Written by Joe Rizza Friday, 18 September 2009 00:00
Ann Ashmeade of Floral Park stood with tears in her eyes as Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi congratulated her for being a lottery winner in the county’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which gives first-time homebuyers in Nassau County the opportunity to own their own home.
The program calls for the county to purchase and rehabilitate homes that have been foreclosed and then sell them affordably to those who qualify, including first-time homebuyers.
Ashmeade was one of 62 applicants who qualify to purchase an affordable home through the Long Island Housing Partnership, which conducted the lottery on Monday, Sept. 14. Each of the applicants was ranked from one to 62 and as houses become available, the applicants will have the opportunity to purchase them.
Thus far, Nassau County has purchased or is in contract to purchase 15 foreclosed homes, including one in Elmont, two in Westbury, one in Glen Cove and one in Massapequa through a $10 million federal grant administered through New York State. Ashmeade will be the third applicant to be able to purchase a home.
Ashmeade could hardly believe that she was selected third in the lottery to purchase a home as she welled up with tears. “You still have to pay for the home,” Suozzi joked.
The program, proponents believe, helps to revitalize areas that were hit hard by foreclosures, while also providing the opportunity for some residents to realize the dream of owning their own homes.
“Nassau County has had more than 6,000 foreclosure filings, and communities all over the county are affected more and more every day by this crisis. Foreclosures not only hurt the people who lose their homes, but they also bring down the values of other homes. We all take a hit when there is a foreclosure in our neighborhood,” said Suozzi. “The Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding provides relief to communities that were hardest hit by the foreclosures, and gives first-time homebuyers the opportunity to get into a home of their own. Everyone wants a piece of the American Dream, and this lottery makes home ownership a reality for people who may not have thought it was possible.”
Any first-time homebuyer who is interested and is not yet in the lottery and is interested in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program is urged to call the Nassau County Homeownership Center at 571-HOME or the Long Island Housing Partnership at (631) 435-4710 for an application. Applicants will be placed on a first-come, first-serve waiting list for future available properties.