Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Neighborhood Stabilization for Local Leaders

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Neighborhood Stabilization for Local Leaders

Article excerpt

This is the seventh in a series of articles on the topics and issues that will be presented at the "Finding Solutions for the Challenges Facing Cities Today" Leadership Training Institute seminar scheduled for January 29-31 in Los Angeles.

As the foreclosure crisis continues to expand, with nearly 2 million foreclosures last year and as many as 5 million expected by the end of 2010, communities are struggling with the consequences.

Neighborhoods--urban and suburban, rich and poor, new and old--are all being negatively impacted by large numbers of foreclosed homes. Foreclosures bring down the value of neighboring homes and lower tax receipts, affecting schools and other local services. Homes that sit vacant cause blight and crime, further lowering property values and affecting the overall quality of life in neighborhoods.

Mayors, local officials and groups working on community development are working hard to find solutions to help save their communities. The National Housing Conference will be leading a session at the "Finding Solutions for the Challenges Facing Cities Today" Leadership Training Institute (LTI) seminar this month to discuss what local leaders can do to stabilize their communities with the help of the federal government, state government as well as private for-profit and nonprofit entities.

Last July, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act passed, which included $3.9 billion for a Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) designed the regulations and formula allocation to distribute the funds to states and localities that were determined to have the greatest need. Grantees have already submitted their plans on December 1st to HUD as to how they will utilize those funds, but much planning and implementation work still needs to be done at the local level to make this program successful. …

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