County gets $11 million in stimulus funds to fight blight

Plans to buy 100 vacant, foreclosed homes to fix up, sell to eligible households

Alameda County will receive $11 million in federal stimulus funding to help fight blight and stabilize neighborhoods that have been hit hard by housing foreclosures.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the money under its Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Under the grant, Alameda County's Housing and Community Development Department will work with local nonprofit housing agencies to purchase and rehabilitate at least 100 foreclosed, vacant homes and re-sell or rent them to eligible households.

The county is the lead agency in the Alameda County NSP Consortium, which includes the cities of Dublin, Emeryville, Livermore, Newark, Pleasanton, Hayward, Fremont, San Leandro, Union City and the urbanized areas of the unincorporated part of the county.

The funds will be used throughout neighborhoods that have the greatest foreclosure and vacancy problems.

Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Alice Lai-Bitker said in a statement, "The foreclosure crisis is impacting many residents and neighborhoods throughout the county."

She said, "These funds will help maintain property values in these neighborhoods and keep them from being vacant eyesores, while helping low and moderate-income families find housing they can afford."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said the funding that Alameda County is receiving is part of a total of $318 million that California is receiving from the federal government to rejuvenate neighborhoods hit by foreclosures.

Schwarzenegger said in a statement, "The foreclosure crisis has not only hurt families, but has also depressed local economies, affected our state's budget and led to the deterioration of many neighborhoods."

He said, "This money will help provide prompt relief and assistance to individuals, families and communities while also helping create jobs throughout California."

Under the rules of the program, at least 25 percent of the funds will be used to purchase properties that will be rented to households with annual incomes at or below 50 percent of area median income, which currently is $44,650 for a family of four.

The remaining funds will be used to buy and rehabilitate homes that will be resold to households at or below 120 percent of area media income, which currently is $107,150 for a family of four.

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson said in a statement, "These funds could not have come at a more critical time for our community. In addition to helping to stabilize neighborhoods, these funds will create and retain jobs in the county."

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News


Like this comment
Posted by Steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jan 18, 2010 at 8:50 am

This is money well spent if it will prevent further deterioration of property values.
The sad part is, none of this would be necessary if banks we not forced, by the likes of Barney Frank, to lower their loan qualification requirements under the premise that everyone can own a home, regardless of savings, income, equity, etc.
Another socialist utopian plan gone awry, and we all pay for the consequences.

Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 18, 2010 at 8:54 am

Well said Steve!!

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Are any Plutonians ticked off that TOO MUCH MONEY is being sent to Haiti?

Couldn't that have been used to create jobs in the US? Fund schools? Pay teachers?

11 mil is comparison!

Like this comment
Posted by dublinmike
a resident of Dublin
on Jan 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm

dublinmike is a registered user.

You guys are rich... Huffington is liberal; dailykoz is liberal.

It's all about capitalism.

I don't like the two papers (including Herald) because they became "The Advertizers." I stay with one or the other because or local news, as little as it is.

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Posted by to Cholo
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 19, 2010 at 8:44 am

No, I'm not mad about the money sent to Haiti. When you look at their need, it doesn't even compare. We live in an earthquake zone, too, and I'd hope if something so catastrophic happened here (yes, I know we have better infrastructure than Haiti, but one big quake and the water supply could be cut off to millions of Californians - see 60 Minutes interview with Arnold) that the world would be as generous as they could be toward us.

Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Jan 19, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Right on Steve

Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2010 at 9:43 pm

"The sad part is, none of this would be necessary if banks we not forced, by the likes of Barney Frank, to lower their loan qualification requirements under the premise that everyone can own a home, regardless of savings, income, equity, etc"

Don't forgot George Bush. He helped 40,000 more low-income people own a home every year (at least for a little while).

Web Link

"And so what are the barriers that we can deal with here in Washington? Well, probably the single barrier to first-time homeownership is high down payments. People take a look at the down payment, they say that's too high, I'm not buying. They may have the desire to buy, but they don't have the wherewithal to handle the down payment. We can deal with that. And so I've asked Congress to fully fund an American Dream down payment fund which will help a low-income family to qualify to buy, to buy. (Applause.)

We believe when this fund is fully funded and properly administered, which it will be under the Bush administration, that over 40,000 families a year -- 40,000 families a year -- will be able to realize the dream we want them to be able to realize, and that's owning their own home. (Applause.)"

Web Link

"As part of President Bush's ongoing effort to help American families achieve the dream of homeownership, Federal Housing Commissioner John C. Weicher today announced that HUD is proposing to offer a "zero down payment" mortgage, the most significant initiative by the Federal Housing Administration in over a decade. This action would help remove the greatest barrier facing first-time homebuyers - the lack of funds for a down payment on a mortgage. "

Maybe Barney Frank forced him to do that.

Oh and pay no attention to companies like Countrywide Financial (the biggest loan originator in the last decade) pushing people into risky loans; Barney Frank made them do it. But wait, CEO Angelo Mozilo blamed "tighter regulation of interest-only and other high-risk loans" for their problems. He wanted to make more risky loans and the government wasn't letting him do it.

Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Gunslinger
a resident of Danville
on Jan 22, 2010 at 8:04 am

Thank you for pointing out that Republicans have muffed up in selling out to liberal extremism almost as much as the democrats. Look at McCain and amnesty, and the Bush McCain front to bailout the traitorous banks. What elite republican politicians don't damage with selling out to liberalism, they damage by wasting our money on needless wars ultimately fought for Israel. Many republican politicians are not true conservatives. They're all enemies to the good American patriot. We need to take our country back from all these traitors who know nothing but how to spend other peoples money.

PS: most of the republicans in the house are straight shooters

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