Turning around foreclosed homes in Nassau

September 28, 2011 3:28:02 PM PDT
Thirty homes in Nassau County in foreclosure are the beneficiary of federal stimulus money. They are homes that the county hopes to sell.

Ivan Leiba is the owner of one of them. He had been turned down for a mortgage four times since the real estate bubble burst, but then he won a lottery allowing him an affordable home plucked from foreclosure by a nonprofit developer named Marianne Garvin.

With money from the Obama administration's stimulus bill, Garvin's Community Development Corporation bought five homes out of foreclosure, fixed them and sold them to people like Ivan at a price they prove they can afford.

"Not only was the property not paying taxes but the government had to take care of the property. So this is a win-win for the neighborhood, for families and for the local government," Garvin said.

Now the hedges are nicely manicured, the blight on the neighborhood has been lifted and this house is back on the tax rolls. And at a time when in Washington they're talking about cutting things like this, Nassau's proudly conservative County Executive says this is an example of a program that works.

"To the extent that this program can continue, absolutely because obviously the foreclosures here create significant problems in our communities," Ed Mango said.

Nassau County has already accepted millions in federal funds for this project, funneling it to developers like the CDC to rehab thirty houses in all and even more money is set aside in the president's controversial jobs proposal.