Letter to Donovan requests additional resources to fight foreclosures
January 14, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid today sent a letter to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Shaun Donovan, expressing his disappointment in HUD’s decision to deny much needed foreclosure assistance funds to Southern Nevada. Reid also requested a meeting with Secretary Donovan to explore ways to bring additional resources to the state. A copy of Reid’s letter to Donovan is included below.
January 14, 2010
The Honorable Shaun Donovan
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
451 17th Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20410
Dear Secretary Donovan:
I am writing today to express my deep disappointment that southern Nevada was not awarded any funds through round two of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, in spite of the fact Clark County has one of the highest foreclosure rates of any metropolitan area in the country. During your visit to Las Vegas last summer, you witnessed firsthand the economic and, indeed, physical trauma brought to my state by the foreclosure crisis. Families’ homes have been wrested away, usually leaving their finances and savings a shambles; blight has crept into countless neighborhoods; and all Nevadans have seen their home values plummet dramatically. Southern Nevada is desperate for help.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was designed to help communities in southern Nevada by removing foreclosed homes from the market and thereby preventing and curtailing attendant deterioration – both in home values and appearance – to other homes in the neighborhood. Indeed, several local governments in southern Nevada received grants through the first round of funding for this purpose, and the Housing Authority of the City of Reno was awarded funds in round two of NSP. While I recognize and agree that all taxpayer-provided funds need to be sufficiently stewarded to prevent misuse and fraud, it remains difficult to understand how the parameters governing this program would deny any applicant from southern Nevada given the severity of the foreclosure crisis there.
I would like to meet with you as soon as possible to discuss a briefing between your staff and the denied applicant to review the application (as you have suggested you could and would accommodate), explore ways for the applicant to cure their application if possible, and, if assistance to southern Nevada is deemed unavailable through NSP, discuss other ways your department could provide desperately needed resources to alleviate the foreclosure crisis in my state. I would also like to re-visit with you Nevada’s need for a field office to allow HUD to more quickly respond to the pressing needs of Nevadans during this difficult time.
I look forward to your response and appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.
United States Senator
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