Financial relief arrives for Westway homes | Grants available

After receiving a $1.69 million federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant, the city of Federal Way is set to purchase, refurbish and sell 14 homes in Federal Way's Westway neighborhood.

"The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) gives us the tools to prevent foreclosed homes from dragging down the value of the surrounding neighborhood," said Bryant Enge, administrative services director for Federal Way, in a news release.

The city will partner with Habitat for Humanity on this revitalization project. As a low-income neighborhood, Westway has been hit hard by the economic downturn experienced by the state and nation.

The grant funds are from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and are intended to assist cities keep low-income neighborhoods "affordable and livable."

Enge said empty houses mean a "downward spiral" can begin, and that downward spiral will eventually ripple out into surrounding neighborhoods."

Turning around this many foreclosed homes will give the neighborhood positive momentum," Enge said. According to the city, Habitat for Humanity will begin purchasing homes in the fall of 2012, and hopes to have the homes renovated and sold by March 2014.

Money raised from the sales will be further re-invested in "housing stabilization efforts" in order to maximize the "positive impact of the federal grant."

Westway home repairs

According to a news release, the city encourages eligible homeowners in the Westway neighborhood to apply for weatherization and home repair grants. Westway homeowners can apply for major health and life safety repairs to homes, as well as weatherization and energy efficiency retrofits, or building preservation measures, including windows and siding.

Applicants must live within the Westway neighborhood and be the property’s legal owner. Household income must be at or below 80 percent of King County's median income ($64,200 for a family of four). Applicants must not have liquid assets exceeding $30,000.

Funding for the Westway housing repair program comes from Federal Way’s Community Development Block Grant allocation, a federally-funded community development program. Applications and renovation work are administered and completed by the King County Housing Repair Program and Habitat for Humanity.

Learn more

Those interested in volunteering can contact Habitat for Humanity at (206) 292-5240. For more information on the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, contact Enge at (253) 835-2510.


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