Federal housing officials today announced nearly $1 billion in funding to help state and local governments acquire, redevelop or demolish foreclosed properties.

Every state in the nation got at least $5 million in the third round of funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).

Nearly half of the $970 million in grants announced today — $446 million — went to the four "sand states" hit hardest by foreclosures: Arizona ($45.4 million), California ($149.3 million), Florida ($208.4 million) and Nevada ($43.3 million).

Another $171 million in NSP funding was concentrated in four Rust Belt states: Illinois ($30.1 million), Indiana ($31.5 million), Michigan ($57.5 million), and Ohio ($51.8 million).

NSP funds can be used to acquire land and property, demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties, and provide downpayment and closing cost assistance to low- to moderate-income homebuyers.

"We want to make certain that we target these funds to those places with especially high foreclosure activity so we can help turn the tide in our battle against abandonment and blight," Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a press release.

Under a "First Look" program announced last week, nonprofit organizations and state and local governments administering NSP grants will have right of first refusal to purchase foreclosed homes in certain targeted neighborhoods.

The money can also be used to create "land banks" to assemble, manage, and dispose of vacant land to stabilize neighborhoods and encourage reuse or redevelopment of urban property.

With today’s awards, nearly $7 billion in NSP funding has been allocated in the last two years, which HUD expects will be used to purchase 100,000 bank-owned (REO) properties foreclosed on by lenders.

HR 3221, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, launched the Neighborhood Stabilization Program with $3.92 billion in funding, of which 92 percent has already been spent, HUD said last week.

Last year’s $787 billion stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, provided an additional $2 billion in NSP funding.

The financial regulatory reform bill passed by Congress in July, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, provided the nearly $1 billion in NSP funding announced today.

The latest round of awards provides funds for Alabama ($7.6 million), Colorado ($17.3 million), Connecticut ($9.3 million), Georgia ($50.4 million), Kansas ($6.1 million), Massachusetts ($7.4 million), Maryland ($6.8 million), Minnesota ($12.4 million), Missouri ($13.1 million), Nebraska ($6.2 million), New Jersey ($11.6 million), New York ($19.8 million), Rhode Island ($6.3 million), South Carolina ($5.6 million), Tennessee ($10.2 million), Texas ($18 million), Virginia ($6.2 million), and Wisconsin ($7.7 million).

Receiving $5 million each were Washington, D.C.; Puerto Rico; and 24 states: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

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