Soon South Florida nonprofit housing organizations will have the opportunity to bid on more than 2,000 foreclosed homes through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, a program developed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was created to aid in the recovery of neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the housing crisis. It’s a multilevel program that aims at stabilizing neighborhoods through the purchase and redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed properties. The program also finds new homebuyers and renters for these vacant homes. Properties purchased through this program may be renovated or demolished, and then rented or sold to Florida residents meeting specific financial criteria.
Originally tested in Detroit and Chicago, the program is expanding to South Florida, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and West Palm Beach. The post-foreclosure part of the program gives first access of bank-owned properties to local housing agencies that have an interest in community redevelopment. The idea is for local organizations to purchase properties valued at $175,000 or less, make any necessary repairs and then offer them to first-time homebuyers or renters that meet the financial requirements.
“Our goal is to take what we learned in Detroit and Chicago and apply it to these additional communities as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Melvin L. Watt said in a statement. “Giving local community buyers an exclusive opportunity to purchase these properties at a discount …is an effective way to give control back to local communities and residents who have a vested interest in stabilizing their neighborhoods.”
One of the first organization to take part in this program is Neighborhood Renaissance, a non-profit institution located in West Palm Beach and established in 1992. This agency assists communities throughout West Palm Beach by creating workforce housing opportunities, jobs, and small business prospects for low and moderate income persons.
Typically, these types of housing organizations can’t compete with investors that are more interested in a high-margin profit than on the improvement of the community. The NSP has proven successful in other communities to assist in community redevelopment and is a welcome change for many areas of South Florida that that lack affordable housing.
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