The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has launched a $50 million effort to provide technical expertise to communities hit hard by foreclosures.
HUD has awarded $44.5 million to nine national organizations and another $5.5 million to help local communities buy, rehabilitate, and resell foreclosed properties.
These grants will allow HUD to dispatch teams of experts to help improve the effectiveness of Neighborhood Stabilization Programs (NSPs), particularly in communities with few staff and technical expertise, according to the department.
Several big names in the affordable housing industry are involved in the effort. The nine national organizations that are receiving grants are:
ICF Inc., LLC
Training and Development Associates, Inc.
Cloudburst Consulting Group, Inc.
National Council for Community Development
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Minnesota Housing Partnership
Urban Land Institute
Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC)
Neighborhood Housing Services of America
NSP was established under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 to help stabilize communities that have been hard hit by foreclosures. In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided additional funds and authorized HUD to establish a technical assistance program, which is the source of the grants.
In other stabilization-related news, the nonprofit National Community Stabilization Trust said it is helping to facilitate the transfer of foreclosed properties from the banks that own or manage the properties to local community housing providers who will renovate the homes for new owners or renters. The intent is to help speed the use of the $6 billion in federal NSP resources.
Under the trust’s First Look program, cities and counties can get access to foreclosed homes before they are made available to the general market, said Craig Nickerson, president of the trust. The idea is that the local communities will then have an opportunity to take over the properties that are most critical to their neighborhood revitalization efforts.
“Communities have a chance to strategically control those chess pieces,” Nickerson said.
More than 100 communities in 35 states have signed up for the free service.
Many of the nation’s leading banks and financial institutions are also working with the trust to convey foreclosed properties. They include Bank of America, Citi, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GMAC, JPMorgan Chase, Nationstar, Saxon, and Wells Fargo.
While many people think of neighborhood stabilization as a homeownership effort, Nickerson said he thinks a large number of rental housing will be created under the different programs.
The trust was formed about a year ago with six leading nonprofit organizations—Enterprise, Housing Partnership Network, LISC, the National Urban League, National Council of La Raza, and NeighborWorks America— serving as founding sponsors.