Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:
City offers additional funds to developers
City seeks more projects for Neighborhood Stabilization Program
(December 10, 2010) – The City of Fort Wayne is making approximately $500,000 available to eligible homebuyers and City-registered development teams via the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Purchase-Custom Rehabilitation Program.
In 2009, Fort Wayne received $7 million to implement its plan for responding to the increasing number of vacant and foreclosed homes in the community.
“Through the NSP Purchase-Custom Rehabilitation Program, developers in our City were able to use this money to rehabilitate vacant and foreclosed homes to make them once again marketable and desirable for today’s buyers,” said Heather Presley-Cowen, deputy director of Community Development. “The Program is designed to convert otherwise outdated homes in neighborhoods where buyers want to live, and ultimately it has improved the appeal of our neighborhoods and stabilized home values. We’re pleased that the first round was so successful that we’re now able to begin investing those same dollars again.”
The first NSP program funded the purchase, acquisition and rehabilitation of 24 homes throughout many neighborhoods in Fort Wayne. The improvements, funded with NSP dollars, increased the assessed value of these homes by an average of 62 percent.
“That program was overwhelmingly successful and is now generating program income that can be re-invested in additional local properties,” said John Urbahns, director of Community Development. “The new version of the program has been adjusted to focus more diligently on building strong relationships between buyers, program partners and lenders.”
Mayor Tom Henry encourages local developers to take advantage of this extended opportunity to utilize NSP funding.
“This opportunity greatly benefits moderate- and middle-income families in Fort Wayne who may have desired to live in a custom-built home in one of Fort Wayne’s historic neighborhoods, but struggled to acquire additional funding from lenders in order to make the needed improvements,” said Mayor Henry. “I am committed to strengthening businesses in Fort Wayne and providing an atmosphere where families thrive. This program helps revitalize our neighborhoods, it stimulates the local economy by generating job opportunities and it provides an avenue for greater financial stability.”
The NSP connects moderate- to middle-income buyers with development teams that purchase and renovate selected homes in near-downtown neighborhoods. Buyers must earn 50 to 120 percent of area median income (AMI). Homebuyers are required to contribute a minimum investment of one percent of the final sales price to the buyer. Mortgage buy-down assistance is available as a low-interest rate loan of up to $14,999 in order to make the home more affordable to the buyer.
Eligibility for the NSP is limited to vacant properties where foreclosure occurred on or before February 17, 2009. The program no longer includes abandoned properties.
Application forms will be available by the first of the year at www.NSPFortwayne.org. A family of four earning $74,400 a year is one example of a potentially qualified applicant for the NSP.
The City will host a Partner Development briefing in January (date to be determined) where interested developers, real estate agents and those interested in the program will have the opportunity to learn more about the NSP, as well as other programs offered in 2011.
Details will be available on the City’s website, www.CityofFortWayne.org, in the near future.