WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) and John Katko (R-NY-24) introduced bipartisan legislation to fund neighborhood improvement efforts renovating abandoned and distressed properties. The Neighborhood Reinvestment and Revitalization Act would create a new, $25 million competitive grant program within the NeighborWorks program to fund the demolition and rehabilitation of abandoned or severely distressed properties in areas with high concentrations of such properties.
“Homes are at the heart of each and every one of our communities. And ensuring every family has access to safe, affordable housing is essential,” said Rep. Bustos. “Today, I’m proud to introduce the bipartisan Neighborhood Reinvestment and Revitalization Act with Rep. John Katko to fund community improvement efforts through the NeighborWorks program. By renovating abandoned & distressed properties, we can improve housing options for families across Northwest and Central Illinois.
“I am excited to introduce the Neighborhood Reinvestment and Revitalization Act alongside Congresswoman Bustos,” said Rep. Katko. “This bipartisan legislation will authorize $25 million in federal funds for NeighborWorks to renovate or demolish abandoned and foreclosed properties, helping to revitalize neighborhoods in Central New York and across the country. Central New York’s neighborhoods will benefit from safer housing and dedicated funding to help revitalize so-called zombie foreclosures.”
“Northwest Illinois needs more dollars to address our aging property stock and our legacy, rural towns and cities in the region will never be able to adequately catch up these vital housing units without a federal infusion of cash. HomeStart is grateful that Rep. Bustos continues to listen to her constituents and to look for ways to invest now that sustain our families for years to come,” said Sarah Brinkmann, Executive Director of Northwest HomeStart.
“National NeighborWorks Association represents 235 NeighborWorks organizations creating over $9 billion of affordable housing and community/economic development per year across the country,” said Lou Tisler, Executive Director of National NeighborWorks Association. “We applaud both Congresswoman Bustos and Congressman Katko for their bipartisan leadership to create additional funding through the Neighborhood Reinvestment and Revitalization Act to address blight in our communities across the country. Having the resources necessary for NeighborWorks groups from New York to Illinois and throughout our nation to focus on the additional investments in affordable housing is spurred on in part by funding such as that provided by this bill.”
“As the City of Syracuse still has a very high rate of vacant and zombie properties, we more than welcome Congressman Katko’s bill supporting the removal or rehabilitation of abandoned properties,” said Kerry Quaglia, CEO of Home HeadQuarters. “All of us working to keep our local housing infrastructure safe, affordable and in good repair have greatly appreciated Congressman Katko’s understanding of the issues and his dedication, above all else, to our local community and its unique needs.”
NeighborWorks is a congressionally chartered and funded non-partisan non-profit organization with affiliates in every state, D.C. and Puerto Rico, including Northwest HomeStart, with offices in Freeport and Rockford and a service area that spans Illinois 17th Congressional District. They support organizations that provide communities with affordable housing, financial counseling and coaching, training and resident engagement and collaboration in the areas of health, employment and education.