A program providing federal stimulus money to assist areas in Oregon hardest hit by housing foreclosures has just expanded. As a result, homebuyers who qualify can receive $30,000 in down payments and closing costs towards the purchase of foreclosed homes in more areas of Redmond and La Pine.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), requires the new homebuyers to occupy the properties they purchase in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in incentives. It is proving successful in reducing the inventory of bank-owned and abandoned homes, thereby helping to stabilize the real estate market and heading off vandalism and blight.
?This is a big win for both the cities of Redmond and La Pine,? explained Cyndy Cook, executive director of Housing Works in Redmond, in a news release issued Tuesday. ?We have hard-working people who have completed homebuyer and financial literacy classes in order to prepare for homeownership. This down payment assistance is a dream come true for these folks.?
Albree is one example of a new homeowner, thanks to the grants. A single mother, she had improved her credit score, reduced her debt, and prepared for homeownership through Housing Works? Family Self-Sufficiency program.
?The federal stimulus funds she received put owning her own home within reach,? says Cook. ?That neighborhood now has one less empty house.?
The stimulus funds came about in September, 2011 through a competitive application process. The City of Redmond and City of La Pine were awarded $1.5 million in NSP 3 funds from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), Oregon?s affordable housing finance agency.
The cities partnered with Housing Works to administer the grant. To date, the funding has resulted in the purchase of nine affordable rental units to serve households with income under 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). It has also enabled five families ? including Albree?s ? to buy their own homes. Another 25 more households are likely to be assisted with the funds remaining.
To learn more, read about the NSP program at www.ohcs.oregon.gov, or call Kelly Fisher at Housing Works, 541-323-7411.
Housing Works is the leading affordable housing provider in Central Oregon, serving Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties. Since 1977, Housing Works has helped provide housing services to thousands of low-income families as they work to move above the poverty line.
Housing Works fulfills its mission, ?Fostering Dignity through Housing,? through a variety of housing programs and affiliated Families Forward, HomeQuest and Family Self-Sufficiency programs. Currently, Housing Works serves approximately 1,600 households through affordable housing partnerships, grant funding and federal contracts.