U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a Rhode Island democrat, introduced legislation yesterday in the Senate that would allocate $15 billion to renovate residential and commercial properties throughout the U.S. that were left vacant by the foreclosure crisis.
The legislation, called Project Rebuild Act, would further the initiatives spearheaded by President Barack Obama’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, and would grant $10 billion to states, cities and non-profit organizations, and $5 billion more to for-profit companies. Each state would be guaranteed at least $20 million in support.
“This initiative will provide a flexible source of funding to help local communities leverage federal dollars to effectively address vacant and blighted properties in their areas,” Reed said in a statement.
Project Rebuild Act defers from the $7 billion Neighborhood Stabilization Program in that it allows for rehabilitation of commercial properties and sets aside funds for traditional, for-profit companies, which in turn capitalizes on private dollars and encourages more sub-contractor hiring.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development estimated the act would create nearly 200,000 jobs and would fund the renovation of 150,000 properties. — Adam Fusfeld