Muskegon’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program Sells More Homes, Open House Scheduled

UPDATE 8/10/2011: The date of the open house has been moved up to Sunday, August 14, from 1 to 3 p.m.

Andrew Trzaska | August 7, 2011

The City of Muskegon closed sales on three more refurbished homes last month, continuing a program supported by federal Neighborhood Stabilization Grant funds.

City commissioners approved sales of homes at 468 W. Forest, 1080 E. Laketon, and 1644 Division at their final full-commission meeting of July.

The previously-vacant homes were priced at $52,000, $39,900, and $50,000, respectively.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is part of the Community Development Block Grant, and its purpose according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development web site is “for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment”.

The two goals of NSP grants are to either rehabilitate houses deemed able to be saved or tear down houses that are considered beyond saving.

Muskegon’s Community and Neighborhood Services Department (CNS) manages NSP funds in the city.

CNS received $1.4 million in NSP funds to purchase houses within its city limits that were foreclosed upon in recent years.

Nearly 30 homes were purchased, 14 of which were torn down, and nine that were rehabbed and put up for sale.

Three of these rehabbed homes were previously owned by the City but the funds were used to complete repairs.

As of now, a total of six of nine homes will have been sold to buyers in the community since sales started last December.

One is currently in the closing process, and the two remaining houses are located at 134 East Isabella and 1201 Ransom.

Looking forward, Bailey stated that bids are currently underway to build another home this fall.

Additionally, another home will be rehabbed through the CNS office, and an additional three sites where houses were previously demolished will see new houses built on them by Habitat for Humanity either this fall or next spring, depending on which site.

“Statistically, we have seen at closing the affordable feature of owning a home is much less than renting a housing unit,” said Bailey.

Bailey stated that mortgage payments on these houses, when NSP subsidies are factored in, have been running between 380 – 500 including taxes and insurance.

“We have properties priced from $35,000 to $ 61,000.  Let’s make a deal!”

CNS plans on hosting an open house later this month, tentatively scheduled for August 28th at its two remaining properties on Ransom and East Isabella. (Update 8/10/2011: the open house has been moved up to August 14 from 1-3 p.m.)

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst