NEW HAVEN ANNOUNCES PLANS TO USE NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION FUNDS TO IMPROVE THE CITY’S RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES
(4/3/2009) NEW HAVEN- At a news conference today, Mayor John DeStefano. Jr. announced the City’s plans for use of the Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds allocated by the Housing Economic Recovery Act 2008 (HERA). Earlier this year, the State of Connecticut, Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) determined that New Haven qualifies for a $3.2M allocation of the NSP funds.
The City of New Haven will be using 87% percent of its allocation to acquire and rehabilitate vacant foreclosed properties. Based on the success of New Haven’s efforts using this funding and implementing the current plan in accordance with the strict deadlines imposed by DECD, the City may be eligible for additional funding in the future.
NSP funds will be used in areas of greatest need throughout the City and the City recognizes that there are more areas of significant need for these funds in the City than what the City’s allocation can support. Therefore, the City will narrow its focus within those areas of greatest need to ensure the best possible impact with its limited resources. The areas of greatest concentrated need have been determined to be Fair Haven, Newhallville, Hill, and West River based on the greatest percentage of home foreclosures and highest percentage of homes financed with subprime mortgages.
The criteria, as required by the NSP guidelines, for selecting target zones within the areas of greatest need will include the existence of recent public and private investments in the surrounding area and the “tipping point neighborhood” characteristics where foreclosures do not out number the existing homes on the street. The criteria also requires that the existing block is stable and that the existing foreclosures on the street are a threat to the stability of the street. .
To make these NSP dollars go further the City of New Haven will be committing approximately $2 million dollars in additional Federal funds, Yale University will contribute $250,000.00 and the Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund is providing approximately $1.5 million in debt financing. The City will continue to aggressively work to attract more funding to this effort and will work to become eligible for additional NSP funds in the future.
Properties acquired and rehabilitated will provide a mix of affordable, well-managed rental and homeownership housing units. To the extent possible, the City of New Haven will coordinate the sale of properties for homeownership with existing products, including the Urban Development Grant Program (UDAG), the Down Payment Assistance Program, homeowner rehabilitation programs such as the UR Home Program and 203k Program. Coordination with these products will support the development of workforce housing opportunities for households primarily at 80-120% area median income.
The 30% of the allocation for households making no more than 50% area median income will be used for the development of more affordable and supportive housing. The City of New Haven is collaborating with the Housing Authority of New Haven to secure Section 8 vouchers for use with foreclosed upon properties. The City of New Haven is also collaborating with the supportive housing community in this process.
“This economic crisis requires a community effort and the collaboration of City staff, Yale University, Greater New Haven Community Loan Fund, Economic Development Corporation of New Haven, and Neighborhood Housing Services as well as the residents of our neighborhoods all play a role in keeping New Haven neighborhoods vibrant,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “The number one priority of the City of New Haven is to keep homeowners in their homes. The best prevention of foreclosure is to address the issue prior to foreclosure action taking place. This is why it is important for homeowners to reach out for help and work with the programs available to assist homeowners. ROOF will continue to provide this service as long as residents have a need.”
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