City Applying for More Stimulus Funds

This release just came in from the mayor's press office:

Thursday, July 16, 2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Philadelphia, July 16, 2009 - Mayor Michael A. Nutter submitted Philadelphia’s application for $58.8 million in federal funds to stabilize and revive local neighborhoods and housing markets with heavy concentrations of vacant properties. These funds are available through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP-2), a component of the American Recovery Act. Philadelphia is looking to use these dollars to leverage the existing strengths of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods and expand successful neighborhoods into adjacent areas that have been left behind. NSP-2 is a competitive grant, rather than a formula distribution.

“Philadelphia is a city of neighborhoods and as such our success depends on their strength. Unfortunately, many of our most vulnerable communities have been threatened further by the economic crisis,” said Mayor Nutter. “We are going to fight for every dollar possible from the federal stimulus in order to help our neighborhoods during this difficult time.”

Philadelphia’s application lays out a coordinated approach to market transformation in the targeted neighborhoods with high foreclosure rates and low vacancy rates, all set within the context of a broader array of planned activities.

1. Homebuyer Incentives: Financial incentives will be offered to owner-occupant buyers of foreclosed homes.

2. Purchase and Renovation: The City’s NSP1 program will be expanded to purchase, renovate and sell additional foreclosed and long-term vacant houses.

3. Gap-Financing for Market-Catalyzing Anchor Developments
New Housing: Gap financing for affordable new construction housing on blighted, vacant land.
Foreclosed Multifamily Property: Gap financing for the redevelopment of key occupied or vacant foreclosed, multifamily structures. This activity will be used in eligible areas where selective reinvestment can affect neighborhood value.

4. Code Enforcement and Demolition: Expanded code enforcement and selective demolition of blighted structures, especially old industrial or commercial buildings in neighborhoods that are now residential. This will be used in neighborhoods with high vacancy or poor land use patterns.

This plan will leverage significant resources from the City of Philadelphia and other public and private entities including $15 million spent by the City on commercial corridor improvements, $270 million to be spent by SEPTA on transit improvements, $2.8 million to be spent by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency on housing finance programs, $37 million to be spent by the Water Department on greening and storm water management projects, and $1.3 million to be spent by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society on cleaning and greening vacant lots.