Neighborhood Stabilization Program Fights Blight

Foreclosures
Foreclosures

It looks like one program looking to heal neighborhoods scarred by home loan foreclosures is doing some good, at least according to a growing stack of local newspaper clippings.

The Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program has handed out close to $6 billion so far to help fix the broken windows of abandoned and foreclosed homes across the country. Local officials and housing groups can use cash from the program to buy and rehab blighted residential buildings. Or they can create financing tools to help others buy and rehab the properties. They can also set up land banks to hold the properties for eventual redevelopment or simply demolish the empty homes.

Empty houses can quickly drag down property values -- particularly if the homes are empty because of a foreclosure. Experts estimate that more than half of all foreclosed houses are vandalized before new residents move in.