For Immediate Release - December 01, 2008

Patrick Administration Submits Plan for $43.4 Million in Neighborhood Stabilization Funds

Federal funds part of a $54.8 million award to help Massachusetts communities fight effects of foreclosure

BOSTON- Monday, December 1, 2008 - The Patrick Administration's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today submitted its plan to distribute $43.4 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help Massachusetts communities stabilize neighborhoods hit hard by foreclosures. The funds are part of an overall award to Massachusetts of $54.8 million and a nationwide $3.92 billion program announced in September by HUD for communities to acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties.

"These funds will greatly enhance our already aggressive efforts to lift up the neighborhoods across Massachusetts that are struggling with the harmful effects of wholesale foreclosures," said Governor Patrick.

Funding comes from HUD under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, legislation Congressman Barney Frank helped to spearhead through Congress. The funds will be used to purchase foreclosed homes at a discount and to rehabilitate or redevelop them in order to respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values. Following criteria developed by HUD, the Patrick Administration has identified neighborhoods within 39 communities as areas hardest hit by foreclosure and most in need of financial assistance.

Of the $54.8 million allocated to Massachusetts, HUD will directly fund the cities of Boston ($4,230,191), Brockton ($2,152.979), Springfield ($2,566,272) and Worcester ($2,390,858). As the state's highest need communities, those cities can also apply to the state for up to $9.1 million in additional direct funding. Fitchburg, Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Framingham, Barnstable, Plymouth and Marlboro can also apply for $6.8 million direct assistance for eligible projects.

DHCD's plan proposes that the remaining funds be distributed for projects in some or all of the 39 communities through a variety of programs including existing loan funds, housing development programs and new grant opportunities for acquisition, rehabilitation or redevelopment of properties, landbanking or selective demolition of blighted buildings.

The communities of Revere, Everett, Methuen, Weymouth, Chicopee, Leominster, Quincy, Milford, Randolph, Attleboro, Yarmouth, Wareham, Salem, Billerica, Fall River, Saugus, Dracut, Somerville, Chelsea, Peabody, Taunton, Holyoke, Stoughton, Falmouth and Marshfield round out the list of the eligible communities. $3.4 million is also set aside for program administration and technical assistance which includes expanded efforts regarding use of receivership and support for a central clearinghouse of lender-owned properties available for purchase.

"The Patrick Administration has taken a comprehensive, multi-pronged approach to address the problems associated with foreclosures in our cities and towns," said DHCD Undersecretary Tina Brooks. "These federal funds will help us continue on that mission to keep communities vibrant, thriving and places of opportunity for all."

DHCD developed the state's program using the broad guidance of the federal legislation and the more detailed specifications outlined by HUD. The state identified the communities, and the neighborhoods within them, that are eligible for NSP funds using HUD's determination of "greatest need."

Under HUD's timeline, it expects to notify the state of whether the plan is acceptable by January 15, 2009; funds would then be available in February.