New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and Department of Community Affairs commissioner Joseph Doria last week announced $49.4 million of federal funding for cities and towns across the state to help stabilize neighborhoods affected by the surge in home foreclosures.

The funds are from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and can be used to acquire property, demolish and rehabilitate structures, create land banks, and spur community recovery. The state will allocate 35 grants to 22 local governments and two counties.

“It is critical that we take action to mitigate the destabilizing effect foreclosures and vacant homes can have on our neighborhoods, and that is why these Neighborhood Stabilization funds are so important,” Corzine said in a press release. “These funds will provide much-needed assistance in improving the health and viability of our communities and position them for future growth.”

RealtyTrac.com ranks New Jersey 17th  among states in foreclosure rates. Essex, Union and Ocean counties have the most foreclosure activity.

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