Foreclosures hurt more than just the families that lose their homes: Whole neighborhoods can be affected, with a drop in property values and a spike in crime.


During the waning days of his administration, Pres. George W. Bush signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, providing funds for local communities to buy up and rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned homes in an attempt to stem the blight.


"Hesperia received, based upon the foreclosure activity in our community, about $4.5 million that we could utilize to acquire properties that had been foreclosed upon or abandoned," said Steve Lantsberger, the city's deputy director of economic development. "Homes that become vacant become targets for vandals and they become nightmares when it comes to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood."


The city purchased about two dozen properties, which, by law, were required to be bought at 1 percent under fair market value. On Tuesday, the Hesperia City Council will vote to award a contract to rehabilitate the first five houses.


"Some of these are major rehabs," Lantsberger said. "Some can come down to studs. Others can (just) be carpet, repaint, plumbing fixtures and landscaping."


Staff is recommending the council award a contract for $359,985 to KNC Construction of Apple Valley, the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.


The five houses to be fixed up are on the 17500 block of Adobe Street, the 16400 block of Ash Street, the 9500 block of Guava Avenue, the 13700 block of Truman Avenue and the 16300 block of Live Oak Street.


The city will put out a request for bids to rehabilitate the next five houses in the next few months, Lantsberger said.


"When the federal government's involved, we have very strict protocols for the use of these funds, so it's taken a little more time," he said.


The purchases are up for a vote during the meeting that starts at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hesperia City Hall, 9700 Seventh Avenue.


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.