WASHINGTON, D.C. —U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded the groundbreaking of four new Habitat for Humanity homes in Twinsburg Township.  A member of Brown’s staff will attend the ceremony, which is scheduled to take place today at 10:00 AM.

“Habitat for Humanity provides a vital service to communities in Summit County and across the nation by building simple but safe and affordable homes for American families,” Brown said. “By leveraging federal funds through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), Habitat for Humanity will be able to help provide four Ohio families with a roof over their heads and a pathway to the American dream of homeownership.”

According to Habitat for Humanity of Summit County, the homes will be supported by approximately $192,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds. Brown fought for the creation of the NSP in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, and for continuation of the program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). In September 2008, Brown announced that Ohio communities would receive more than $258 million in NSP funds authorized by the housing bill. In September 2009, Brown wrote to U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Donovan in support of Ohio applicants to the second wave of funding through the NSP program. Brown announced a third round of NSP funding in September 2010. Nearby, the City of Akron received more than $2.6 million in NSP funding under Round 3.

It is estimated that each dollar in NSP funding has more than twice the economic impact, due to a multiplier effect generated through new jobs and rehabilitated housing. Funds are awarded through a formula targeting the most distressed neighborhoods, based on the number and percentage of home foreclosures, the number and percentage of homes financed by a subprime mortgage related loan, and the number and percentage of homes in delinquency. HUD uses a model that takes into account causes of foreclosures and delinquencies, which include housing price declines from peak levels, increases in unemployment, and rate of high cost and highly leveraged loans. HUD also considers vacancy problems in neighborhoods with severe foreclosure related problems.

“Habitat for Humanity of Summit County would not have been able to move forward on these safe, decent, and affordable homes without the support of federal funds from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Senator Brown has been a champion for the NSP and for Habitat for Humanity, and we are excited about matching the federal funds with private investments from corporations and faith groups who provide volunteers to work side-by-side with our families to build their homes,” said Rochelle Fisher, President & CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Summit County.

As a member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Brown has been a champion of foreclosure mitigation efforts, and has worked to provide assistance communities affected by the housing crisis, the economic downturn, and population loss. Brown has been a strong supporter of the Community Regeneration, Sustainability and Innovation Act, which would create a new, competitive grant program within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) targeted toward cities and metropolitan areas experiencing large-scale property vacancy and abandonment due to long-term employment and population losses. The program would provide funds to demolish abandoned properties, find innovative uses for old structures, and create green space.