On November 18, 2011, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35) introduced a key component of President Obama's American Jobs Act--Project Rebuild. She was joined by 17 other Democratic Members as sponsors of H.R. 3502, the "Project Rebuild Act of 2011." Project Rebuild builds upon the success of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which Rep. Waters authored in 2008 and for which she has secured $7 billion in funding.
"NSP has worked in communities nationwide by restoring abandoned and foreclosed properties, fixing the housing market in the neighborhoods that have been hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis," Rep. Waters explained.
NSP allows local governments and non-profits to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned homes and sell those homes to low- and moderate-income buyers. Program funds can also be used to establish land banks, demolish blighted structures and redevelop vacant properties. The program has accomplished multiple goals:
Stabilizing neighborhoods damaged by the foreclosure crisis;
Raising property values for surrounding homeowners by rehabbing blighted and abandoned housing in communities;
Providing affordable housing to low- and moderate-income individuals and families;
Decreasing costs incurred by municipal governments related to dealing with foreclosed properties; and
Creating jobs in construction, realty and property maintenance in communities severely damaged by the foreclosure crisis.
As a direct result of advocacy by Rep. Waters, Congress provided NSP with $7 billion. "NSP is truly a success story," Rep. Waters said. "It has had a positive impact on Los Angeles. I've seen firsthand the rehabbed homes in my district and in the city at large. I've seen the realtors and contractors going back to work solely as a result of NSP. This program is truly a job creator and a stimulator of local economies."
In total, the City and County of Los Angeles have received a combined $168 million in NSP funding. L.A. Neighborhood Housing Services, a housing counseling and non-profit developer in Los Angeles, also received $60 million in NSP funding to complete projects across the Los Angeles area.
Project Rebuild represents the next phase of NSP and is an essential component of President Obama's American Jobs Act. Project Rebuild would invest $15 billion to rehabilitate distressed properties, and could address the needs of an estimated 150,000 properties in communities across the country. In addition to rehabilitating residential properties, Project Rebuild would also include abandoned and foreclosed commercial properties. It is estimated that Project Rebuild will support 191,000 jobs.
"It's time to scale NSP up to the next level and Project Rebuild does exactly that," Rep. Waters stated. "I'm pleased that President Obama has recognized the power of NSP by including Project Rebuild in his American Jobs Act. Due to the success of NSP, we already know that Project Rebuild will work. We've got to get the housing market going again and Project Rebuild will do that. It will create jobs, stabilize communities, and bolster the housing market. Project Rebuild is the best way to rebuild our communities, our neighborhoods, and our economy."