An innovative non-profit group has launched an aggressive $100 million campaign to rehabilitate thousands of homes left to decay in blighted urban neighborhoods as a result of the U.S. foreclosure crisis. The organization has qualified for financing to repair vacant homes from bankers to help damaged neighborhoods.
The group’s chief executive says a new initiative launched by Builders of Hope, based in Raleigh, North Carolina will help rebuild neighborhoods that have had thousands of homes left vacant by the real estate collapse.
“The Upcycle program is specifically designed to address the many interconnected housing issues that the nation is struggling with,” said CEO Nancy Welsh. “The lack of affordable rentals, the surplus of foreclosed houses, the neighborhoods suffering from blight and the inefficient state of our existing housing stock.”
The effort will employ thousands of construction workers and real estate agents to help communities re-populate neighborhoods, which may help to stabilize home prices and increase safety in many areas to attract investors.
Hard hit neighborhoods will benefit from strategic partnerships, allowing the group to work across state lines. As part of its new initiative, the group is partnering with the National Community Stabilization Trust, a non-profit organization working to stabilize neighborhoods suffering from the record breaking foreclosure crisis, and Consumer Education Services, Inc. (CESI), a national consumer credit counseling agency.
“The days of approaching a rehab by slapping on a coat of paint and changing the carpets are over,” said Welsh. “Rehabbing and retrofitting these foreclosed houses is the single, greatest opportunity our country will have to upgrade the existing housing stock.”
The program is intended to aid hard hit communities, renters and cities vital structures by rehabilitating homes so they may be lived in again and contribute to communities through local taxing agencies. Thousands of energy efficient affordable rentals will be made available to investors in each market, providing a long-term rental program for low and middle income residents, and prepare for the possibility of purchasing a home when market conditions stabilize.
Builders of Hope will also improve the quality of thousands of aging homes prioritizing energy efficiency, air quality and safety renovations.
Houses acquired as part of the program will be rehabilitated with green features. Upgrades may include new heating and air-conditioning systems, insulation, new windows, low flow toilets, Energy Star lighting and appliances.