Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Five neighborhoods approved for foreclosure initiative

Based upon the recommendations of Cincinnati Department of Community Development director Michael Cervay, Cincinnati City Council has approved Camp Washington, Kennedy Heights, North Fairmount, South Cumminsville, and Spring Grove Village as the five neighborhoods that will participate in its Neighborhood Homes Initiative (NHI).

In 2008, council budgeted $1.25 million for the program in the hope of putting vacant and foreclosed houses back into the hands of homeowners.

The program will be administered by Homesteading and Urban Redevelopment Corporation (HURC), which will purchase approximately 20 houses per year and act as a property wholesaler.

These houses would then be sold to community development corporations, urban redevelopment corporations, and private developers for demolition, rehabilitation, or resale.

Communities were selected based upon their capacities to perform the work, rate of foreclosure, and lack of similar foreclosure-abatement resources such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

In addition to the City funding, HURC is accumulating additional funding for NHI through public-private partnerships.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky has granted HURC $50,000 from its 2009 program funds and will fund back-office operations by Community Development Corporations Association of Greater Cincinnati through 2011.

Financing for NHI pre-development, rehabilitation, and down payment assistance also is being sought through the Cincinnati Development Fund, the Home Ownership Center of Greater Cincinnati, and the Enterprise Foundation, among others.

HURC has development partnerships approved with the cities of Silverton and Mount Healthy and the Village of Lincoln Heights, and Colerain and Springfield townships are currently in discussions with the organization to aid them in remediating foreclosures.

Councilmembers Chris Bortz and Leslie Ghiz voted against the measure; Councilmember Greg Harris was absent.

Previous reading on BC:
Cincinnati development director recommends five neighborhoods for foreclosure initiative (5/20/09)
NHI funded neighborhoods in question (4/13/09)
Neighborhood Homes Initiative could begin in April (3/19/09)
Foreclosure initiative presented in Cincinnati council committee (5/14/08)