City eyes $680,000 in bailout money

The Sunnyside City Council last night, Wednesday, authorized City Manager Eric Swansen to proceed with a plan for the $680,000 the city is eligible to receive from federal foreclosure funds.

The money is part of a move by the federal government to provide funds in addressing the nearly half a million properties nationwide that have been foreclosed.

Sunnyside was originally selected to receive $500,000 from the fund, but because other cities backed out its portion increased.

Swansen said some cities have decided not to take the money because of the "red tape" required to implement the program.

In Sunnyside's case, the city would contract with a non-profit like Habitat for Humanity or the Catholic Diocese to tear down dilapidated properties and build new houses for qualified low income recipients.

Before a property can be purchased and demolished it must meet two of the three conditions of being used for drugs, vacant for at least a year or in failing condition.

Swansen said the ideal situation would be as new housing projects are developed, like the New Life homes proposal, dilapidated homes would be torn down to upgrade the city's housing stock.

Sunnyside has until April 1 to submit a plan for implementing the funds.

If Sunnyside cannot find a partner to administer the program, the city may decide to not receive the federal housing funds and avoid paying a match that would be up to about 5 percent of the total funds.


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