Congresswoman Maxine Waters Hosts HUD Secretary
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35), who chairs the Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee and has been a leader of foreclosure prevention efforts, joined Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during his visit to Los Angeles today for a tour of several foreclosed properties in South Los Angeles.
The purpose of Secretary Donovan's visit was to assess the impact of foreclosures on Los Angeles neighborhoods and visit properties that the City of L.A. Housing Department hopes to purchase and rehabilitate through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).
"I am a strong supporter of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and even more so, after seeing some specific neighborhoods here in the local community that will benefit from federal funding," said Congresswoman Waters.
Congresswoman Waters spearheaded the effort in Congress to create and fund NSP. She introduced legislation last year to provide funding for states, counties and cities to assist communities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis and worked to build support among her colleagues in Congress and among advocacy groups. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act passed by Congress in July 2008 included almost $4 billion in neighborhood stabilization funding, after Congresswoman Waters insisted such funds remain in the legislation despite President Bush's veto threat. This year, Congresswoman Waters fought for and obtained the inclusion of an additional $2 billion for NSP in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that became law in February 2009.
In the first round of NSP funding, California's state and local governments received a total of $530 million, including nearly $33 million for the City of Los Angeles and nearly $17 million for the County of Los Angeles.
HUD will accept applications in May from states, local governments and non-profits for a second round of NSP funding and award grants by July.
Congresswoman Waters, Secretary Donovan, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and other local officials held a news conference in front 213 E. 90th Street, a single family property that is an example of an NSP property that the community-based development entity Restore Neighborhoods L.A. hopes to acquire and rehabilitate for sale to low or moderate-income homebuyer to occupy as their primary residence.
"I thank Secretary Donovan for visiting Los Angeles. California has had more foreclosures than any other state, and almost one quarter of them are in Los Angeles County. Today as we toured local neighborhoods, I was able to show the Secretary the impact of the foreclosure crisis on California and discuss some of the creative, innovative responses being implemented by the City of Los Angeles. I am confident that partnerships created by the Obama Administration, Congress, local governments and non-profit organizations will enable our communities to overcome the significant challenges we face in preventing foreclosures and preserving communities," said Congresswoman Waters.