Help to Stabilize Housing Values Available

As a response to declining housing values and increased foreclosures, Congress adopted the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. Part of that law is the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which provides nearly $4 billion to address housing issues in communities that could lead to long-term declines of housing values of neighboring homes.
Public policy to encourage housing development and home ownership is a major element of asset-building policy. Rural areas have unique housing issues, chiefly the age and condition of housing and the number of abandoned houses. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program provides an opportunity to address these issues.

The primary method to help stabilize housing values is distribution of emergency Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). Each state will receive at least $19.5 million in emergency CDBG funds, with additional amounts distributed based on need.
 
These funds will be made available for several activities that will stabilize housing values, while also making housing available for low and moderate-income people. For example, communities would be allowed to acquire property, demolish or redevelop vacant or blighted property. Communities and housing organizations could also use funds to provide down payment and closing cost assistance.

States are required to submit a proposed Action Plan by December 1, 2008.

These funds provide an opportunity for rural communities to develop plans and access resources to address their housing needs and provide affordable housing, both for current residents and future residents.

For more information: www.saveamericasneighborhoods.org.

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