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PR- 019-10
January 14, 2010


City Will Use Funds to Assist Homebuyers, Purchase and Renovate Foreclosed Units and Develop Vacant Sites

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded more than $20 million in Recovery Act funding to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development under HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2. The grants were awarded competitively to applicants who developed the most innovative ideas to address the impact of the foreclosure crisis on local communities while demonstrating they have the capacity to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. The City will use the funds to buy, renovate and resell foreclosed properties in the most-affected neighborhoods to low- and moderate-income families.

"We've been acting aggressively to protect and strengthen the neighborhoods hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis, and this grant will allow us to do even more," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Over the last eight years, we've worked to build strong, safe neighborhoods, and we will not let the current mortgage crisis destabilize our communities and threaten our quality of life. I want to thank New York City's congressional delegation, President Obama, HUD Secretary Donovan, Rafael Cestero and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and our for-profit and non-profit development partners for helping us win these funds."

"This is great news. I look forward to putting these funds to work strengthening and stabilizing our neighborhoods by purchasing and rehabilitating foreclosed and vacant properties that are negatively impacting communities," said Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. "Bringing families back into these properties complements New York City's efforts in foreclosure prevention. I urge any New Yorker who fears losing their home to foreclosure to call 311 at the first hint of trouble. The Center for New York City Neighborhoods, with its strong and expert network of community housing advisors, stands ready to help."

The City's ongoing anti-foreclosure efforts include creating the Center for NYC Neighborhoods (CNYCN) in December 2007. It has distributed more than $6 million annually in grants to more than 30 nonprofit service providers to help homeowners at risk of mortgage foreclosure throughout the five boroughs assist thousands of homeowners facing foreclosure. Since launching their operations, CNYCN has reached over six thousand New York City residents with free housing counseling and legal services, submitting more than 1,800 loan modification packages.  In February 2009, the Center launched a dedicated call center that serves as the primary point of contact for all New York City homeowners in distress. When homeowners call 311, they are transferred to the call center which conducts intake interviews and connects homeowners to free expert counseling services in their neighborhood.

In addition to the award to HPD, two other New York City housing agencies received NSP funding in Round 2: Habitat for Humanity New York was awarded $10.5 million and Community Builders received an award of $5.5 million.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created to address the foreclosure crisis, create jobs, and grow local economies by providing communities with the resources to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed homes and convert them to affordable housing.  NSP will also help to prevent future foreclosures by requiring housing counseling for families receiving homebuyer assistance funds through NSP.  In addition, it will protect homebuyers by requiring grantees to ensure that new homebuyers under this program obtain a mortgage from a lender who agrees to comply with sound lending practices. Last year, HUD awarded nearly $4 billion in NSP formula funds to over 300 grantees nationwide to help state and local governments respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values.


Stu Loeser / Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

Catie Marshall / Eric Bederman   (Housing Preservation and Development)
(212) 863-5176

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