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Stimulus money used to rehab Lehigh homes

May 29, 2010
Lehigh Acres Citizen

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program of Lee County (NSP) has reached a 100 home milestone, purchasing its 103rd home for the NSP program, with 10 more under contract.

"We are going to beat our original goal of acquiring 115 homes by September," said NSP program coordinator Shawn Tan. "We now hope to buy at least 130 homes by then, and as these homes sell to qualified buyers, we will be able to purchase even more."

NSP of Lee County is a housing program fueled by federal stimulus funds from the Federal Housing and Economic Recovery Act. Lee County received just over $18 million to buy, rehabilitate and then sell foreclosed properties. The county makes no profit on these homes and provides financial assistance in the form of a second mortgage and help with closing costs, Tan said.

Income guidelines have also increased, meaning that buyers can earn slightly more than they did last year and still be able to participate in NSP.

A family of four can earn up to $74,000 and still qualify to receive financial help.

To date, about 90 percent of the homes purchased have been in Lehigh Acres with 10 percent in San Carlos. Recently, areas have been expanded to include portions of Bonita Springs, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, North Fort Myers and South Fort Myers.

Lee County is now concentrating on purchasing homes in Cape Coral.

To date, 29 homes have been fully rehabbed with 33 more homes actively being worked on right now, Tan said. Of the homes currently being rehabbed, six are close to completion. Six homes have sold to NSP buyers and seven homes are actively listed for sale.

The local program is being administered through the Lee County Department of Human Services under the direction of the Board of County Commissioners.

To view available homes, maps of specific target areas and learn more about how buyers can qualify for NSP, go to:



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