RIVERSIDE (CBS) — Federal funds topping $17 million were awarded
Wednesday to cities and neighborhoods in Riverside County that rank among the highest in the U.S. that have been hardest-hit by foreclosures.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood
Stabilization Program plans to distribute a total of $149 million to California communities
struggling to prop up their housing markets amid one of the most prolonged slumps in recent memory.

Riverside County received $14.3 million in HUD funding and the city of
Riverside was awarded $3.2 million, according to HUD.

“These grants will support local efforts to reverse the effects these
foreclosed properties have on their surrounding neighborhoods,” said HUD
Secretary Shaun Donovan. “We want to make certain that we target these funds
to those places with especially high foreclosure activity so we can help turn
the tide in our battle against abandonment and blight.”

State and local governments can use the grants to acquire land and
property, demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties and to offer down-
payment and closing cost assistance to low- to moderate-income home buyers,
according to HUD.

The money can also be used to create “land banks” to assemble,
temporarily manage and dispose of vacant land for the purpose of stabilizing
neighborhoods and encouraging reuse or redevelopment of urban property.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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