Mayor Rybak, Partners Celebrate Foreclosure-Recovery Efforts — and Welcome New Homeowner to Previously Foreclosed Home
Majority of job hours created by first phase of Neighborhood Stabilization Program went to people of color
September 21, 2010 (Minneapolis) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was joined by City partners and elected officials in celebrating the completion of the first phase of investment of $14 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP1) funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The event was held at 2202 James Ave. N. in the Cottage Park section of the Jordan neighborhood of North Minneapolis, at the home of Bruce Murray. Mr. Murray’s home, which he recently purchased, is the first home completely rehabbed with NSP1 funds and sold to a homeowner.
With the $14 million in NSP1 funds, which have now been fully committed, 275 properties in Minneapolis neighborhoods heavily affected by the foreclosure crisis have been acquired or rehabbed. These funds have also generated 15,000 hours of contracted labor, of which 52% of skilled labor was performed by people of color, 87% of unskilled labor was performed by people of color, 28% was performed by low-income workers and 9% was performed by women.
"With the federal government as our partner, the City stabilized and reinvested in hundreds of homes — as well as in blocks, neighborhoods and people," said Mayor R.T. Rybak. "The ripple effects are critical: we have not only created opportunities for great new neighbors to buy homes and give back to their communities, we have created thousands of hours of work in good jobs at a time when our top priority is helping our city rebuild from the recession and grow economic opportunity."
"This neighborhood, which was once ground zero for crime, is now ground zero for miracles," said Council Member Don Samuels, who lives one block away from new homeowner Bruce Murray. "Because of NSP and our great non-profit partners, we can convert a once-vacant, foreclosed house into a new home for a great neighbor and breathe bring life back into our neighborhoods."
New homeowner Bruce Murray, who works in the community as engagement coordinator for the Northside Achievement Zone, is a Chicago native who grew up in North Minneapolis but has lived in Brooklyn Center for the last five years. He said that not long ago, he would have never considered moving to Cottage Park, but decided to move back into North Minneapolis when he saw the quality of the NSP1-funded rehab work that developer Urban Homeworks, Inc., did on the house that he bought, as well as the work that had been done to stabilize and reinvest in Cottage Park. "This is the neighborhood where I work, where I can make the most difference and that has the greatest impact on my life, so I decided that this is the neighborhood where I want to buy a home," he said.
Chad Schwitters of Urban Homeworks, Inc., the non-profit developer of Mr. Murray’s home, praised the many volunteers who worked on the home. "They have adopted in their hearts the belief that their prosperity is tied to the neighborhood’s prosperity."
"This new home improves the bottom line for jobs, economic development and the tax base," Mr. Schwitters added.
Mr. Schwitters pointed out that on Mr. Murray’s home, 97% of the unskilled labor was performed by people of color, 61% of the skilled labor was performed by people of color, and 20% of the labor was performed by women.
The City of Minneapolis partners with non-profit community developers to help rebuild neighborhoods affected by foreclosure. In addition to Urban Homeworks, the City partners with Alliance Housing, City of Lakes Community Land Trust, Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation, NH Housing, Neighborhood Housing Services of Minneapolis, Powderhorn Residents Group, Project for Pride in Living and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.
The $14 million in NSP1 funding came from the federal Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008: $5.6 million as a direct allocation to Minneapolis and $8.4 million competitively awarded to the City through a State of Minnesota allocation. The City of Minneapolis was allowed to use the funds to acquire foreclosed properties for rehabilitation or future redevelopment, and to offer down-payment and closing-cost assistance to low- and moderate-income buyers of foreclosed homes.
With all $14 million in NSP1 funds now fully committed, today also marks the beginning of phase 2 of Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP2) funding in Minneapolis. In 2009, the City received $15.5 million through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a part of a joint application with Brooklyn Park and Hennepin County. NSP2 is planned to affect 300 more foreclosed properties through acquisition, rehabilitation and redevelopment. NSP2 will also provide homeownership incentives and financing for down payments and closing costs.
Earlier this month, the City announced it will be receiving an additional $2.7 million in a third round of NSP funding, authorized under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The City Council will be asked to approve the phase 3 spending plan in early 2011.
Published Sep. 21, 2010