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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Supports Funds to Stabilize Neighborhoods and Challenges Media Over Inaccurate Reporting

July 27, 2009
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) reiterated her support for funding for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) in the economic recovery package now under consideration in the Senate.

NSP was established to stabilize neighborhoods suffering from the effects of high foreclosure rates and declining home values.  In areas with high concentrations of foreclosures property values have deteriorated.  Congresswoman Waters said, "Foreclosure is devastating for the family that is losing their home.  In addition, all of their neighbors suffer as properties fall into disrepair, are boarded up, have weeds growing in the lawn and might attract gangs or other criminal activity.  Local governments have added expenses maintaining these properties and policing neighborhoods while at the same time not collecting revenue.  Neighborhood stabilization funding enables communities to rehabilitate these properties so they can be sold or rented, helping families find housing, creating jobs, and keeping home values from plummeting."

"Governors and mayors from all across America – Democrats and Republicans alike – are urging Congress and the Administration to recognize their need for federal support to help them cope with the economic downturn and the foreclosure crisis at a time when their state and local budgets are under severe stress.  I encourage them to tell the Senate how important neighborhood stabilization funding is and to explain why it should be included in the economic recovery package," said Congresswoman Waters.

Congresswoman Waters, Chairwoman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, helped create the NSP last year and succeeded in getting $4 billion in additional NSP funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 1), the House version of the economic recovery package, which the House of Representatives passed last week.

"Funding for neighborhood stabilization enables states and localities to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned properties.  These funds clearly can help stimulate the economy, create jobs, help homeowners and generate revenue – including real estate taxes – for local and state governments now facing difficult budget decisions and weighing drastic cuts to important programs," Congresswoman Waters said.

She added, "Unfortunately some Republicans in Congress and their allies in the media are portraying neighborhood stabilization funding in a misleading and inaccurate way.  The initial NSP funding Congress allocated last year is now being distributed to state and local governments, including the City and County of Los Angeles, and is proving to be beneficial.  Now we are hearing that more such funding is needed and being requested.  Clearly, the right-wing propaganda machine is deliberately spreading falsehoods in an attempt to undermine bipartisan support for vital programs.  Therefore, it is important for mayors, governors, other elected officials and community advocates to speak out and to express to the Senate and House the need for neighborhood stabilization funding."