Area governments are racing to dole out money to shore up foreclosure-ridden neighborhoods as a congressional deadline approaches.
Virginia as of July 12 had allocated more than half of the $38.7 million it received through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program, established to shore up communities hit by foreclosures and abandoned properties. Four months earlier, the state had allocated only about a quarter of the funding.
The trend holds true for Fairfax and Prince William counties. Prince William had allocated about 62 percent of its $2.56 million and Fairfax had allocated about 44 percent of its $2.8 million, compared with one-fourth in March.
Over the last six months, there has been "a pretty steep increase in the obligation rate," said Phillip Bush, a program director at Enterprise Community Partners, which provides financing and expertise to community-based organizations throughout the country. Nationally, about 70 percent of the $3.92 billion has been allocated, compared with about 38 percent in March.
Congress has required that states and localities allot their money from the first round of funding by September.
Montgomery County used its funds in spots that had been hit hard by foreclosures, including the Germantown and Glenmont areas. The county assigned all of its funding in March, plus $2.5 million more from the state, according to Rick Nelson, director of the county's Department of Housing and Community Affairs. As a result, Montgomery received an extra $300,000 from the state.
Prince George's County, which has consistently had one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state, has assigned more than 90 percent of the $10.9 million it received.
Doling out the cash "> Jurisdiction Grant Obligations as of March 16 Percentage Obligations as of July 12 Percentage District: $2.8 million $0 0% $1.95 million 68.8% Maryland: $26.7 million $9.2 million 34.5% $23.8 million 89.3% Montgomery County: $2.1 million 100% $2.1 million 100% Prince George's County: $10.9 million $8.6 million 78.7% $10.2 million 93.3% Virginia: $38.7 million $9.4 million 24.2% $21.4 million 55.2% Fairfax County: $2.8 million $700,000 24.2% $1.25 million 44.4% Prince William County: $4.1 million $1.1 million 26.8% $2.56 million 61.8% Total: $3.92 billion $1.48 billion 37.9% $2.74 billion 69.8% Source: Department of Housing and Urban Development
In the District, $2.8 million is going toward the redevelopment of the Ivy City neighborhood in Northeast. D.C.'s Department of Housing and Community Development also was awarded about $9.5 million in the second round of funding, which will be used to rehabilitate properties in Ivy City, Deanwood and Anacostia.
"Locally, this money will be very helpful," said Monica Warren-Jones, director of relationship management in Enterprise Community Partners' D.C. office.
An additional $1 billion was put into the financial regulation bill signed into law by President Obama -- bringing the total funding for the program to nearly $7 billion.
"We're hoping we'll be able to get something out of that," Nelson said.