Pasco will use $400,000 in federal neighborhood stabilization money to help first-time home buyers make their down payment. The money comes from the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, which Congress approved in July to minimize the effects of foreclosed homes across the country.
“It was before ‘stimulus package’ became a buzz word,” said Rick White, Pasco’s Community and Economic Development Director. In Pasco, the money is expected to assist in the purchase of about 37 foreclosed homes across various parts of town. The city previously considered using the money to rehabilitate distressed homes in the Longfellow and Museum neighborhoods east of 14th Avenue, but instead went with the down payment assistance program because it would affect more homes.
The rehabilitation program would have benefited only about nine houses, White said. “If we can do anything to stabilize those neighborhoods and keep property values from dropping down, not only will we help people into homes, but we’ll also protect people who in good faith have taken out mortgages and are still paying on them,” said Councilwoman Rebecca Francik.