The Contra Costa Times says Walnut Creek is joining with Richmond, Antioch, Pittsburg, Oakley, and other parts of Contra Costa to apply for $50 million in "neighborhood stabilization" funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The unincorporated neighborhoods joining in this consortium are in Montalvin Manor, Bay Point, and North Richmond.
As we know, the East Contra Costa County cities are among the worst hit in the Bay Area and the state by the foreclosure crisis.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to get my head around: North Richmond. Walnut Creek. Those two communities joining forces, two communities that are, shall we say, at opposite ends, not just of the county, but of the socioeconomic spectrum.
The Times has Laura Simpson, housing manager for Walnut Creek, acknowleging that Walnut Creek's situation is not as dramatic as Richmond's and Antioch's. The Times adds:
[Walnut Creek] has about 100 foreclosed homes in two neighborhoods that stand to benefit. Those neighborhoods include town homes, duplexes, and condos in a redevelopment area along Broadway and a neighborhood in northeast Walnut Creek near Heather Farm Park.
Walnut Creek hopes to get $3 million to $5 million over the next three years from the grant. That would allow the city to rehab about 10 properties a year, all of which would be for residents with low and moderate incomes, said Simpson. Part of the grant application stipulates that the rehabilitation will make these homes "green" and energy-efficient.
The grant money also would cover downpayment assistance and counseling for first-time homebuyers, she said. Besides helping people get a new home, the renovations help neighborhoods by cleaning up parcels that may be bringing down nearby property values.