Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to end the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The NSP provides funding to help local communities deal with large numbers of foreclosures and abandoned properties. Congressman Scott opposed this effort to abandon neighborhoods in his district.
"Thousands of Georgians are struggling to stay in their homes and keep their neighborhoods intact. But that fact is lost on some ideologues in Washington," Congressman Scott said. "Neighborhoods are dotted with vacant properties, empty lots and padlocked front doors. These properties are falling into disrepair causing declines in adjacent property values and are not contributing to the local tax base. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are even investigating dangerous squatters in vacant metro Atlanta homes. Until we can stop the downward spiral of foreclosures and vacant properties, we will not be able to rebuild the economy. The votes to kill foreclosure assistance and neighborhood stabilization programs are short-sighted."
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program provides funding for local governments to purchase and redevelop foreclosed or abandoned properties so they do not further depress housing prices or lead to neighborhood blight. Clayton County, for example, has used the program to rehabilitate 115 homes in eight neighborhoods in just over eight months. Georgia Trend magazine awarded a "County of Excellence Award" for Clayton's NSP program. Every county in the 13th Congressional District has been awarded NSP funding, totaling over $63 million. Now, these funds are at risk of being taken back by the new Congressional leadership.
The NSP Termination Act (H.R. 861) is the third of four bills brought to a vote by House Republicans which kill foreclosure avoidance or mitigation programs. Last week, Republicans successfully passed the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act (H.R. 836), which ends a program providing bridge loans to unemployed homeowners facing possible foreclosure. Republicans also passed the FHA Refinance Program Termination Act (H.R. 830), which ends a foreclosure avoidance program which helps homeowners refinance.