Governor's Office for Local Development
Gov. Beshear announces grants to Lexington nonprofit groups

Press Release Date:  Friday, April 17, 2009  
Contact Information:  Cindy Lanham
502-573-2382
 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 16, 2009) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) grants to two Lexington nonprofit groups; Community Ventures Corporation and the Hope Center. The NSP grant awards will help fund creative alternative uses for foreclosed and abandoned homes and property.    

“The improvements that will result from the Community Venture Corporation and Hope Center projects will benefit neighborhoods by returning vacant lots to productive use, and foreclosed and abandoned housing into new opportunities for homeownership,” said Gov. Beshear.  “Together, these activities will help stop the decline of property values and continue to support Lexington’s tax base and ability to continue providing quality local services.”

Community Ventures was awarded $2.75 million to acquire, rehabilitate or and sell foreclosed properties in Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Madison and Scott counties that might otherwise become sources of abandonment and blight within their communities.  Should a home or building be in extreme disrepair, the organization may demolish it and construct new homes in its place. 

Once Community Ventures has purchased and made any necessary repairs to foreclosed homes, families with a household income not exceeding 120 percent of the area median income may buy or in some cases rent the home, , at a reduced rate. The NSP plan seeks to protect potential buyers by requiring that they obtain a mortgage loan from a lender who agrees to comply with sound lending practices. Homebuyers must also receive at least eight hours of housing counseling from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency. 

“Given that the Lexington area has been one of the hardest hit in the state of Kentucky, and that vacant housing can have devastating affects on neighborhoods, these funds will go a long way to enable homeowners and responsible renters to move back into the many communities that are in need,” said Kevin R. Smith, president and CEO of Community Ventures Corporation. 

The Hope Center, a homeless shelter and social service agency, was awarded $1,721,268 to acquire and redevelop vacant properties to build efficiency rental units that provide affordable housing for citizens graduating from drug and alcohol recovery programs. 

“We are very pleased to be a part of this stabilization effort,” said Hope Center Executive Director Cecil Dunn.  “Not only will it help bring stability to the neighborhood, it will help bring stability to the lives of people who used to be homeless and now have taken responsibility for themselves. That’s a great thing.”

Kentucky’s NSP total statewide allotment of $37.4 million is funded through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.   The program, administered by the Department for Local Government (DLG), received more than $115 million in applications statewide. 

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