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Congressman Higgins Announces $740,000 for Neighborhood Enhancement Projects in Chautauqua County

Apr 14, 2009
Press Release

Congressman Brian Higgins announced that two agencies in Chautauqua County will receive $740,000 in state and federal funds for programs aimed at enhancing and stabilizing Chautauqua County communities.  Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corp will receive $490,000 and Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. will be awarded $250,000 through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). 

 “Strong and stable neighborhoods are the foundation of every community,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.  “One vacant home has the potential to negatively impact an entire street.  This funding will go a long way toward improving struggling neighborhoods in Chautauqua County.”  

 Mayor Sam Teresi stated, "I want to personally thank Congressman Higgins for securing this funding, which will have a direct impact on neighborhoods here in the City of Jamestown.  Congratulations to CHRIC and COI for winning competitive awards that will benefit the city and surrounding areas.  This is another example of what can happen when we all work together to do something positive and right.  I look forward to working with these two agencies in any capacity as they move forward with their plans to use this funding."

 "CHRIC has made a commitment to help turn around Jamestown neighborhoods by addressing vacant houses as a neighborhood revitalization strategy,” said CHRIC Executive Director John Murphy.  “When Congress passed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act in June of 2008 I realized it was a perfect fit with what we were doing in Jamestown.  CHRIC has an excellent partnership with the city of Jamestown, and we are pleased to have been in a position to bring additional resources to the city's efforts to reclaim some of these empty houses for sale to homeowners."

 “I also want to acknowledge the assistance we received from the County Executive and the Legislature's Administrative Services committee in creating the model that allows CHRIC to take tax-foreclosed properties and assign them for rehabilitation and sale to owner-occupants only, added Murphy."

 “Chautauqua Opportunities Inc. is pleased to have been awarded these funds through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program,” said Roberta Keller, Executive Director of COI.  “We, in partnership with the City of Dunkirk and with the assistance of the county will be renovating nine foreclosed units in the City of Dunkirk.  The units will be put back on the tax rolls and will provide safe and affordable housing for low income residents of the City.”

 Mayor Frey said, “These partnerships are what it takes to get the job done.  We partner everyday with entities like COI, under the leadership of Ms. Keller, to make things happen for the people of the City of Dunkirk.  It takes many more than any single entity to get good things to happen; it takes all of us working together.”

 Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards said, "This is great news for Chautauqua County. I applaud the hard work of John Murphy of CHRIC and Roberta Keller of COI, and their continued efforts to improve the County's housing stock."

 The funding was a part of $59 million released by Governor Paterson statewide through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).  Federal dollars authorized by Congress through the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and state funds through the “nyhomes” program provide support for the NSP. 

 Twenty-nine applicants statewide were awarded funding following a competitive RFP process.  Projects were awarded based for the following purposes:  acquisition and rehabilitation; homebuyer assistance; land banking; demolition of blighted properties; and redevelopment of vacant properties.