FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – If you’re in the market for a home and meet certain income criteria, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) might be for you.
The federal government has poured millions into communities across the country through the program. More than a dozen South Florida cities — along with Miami-Dade and Broward counties — have received funding in the NSP’s third round.
The program aims to allow cities, counties and states across the country to purchase vacant or abandoned houses, renovate them and sell them to middle-income people.
A home on Funston Street in Hollywood is a perfect example of the program’s goals. The owners left the home and a short time later, squatters moved in. Neighbor Dean Wint remembers the squatters’ pit bull.
“They had a dog there that rushed me and I think it rushed (my wife) one morning, too,” Wint told CBS 4′s Carey Codd.
The home has gotten lots of TLC over the past 9 months — like a new kitchen, new bathrooms and new floors. It impressed Ivette Matos, 24, a bank manager. She is looking for her first home and is making an offer on the two-bedroom, two-bath home. The price is $112,000.
She was struck by “the warmth that I felt when I walked into the property. I felt like this is what I can call home.”
“I’ve lived in this area and I know what has gone up and down in this area so being able to be here and stabilize myself in this home,” she said. “I like the opportunity.”
The city of Hollywood is also using the program’s money to build a few homes and a bunch of rental properties on the city’s west side. The plan is to build 5 single family homes and 28 rental apartments and townhouse.
The money from all the home sales will be used to buy more houses and fix them up.
“For a lot of people this is their only path to home ownership — programs like this that allow them to get into a home,” said Hollywood City Spokesperson Raelin Storey. “It really can change a family’s life. It gives them that stability. It gives them a place to call home.”
Storey said the program is also giving construction workers jobs.
“It’s putting people to work, which was the goal,” she said. “Each of these projects puts carpenters and construction workers back to work.”
Ivette Matos is grateful NSP might help her acquire her first home.
Her neighbors hope whoever moves in moves in legally and stays awhile.
“I just hope that we get the same good neighbors that we have around here,” Wint said.
To find out more about the program, including contact information for cities that have received funding, go to http://hudnsphelp.info/