It is no secret that Nevada has been at or near the top in the foreclosure rankings for quite some time. This is certainly a case where nobody wants to be claiming “we’re number one!” The crisis has actually caused four adjacent or overlapping local governments to band together to address the problem. While their interests are often competing, this is a case where they are joining forces to combat a common enemy – foreclosures.
As part of this year’s stimulus package, the Federal Government created the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. According to HUD: “The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was established for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment.” The idea is to provide stimulus money to municipalities so that they can buy foreclosed properties, renovate them, and then flip or rent as the situation warrants. There is also money available to demolish homes deemed to beyond redemption.
Getting neighboring jurisdictions to work together toward a common goal is often no small task. Even though they are located in the same general area, different municipalities will have different agendas and a different set of priorities. Putting them aside for the common good isn’t always easy but this time there was too much at stake.
In southern Nevada, Clark County, along with the cities of Henderson, Las Vegas, and North Las Vegas, have all teamed up in their efforts to get a share of the stimulus funds (article). The group is aiming to get about $367 million in funds which will ultimately allow them to acquire more than 5,000 homes. The program is slated to run for three years.
As with many things in government, this is a case of hurry up and wait. The hurry up part – there is a mad scramble to submit a completed application for funding by July 17th. The wait – the funding amounts won’t be announced until February of next year and the funds will not start coming in until some time after that. Meanwhile the foreclosure crisis continues.
Southern Nevada foreclosure inventory has dropped of late due to a recently expired moratorium on new filings. There are currently about 14,000 foreclosed properties in the Las Vegas valley. Even more troubling is that the county estimates that there are more than 50,000 vacant homes in the area. Who knows how bad it will be when the money starts coming in more than eight months from now.
While it may not be an ideal scenario, at least something is being done.
The best way out of a difficulty is through it. – Will Rogers