HUD's FY 99 Budget
Key Programs and Initiatives: Homeownership Zones
The President is requesting $25 million in Homeownership Zone funding that will enable cities to undertake large scale single-family developments at the urban core. The proposal will support between five and seven Homeownership Zones, based on an average grant of $3 million to $5 million. This translates into major revitalization in those five-to-seven inner-city communities -- transforming them through wholesale infrastructure improvements to sewers, streets and parks, while also creating opportunities for affordable homeownership.
Revitalizing Neighborhoods Through Homeownership
The $25 million proposal will help solve one of the most difficult problems faced by cities -- middle-income flight to the suburbs. A majority of the newly constructed units will be reserved for low- and moderate-income families, but also are designed to attract middle-income families to help increase the long-term stability of the neighborhood.
Concurrent with the President's budget, Secretary Cuomo is requesting separate authorizing legislation to enact the program as a free-standing activity. It recently has been operated using recaptured funds that were reprogrammed for this initiative. As an independently funded program, Homeownership Zones offer localities the opportunity to create innovative approaches to redevelopment of unused or underused property. Through the program, cities can reclaim tracts of vacant or blighted land and renovate entire neighborhoods, bring back to the heart of urban America the hard-working, middle-income families who help make our cities so vital, and help communities stimulate business development and new private investment.
An Approach That Works
The Homeownership Zone concept has rejuvenated inner-city neighborhoods in places as diverse as Baltimore, Houston, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, the South Bronx and Brooklyn. Each Homeownership Zone is a model for the redevelopment efforts of other cities. In 1996 and 1997 combined, HUD received 173 applications, but has been able to fund only six new Zones so far. Five to seven more awards are expected in the near future.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009