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City of Garland Press Release:
Garland Recognized as "High Performing City"
The City of Garland has been identified as a "high-performing city" in the State of Texas’ Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), and as a result, Garland is eligible for an increase in current grant fund allocation.
In early 2009, the City of Garland received a grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). The City of Garland also received funding from the State of Texas as part of a similar program (Texas NSP). The funding can only be used to acquire and remodel vacant, bank-owned foreclosures, and can only be sold to owner-occupants.
On March 16, 2010, a representative from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs conducted a review of Garland’s performance to date in the Texas NSP. The review found our program efforts are accomplishing the program’s goals, with all property acquisition funding either committed before the deadline or scheduled to be committed before the end of March. Consequently, the State housing representative recommended a 25% increase ($307,000) in funding due to our excellence in compliance. The City of Garland will be submitting a formal request to accept this additional funding.
The City of Garland was also identified as a "high-performing city," which means Garland, along with any other "high-performing cities," will be considered as top applicants for recaptured funds, which are those funds that other cities have not committed by their given deadlines. The amount available is unknown at this time, but there are numerous cities that have not met their commitment schedules.
The State representative also commended the City’s leveraged funds and partnerships that are merged with the GREAT Homes initiative, such as the use of CDBG-R (energy efficiency upgrades) grants and departmental contributions, stating that Garland is the only city he has seen with such a comprehensive, coordinated effort.
The GREAT Homes initiative was created in 2009 using various grant funds to meet key neighborhood strategy objectives:
- Upgrade existing housing stock, with emphasis on energy efficiency and increasing potential home value
- Serve as a catalyst to revitalize neighborhoods
- Encourage home investment in the community
- Provide market rate and below market rate housing for potential income eligible homeowners
The first GREAT Homes remodels are scheduled for completion in April 2010 in the Walnut program area. A kick-off meeting to educate Walnut neighbors about the GREAT Homes program was held on March 30, 2010 at Bradfield Elementary.
I'm quite proud of how our city staff members have designed and implemented this program—and revised it as necessary. Read more on the GREAT Homes program here.
Foreclosures can be devastating to neighborhood property values. Taking the worst houses doesn't necessarily mean you're doing the most good for the neighborhood. Revamped homes need to maximize the positive impact to the neighborhood. A house on the entry edge to a neighborhood may be more positive than one buried deeper within. Developing the selection criteria and having the persistence to see the program advance must be a large part of what impressed the state's representative.
High expectations of ourselves as a city can lead to high performing results!
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