From Baltimore Housing:

Baltimore, MD (December 10, 2009) – Baltimore Housing has received a total of $5.8 million from Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). As part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Congress created NSP to assist communities in the revitalization of abandoned and foreclosed homes. The Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development will operate the program through local nonprofit organizations that will use the NSP funds to acquire and rehabilitate the properties and will then either rent or sell the properties to low-income families.

“This support from the Federal government is what neighborhoods hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis need as a life line,” said Mayor Sheila Dixon. “The country is not out of its financial crisis yet, and any aid from the federal government is truly appreciated.”

Baltimore Housing received $1,675,000 from DHCD and $4,112,239 from HUD. The funds will be used to will support vital affordable housing initiatives. Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake and St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center will purchase and rehabilitate approximately 50 single-family buildings that have been subject to foreclosure. Empire Homes and People Encouraging People will use the funds to develop approximately 50 rental units.

“These developers have proven to be great partners in our commitment to creating affordable housing for Baltimore residents,” said Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano. “This is the help that our neighborhoods so desperately need to move from frustration to revitalization.”

Why we like this:  The money is going towards affordable housing, and two nonprofit organizations will be spearheading the efforts.

Why we’re not 100% in favor of this plan:  The two contractors chosen to develop the homes have been the subject of lead paint lawsuits, foreclosures, a condemnation, and other court actions that lead us to believe they’re perhaps not the right companies to receive state and federal funding to develop homes.  We’d also like to know if any of the foreclosed homes that are being purchased with federal and state money are owned by slumlords who walked away from their obligations.