Menlo Park's City Council at its March 2 meeting approved providing funding to help Habitat for Humanity buy and renovate five disused homes in the Belle Haven neighborhood.
The grant of $625,000 follows on an earlier grant of $500,000. Combined, the grants will allow Habitat to purchase a total of 10 bank-owned properties in an attempt to shore up a neighborhood that has been ravaged by foreclosures over the past two years.
Habitat has bought five homes and finished renovating three since its work began in late May 2009. It plans to finish the remaining two homes from the first round of funding by late spring, according to Menlo Park Housing Director Doug Frederick.
More than 1,000 volunteers, representing 42 organizations, have put some 6,500 hours into the task thus far, according to Mr. Frederick, who said volunteers are already lining up to work on additional homes Habitat might buy.
The foreclosure crisis is still chipping away at Belle Haven, Mr. Frederick said. One source estimates that there are currently 72 homes in the community that are either in default, at the point of a trustee sale, or owned by a bank.