$5 million grant will keep Covington families in homes

The Commonwealth of Kentucky is boosting efforts by the City of Covington to combat blight brought on by foreclosed and abandoned homes with a $5 million grant from the new federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

The money will allow the city to buy foreclosed and abandoned homes, then rehab and sell them to qualified homeowners.

The $5 million is part of a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program recently announced by Gov. Steve Beshear as part of a $37.4 million grant Kentucky received through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program.

Covington Mayor Denny Bowman applauded the announcement.

“We’ve seen a reduction in the enrollment of our city schools in excess of 1,000 because families are losing their homes, being forced to move in with relatives or go elsewhere.  This affects economic growth and job opportunities,” said Mayor Bowman. “These NSP funds will help put these homes back on the market, bring back the residences and students, create opportunities for jobs, boost small locally owned businesses and eliminate blight.”

Kenton County has the second-highest need in the Commonwealth behind Louisville’s Jefferson County, based on the number or percentage of foreclosures, subprime mortgages and mortgage defaults and delinquencies, Kentucky officials said.

“Many areas across the Commonwealth have suffered from the effects of foreclosures and declining property values, but Covington has been especially hard hit,” said Gov. Beshear. “The city has put together a great plan to help clean up communities, put families back in these abandoned homes and stabilize neighborhoods and I’m pleased to support them.”

Congress has mandated the funds be put to specific use within 18 months.

The homes will be available to families not exceeding 120 percent of the area medium income, or currently $83,050 for a family of four. Families can buy, or in certain cases, rent the homes at a reduced rate. Buyers must undergo at least eight hours of housing counseling from a HUD-approved agency and obtain a mortgage from a lender who agrees to comply with sound lending practices.

Covington plans to contract with Catholic Charities and Brighton Center to provide homeowner training.

Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: Kentucky Governor's Office

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