• Affordable, Accessible, Efficient Communities
  • Volume 17, Number 2
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga

Investing in Distressed Communities: Outcomes From the Neighborhood Stabilization Program

Jenny Schuetz
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Jonathan Spader
Jennifer Lewis Buell
Kimberly Burnett
Larry Buron
Alvaro Cortes
Michael DiDomenico
Anna Jefferson
Abt Associates Inc.

Christian Redfearn
University of Southern California

Stephen Whitlow
Abt Associates Inc.


The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) is the largest public-policy effort to assist communities that were severely impacted by the housing crisis of 2007 through 2009. NSP’s objective was to mitigate the impact of foreclosures on surrounding neighborhoods by reducing the stock of distressed properties and demonstrating positive investment. This article presents evidence on housing production outcomes and expenditures from the second round of NSP funding (NSP2) across 18 counties and Washington, D.C., in diverse housing markets. As intended, public and nonprofit grantees used NSP2 to invest in neighborhoods with initially weak housing markets. Local grantees undertook different approaches to NSP2 that resulted in varied outcomes—as measured by activity type, expenditures per property, scale, and spatial concentration of NSP2 investments. Basing our analysis on these findings, we outline research topics and suggested approaches for future research.

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