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LA Puts NSP Funds to Use Creating Jobs for Property Renovations

The city of Los Angeles, California, is putting its ""Neighborhood Stabilization Program"":http://lahd.lacity.org/nsp/ (NSP) funds to work with the launch of a new initiative to create jobs rehabilitating foreclosed properties in communities impacted by the housing crisis.

City officials were joined by HUD in announcing the ""Bridges to Business Success"" initiative on Thursday at the site of the program's first construction project at 14651 Novice Street, an NSP-acquired foreclosed property in Panorama City.

""Bridges to Business Success is an innovative approach to utilizing HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding,"" Ophelia Basgal, HUD's regional administrator, told reporters gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony.

""Not only is this program providing opportunities for small business development and job creation but it will also address the stabilization of neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosures by rehabilitating vacant homes like this one here in Panorama City and those throughout the Los Angeles metro area,"" Basgal said.

The Bridges to Business Success program is a public-private initiative providing small minority business owners with procurement training and contract opportunities to create and retain jobs.

Los Angeles' initiative aligns with President Barack Obama's ""Project Rebuild"" announced last September, which aims to connect Americans looking for work in


distressed communities with jobs needed to repair and repurpose residential and commercial properties.

""We are proud to support this innovative program and to provide minority-owned businesses with the knowledge and skills to expand their business, create jobs, and strengthen their communities,"" said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, president of Citibank California, which is working with the city to award construction- and real estate-related contracts to small minority business owners under the program.

The city of Los Angeles was awarded $143 million in NSP funds from HUD to address the negative impact of foreclosures, to stimulate the creation and retention of jobs, and to advance the stabilization of neighborhoods.

In partnership with Restore Neighborhoods LA, Inc., the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD) has acquired, rehabilitated, or developed over 780 units of housing and created or retained over 1,100 fulltime and part-time jobs to date.

""We are excited to participate in the Bridges to Business Success program and welcome the opportunity to further the city's outreach to local minority business owners,"" said Matt Karatz, Los Angeles' deputy mayor for economic and business policy. ""This collaboration with our housing and economic development partners speaks to our commitment to revitalizing communities and creating jobs in Los Angeles.""

LAHD is also working with the property preservation specialist ""Field Asset Services"":http://www.fieldassets.com (FAS) to ensure the rehabilitation projects are completed with the highest quality standards. As the construction manager for each project, FAS will oversee the demolition, redesign, materials choice, and actual construction of each and every home renovated as part of the Bridges to Business Success program.

“It’s so rewarding and refreshing to be part of such a great revitalization effort,” said Dale McPherson, president of Field Asset Services. “LAHD and its partners have created a one-stop shop initiative that will restore one of the hardest-hit communities in the nation.”

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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