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September 9th, 2010
Grijalva Congratulates Ariz. On $45 Million in Mortgage Grants, Calls for Right-to-Rent Support

Tucson, Ariz.– Arizona received approximately $45.4 million yesterday from the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which the state can use to purchase foreclosed homes at a discount and rehabilitate or redevelop them. The money was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The money, part of a $1 billion nationwide effort, follows two previous rounds of NSP funding. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 provided $3.92 billion and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 appropriated $2 billion. Today, 95 cents of every dollar from the first round of NSP funding is in use by communities buying up and renovating homes, according to HUD information.

“Arizona’s foreclosure rate is second only to Nevada’s right now, and we all need and appreciate this financial relief” Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva said. “This has been the major sleeper issue of the past eighteen months – our efforts so far haven’t stemmed the tide of falling property values, home evictions and lost equity. These grants will help turn that around, and I join many other homeowners in sincerely thank HUD for this assistance.”

Grijalva earlier this year introduced the Right-to-Rent Act, which would allow a family receiving a foreclosure notice to petition a judge to stay in the home as renters under a 5-year lease. The judge would appoint an independent appraiser to set fair market rental value, which would be allowed to rise with inflation.

“Mortgage assistance is necessary, but we also need new thinking on the financial and legal fronts if we’re going to turn around the ongoing housing crisis in this country,” Grijalva said. “With credit default swaps and high-risk mortgage loans burning the economy and tightening credit everywhere, we can’t just keep soldiering forward hoping this will all go away by itself. I mean to work on this issue as long as necessary to see the people of Arizona and the country get the real relief they need.”

District Seven recipients include Pinal County ($3,169,315), the City of Tucson ($2,083,771) and the City of Avondale ($1,224,903).

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