Manchester, Berlin win revitalization grants

Manchester and Berlin will receive nearly of $5 million in federal aid that will be used to help the communities continue their work revitalizing neighborhoods with high rates for foreclosure and abandonment.The grants were awarded by the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.”This latest round of NSP funding will help these cities deal with the vacant and distressed properties left behind after foreclosure,” said CDFA Executive Director Kathy Bogle Shields. “During the first round of funding, both Manchester and Berlin made significant progress rehabbing abandoned buildings and making the affected neighborhoods livable again.”With a $3.7 million grant, Manchester will partner with three nonprofits – Families in Transition, Harbor Homes and NeighborWorks Greater Manchester – to continue its investment in the Kalivas/Union and West Granite Neighborhoods.Berlin will use $1 million to acquire and rehabilitate buildings in the Lower East Side, Notre Dame and Granite/Main Street neighborhoods. In the first year of the program, according to Shields, Manchester neighborhoods in the NSP program have seen their property values go up 19 percent and their foreclosures go down 11 percent. In the participating Berlin neighborhoods, the number of homes with tax liens has dropped 73 percent, home ownership is up 2 percent, property values are up 17 percent, and 911 calls have dropped 15 percent. — JEFF FEINGOLD/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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