City Council approved an ordinance Monday evening that will allow for the transfer of city-owned land to East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation, which will build new affordable housing on the now-vacant properties. The city acquired the properties with funds provided by the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).
“The NSP money is intended for acquiring tipping point properties in neighborhoods – those that are bringing down a neighborhood in which the majority of houses are well-kept,” At-large Councilman Jeff Fusco, Chairman of the Planning Committee, said. “We routinely acquire then transfer these properties to non-profit entities that have the wherewithal to renovate or build new houses.”
Fusco and Ward 8 Councilwoman Sandra Kurt traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby for the NSP funds. Akron had been bypassed in an earlier round of funding.
“We went at our own expense to convey our concerns about being bypassed, and we asked to be included if there was another round of funding,” Fusco said. Two weeks ago, the city learned that it had been included in a new round of funding, receiving $2.7 million to continue purchasing blighted properties.