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RHA Ranks Second Nationally in Home Stabilization Program
by Tribune Staff
Feb 18, 2012 | 2077 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune File Photo
The Reno Housing Authority ranks second nationally in the amount of money it has spent to purchase foreclosed homes for low-income families.
Tribune File Photo The Reno Housing Authority ranks second nationally in the amount of money it has spent to purchase foreclosed homes for low-income families.
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RENO — The consortium led by the Housing Authority of the City of Reno (RHA) has expended more than 74 percent of its $21 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) grant funds, the second highest expenditure rate in the nation, according to information released by Mercedes Márquez, the federal Housing and Urban Development’s assistant secretary for community planning and development.

The consortium is made up of the Housing Authority of the City of Reno, the City of Reno as the lead agency for the Washoe County HOME Consortium, the Nevada Rural Housing Authority, Consumer Credit Counseling Affiliates and Charles Schwab Bank. Each member of the consortium has assisted in the successful implementation of NSP2.

The NSP2 grant was awarded in February 2010 and grantees were required to have spent at least 50 percent of their grant funds within two years. RHA staff have been working hard to not only achieve but surpass that deadline.

David Morton, RHA’s executive director, was excited by the news.

“I knew we were doing well,” he said. “But I did not know we were ranked second out of the 56 grantees across the country.”

Prior to the NSP2 award, Reno, Sparks and Washoe County had requested that RHA administer and purchase foreclosed properties under NSP1, the Good Neighbor Program, and the Oliver Montello EDI grant. The NSP2 application was submitted after major progress in purchasing and rehabilitating foreclosed single-family homes that had already been made under each of these programs.

At the two-year mark, RHA has purchased 111 foreclosed properties with NSP2 funds, 75 of which have either been rented or sold. RHA is using a significant number of local contractors to assist in the rehabilitation of these homes.

In addition to the properties purchased using NSP2 funds, RHA has also purchased 10 houses using the $1 million RHA pledged to assist the NSP2 efforts in the target areas.

NSP2 regulations also require that program income be spent as it comes in, before more grant funds can be drawn down. RHA has spent $562,354.08 in program income. Once the grant funds have all been expended, remaining program income will be used to continue the goals of NSP2, though the properties may be purchased outside the target areas at that point.

Sixty-one properties have been purchased for rental to families with incomes under 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Of the 61 properties purchased, 28 are in Sun Valley, 16 are in Sparks, 14 are in Stead and three are in northeast Reno.

Of the 61 properties purchased to date, 60 have been rented. The last property is under rehabilitation and should be completed by April.

Thirty properties have been purchased using NSP2 funds to be sold directly to households with between 50 percent and 120 percent AMI. Of these properties, 19 are in Sun Valley, seven are in Stead and four are in Sparks.

Ten of these properties have already been sold and the remaining properties are undergoing rehabilitation. RHA plans to purchase many more properties to be sold over the next year, though the exact number will depend on how fast the rehabilitation and resale of the properties proceeds.

Each of these properties is sold for the lesser of a current appraisal or the amount spent on purchase and rehabilitation by RHA. There is also a $15,000 forgivable, interest-free loan and up to $5,000 in grants to assist with closing costs attached to each property.

RHA’s effectiveness in managing scattered-site, single-family rental programs was recognized in 2011. HUD contracted with Enterprise Community Partners to create a training video and used RHA as the featured agency.
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