By DAVID GREEN
Fayette council members heard an update Thursday on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Village administrator Amy Metz first reported on the program in March.
The NSP provides emergency assistance to acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties that might otherwise become abandoned and a source of blight. Funds are used to purchase foreclosed or abandoned homes in order to stabilize neighborhoods and stem the decline of house values of neighboring homes.
The program was formed in response to concerns about the growing number of home foreclosures. In early March, Fulton County Regional Planning Commission director Steve Brown reported that about 17 percent of all Fulton County homes (23,856) are at risk of foreclosure, with the elderly, veterans and unemployed person as the most vulnerable.
Fulton County received a $500,000 grant through the federal Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) and $150,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization funding. Additional assistance can be provided by the Habitat for Humanity program.
The $150,000 stabilization funds wouldn’t go far, Brown said, but the CHIP program and CDBG funding could expand the effort.
CHIP is a two-year program that helps residents who qualify with home rehabilitation, first-time home-buying and rental assistance.
Metz said in March that two Fayette properties were identified as qualifying for stabilization funds. Variables include a community’s rate of unemployment, foreclosure and subprime and delinquent loans, along with data from sheriff’s sales.
Cooperation with banks is needed to make the stabilization program work, Brown said. If qualifying properties are approved by the Maumee Valley Planning Commission—the agency overseeing a seven-county region—either the Fulton County Regional Planning Commission or the Fulton County Community Improvement Corporation would serve as administrators of the property. If sold, the money would stay in the county to be used for additional stabilization efforts.(Buy an on-line subscription for full article)