUGH VIRGINIA ’S NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM

~Funds will aid five localities in purchasing
 and rehabilitating foreclosed homes~

RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine today announced the award of more than $7 million in funding for localities to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed homes for resale to low-to-moderate or middle-income families. The three multimillion dollar grants are offered through Virginia’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), an initiative designed to ease the impact of foreclosures on neighborhoods severely hurt by the housing crisis.

“While our economy continues to fare better than other states, Virginia has not escaped the national foreclosure crisis unscathed—rising foreclosure rates have resulted in a number of abandoned homes in otherwise stable neighborhoods,” Governor Kaine said. “Although our top priority is to help hardworking families avoid foreclosure in the first place, Virginia must also ensure abandoned homes don’t hurt local economies further by bringing down the value of nearby properties.”

The NSP grants are being awarded to Loudon County , which will receive $2 million; Spotsylvania and Caroline Counties in partnership with the Central Virginia Housing Coalition (CVHC), which will receive $2.5 million; and Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg , in partnership with CVHC, which will receive $2.5 million.

Overall, Virginia has received $38.7 million through the NSP, authorized under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and administered through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The three grants to localities are the first to be awarded through this program.

In the last two years alone, Virginia ’s foreclosure rate has increased sevenfold from 0.24% in 2006 to 1.73% in 2008, with approximately 16,000 foreclosed homes remaining vacant around the Commonwealth. The targeted NSP funds will be used to purchase 56 foreclosed homes at a discount price and to rehabilitate or redevelop the properties for resale to low-to-moderate or middle-income families. Neighborhoods that exhibit heavy concentrations of foreclosure are eligible for targeting through the NSP.

“ Virginia has been working to address increasing foreclosures for some time through the Virginia Foreclosure Prevention Task Force established by the Governor,” said Bill Shelton, DHCD Director. “Through these grants we will continue to partner with communities throughout Virginia to bring them the resources they need to stabilize communities impacted through foreclosure.”

Established in November of 2007, the Virginia Foreclosure Prevention Task Force was formed to address the escalating rate of foreclosures in the Commonwealth by bringing mortgage industry representatives, housing consumer advocates, policy experts, and researchers together to develop strategies to minimize the impact of foreclosures on the citizens of the Commonwealth and the state economy.

For more information about the NSP, visit: www.dhcd.virginia.gov/nsp.

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