U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08) today joined Governor Jon S. Corzine, Senator Robert Menendez and others in announcing $51 million in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grant funding for the state of New Jersey. $2.2 million will be invested in Paterson for the purchase of 10 properties.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) provides grants to every state and certain local communities to purchase foreclosed or abandoned homes and to rehabilitate, resell, or redevelop these homes in order to stabilize neighborhoods and stem the decline of house values of neighboring homes. Rep. Pascrell voted to approve the program in August of 2004 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. It was signed by the President in July of 2008.
"This investment in Paterson and other areas around the state that have been hit hard by the foreclosure crisis will turn blighted properties into attractive new affordable housing units," stated Pascrell. "It is exactly the type of common sense investment we need to reverse the effect foreclosures have had in our neighborhoods. These revitalized housing units represent new opportunities for low income families a chance for entire neighborhoods to increase their property value."
In Paterson, ten properties will be purchased, many of which are vacant lots or demolished properties. The properties will be revitalized and turned into new affordable housing units.
Passaic County listed 829 foreclosure properties in the month of October, which means 1 in every 206 housing properties in the county is under foreclosure. This is the highest foreclosure rate for any county in New Jersey.
"On the federal level we need to use every tool at our disposal to stem the tide of foreclosures," stated Pascrell. "The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is a good start, but more needs to be done. I believe that President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson should move immediately by acting on FDIC Chair Sheila Bair's plan and provide credit guarantees for existing troubled mortgages that could prevent an estimated 1.5 million foreclosures in the next year alone. The authority exits under the TARP program and it is critical that we exercise it to resuscitate the housing market."