HUD No. 04-0914
(202) 708-0685 ext. 7527
September 14, 2004
HUD RECOGNIZES 14 LOCAL COMMUNITIES FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
City of Jacksonville recognized for use of CDBG funds in Royal Terrace neighborhood
WASHINGTON - The Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced 14 communities are receiving HUD's Community Development Excellence Award for their outstanding work in using Community Development Block Grant funding to create better communities and to improve the lives of their lower income residents. HUD will
formally present the awards during a two-day national conference in Washington to celebrate the 30th anniversary
of the Community Development Block Grant Program.
The City of Jacksonville was honored for its Royal Terrace Neighborhood Comprehensive Infrastructure Improvement Project, a long-term CDBG-funded project that has revitalized one of the city's oldest and poorest areas over the
past seven years.
"These communities are outstanding examples of how CDBG works," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "In a climate where results and performance count, these communities, and many others like them, are doing wonderful work building better neighborhoods and creating greater opportunities for their lower income residents."
In selecting these communities, HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development solicited recommendations
from the Department's field offices around the country. Each winning nominee represents a CDBG-funded project
or initiative that has been completed, has completed a major phase, or has a proven track record of improving communities and benefiting the people who live in them, specifically lower income residents.
When President Gerald Ford signed the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 into law, state and local leaders around the country got a powerful new tool to help stimulate community development and job growth - the Community Development Block Grant Program. Thirty years later, CDBG continues to help more than a thousand communities to do what they could not accomplish themselves.
For the past 30 years, CDBG has awarded over $108 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities. While, the rehabilitation of affordable housing has traditionally been the largest single use of the grants, CDBG is also an important catalyst for job growth and business opportunities. CDBG funds
are distributed by formula around the country based on a community's population, poverty levels, growth rate, housing overcrowding and the age of its housing stock.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership,
particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities
for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly,
people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department
also promotes economic and community development as
well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.
Royal Terrace Neighborhood Comprehensive Infrastructure Improvement Project
The Royal Terrace neighborhood is one of the City of Jacksonville's oldest and poorest neighborhoods. The
community is home to 4,286 residents with nearly 65 percent being of low- and moderate-income. The City has invested more than $20 million of CDBG funds to greatly revitalize the neighborhood. When non-CDBG funds are
added to the revitalization effort, the cost exceeds $25 million. Much of this revitalization has been accomplished during the last seven years.
The improvements that resulted directly from CDBG include extensive drainage, sewer, paving, and curbs and gutter improvements. These have directly benefited all of the neighborhood residents. Since 1998, CDBG and HOME funds have been expended to rehabilitate the homes of 72 low- and moderate-income residents. In addition, CDBG-funded rehabilitation has resulted in 75 homes of low- and moderate-income persons being hooked up to sewer lines. A $700,000 Section 108 loan guarantee assisted with the rehabilitation of a 200-unit apartment complex where all of
the residents receive Section 8 assistance. A private investor contributed $4.5 million to the rehabilitation.
CDBG funds also addressed part of the rehabilitation of vacant buildings that have now been converted into commercial facilities that house businesses. The converted facilities include a public dental clinic, community room, and a women's public health clinic. All the commercial facilities primarily serve the neighborhood. The commercial facilities are located at Royal Terrace Plaza I, and Royal Terrace Plaza II. Finally, the local Habit for Humanity
Chapter (Habijax) has constructed 214 homes in the neighborhood since 1999. Of course, all of these homes were built for low- and moderate-income families that are now sharing in the American Dream of homeownership. The
CDBG public facility improvements mentioned above had a direct and positive impact on the Habijax home
construction in the neighborhood.