September 26, 2008

$19 Million Coming For Idaho Housing Needs

Crapo says neighborhood funds address declining values and foreclosure rates

Washington, DC - Idaho will be receiving $19.6 million in new federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that will help areas trying to recover from the effects of foreclosure and declining property values, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo, Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee's subcommittee with jurisdiction over the issue, supported the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

The legislation assists state and local housing agencies to buy foreclosed houses, demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties, and offer down payment and closing costs for low-to-moderate-income homebuyers. It also creates temporary "land banks" that assist with the management and sale of vacant land.

"The $19.6 million for Idaho in this legislation will help communities implement their neighborhood stabilization programs to respond to rising foreclosure rates and declining property values" Crapo said. "We can help get people into housing and empty homes improved and refurbished at the local level."

Deanna Watson, Executive Director of the Boise City Ada County Housing Authority said the funding comes as good news for both home buyers and the affordable housing market in the Boise City-Ada County area. "The Boise City Ada County Housing Authority is bringing new staff online to implement this program. It will be a big boost to address our affordable housing needs," Watson said.

The Idaho Housing and Finance Association noted the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 also contains mortgage revenue bonding authority of $100 million, which will help more low-and-moderate income Idahoans obtain fixed-rate mortgages. A new first-time homebuyer credit of $7500 is part of the program.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is the portion of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 that will address local and state housing issues relating to neighborhood improvements and home values. Crapo noted the Department of Housing and Urban Development would hold follow-up meetings to discuss specifics of the temporary housing program.