Governor Corzine, Senator Menendez, Commissioner Doria, Mayor Torres Unveil Neighborhood Stabilization Program Action Plan

$51.4 Million in Funds to be Secured Through HUD

 PATERSON – Governor Jon S. Corzine, Senator Robert Menendez and Paterson Mayor Joey Torres today joined Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Joseph Doria in unveiling the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Action Plan.  The Plan, which will secure $51.4 million in federal funding, will be submitted to the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for approval.

“During the past two and a half years, the number of home foreclosures in New Jersey skyrocketed, leaving some of our neighborhoods devastated.  We must stop the bleeding now,” said Governor Corzine.  “This Plan will go a long way in keeping our residential communities stable by curtailing the downward spiral of property values and public safety when homes become boarded up and vacant.  I commend the efforts of Senators Menendez and Lautenberg in securing funds that will help preserve the sanctity of our neighborhoods.”

As a component of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the NSP is specifically intended to stabilize neighborhoods experiencing the negative effects of the subprime mortgage crisis and the general economic downturn.  These localities are identified as those hard hit by foreclosures and are statistically at high risk of continued market deterioration.  Funds from the NSP can be used for property acquisition, demolition, rehabilitation and for the creation and operation of land banks, in any combination, to spur neighborhood recovery.

“Foreclosures have left millions of families facing a padlock on their front door and our nation facing an economic crisis. If we are going to get out of this economic mess sooner rather than later, we need to address the housing crisis sooner rather than later. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program is an important part of that effort,” said Senator Menendez.  “In these tough economic times it’s important to protect the homeowners that see the house next door boarded up and their neighborhoods deteriorate because of the foreclosures around them.  I am proud to have been part of the effort in Congress to make a real investment into this program, which resulted in more than $62 million for our state. We were fought by the Bush administration, but these foreclosures have been devastating our communities for too long not to act.”

The DCA will receive $51.4 million after HUD approval of the program Action Plan.  Additionally, five Community Development Block Grant entitlement areas will receive funding directly from HUD: Newark - $3.4 million, Union County - $2.6 million, Paterson - $2.2 million, Jersey City - $2.1 million, Bergen County - $2 million.

The State’s Action Plan focuses on neighborhoods with existing community planning infrastructure, relevant economic assistance and counseling programs.  These areas include those that are participating in the State’s Neighborhood Preservation Program, have plans and private invest through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit, have ongoing CDBG investment or have been a target for other state, county or local investment.  Local availability of foreclosure prevention programs and other community based assistance will be weighed in the selection process.  DCA will publish an RFP within the next two weeks that will be open to local governments, for-profit and non-profit developers and non-profit organizations.  Applicants must develop and propose a set of interventions that are both allowable under NSP regulations and appropriate to the local circumstance.

“These funds would not have been possible without the hard work of Senators Menendez and Lautenberg,” said Commissioner Doria.  “Governor Corzine has made a commitment to directly assisting New Jersey residents and municipalities during these difficult economic times.  The NSP Action Plan mirrors that dedication.”