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CUOMO JOINS WALSH, PIRRO AND BERNARDI TO SIGN LEASE ON FIRST HUD OFFICE IN SYRACUSE
SYRACUSE, NY - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today signed the lease for HUD's first office in Syracuse - a new type of consumer-oriented storefront that will give people better access to HUD programs and help HUD better respond to local needs.
Congressman James Walsh, Onondaga County Executive Nick Pirro and Syracuse Mayor Roy Bernardi joined Cuomo at the site of the Storefront Office, which is called HUD Next Door.
The office - scheduled to open in September - will offer a variety of services and information dealing with: buying and building housing, getting home improvement loans, getting rental assistance, filing housing discrimination complaints, opening and expanding businesses, and community revitalization projects.
Public organizations and groups will be encouraged to use the Syracuse Storefront Office as a local community center where they can hold community meetings, view satellite training presentations, and log onto HUD's Internet Homepage. In addition, school and community groups will be invited to the offices to hear presentations on how HUD's programs can benefit people in their neighborhoods.
"HUD is creating a permanent and full-time presence in Syracuse to better serve people in this area," Cuomo said. "Congressman Walsh has worked in partnership with us to establish this important new office."
"I welcome Secretary Cuomo's decision to establish a new HUD office in Syracuse that will give people in this area greater access to HUD programs," Walsh said. "This will strengthen the ties between Syracuse and HUD, and benefit our community."
The Syracuse Storefront Office will be located at the corner of Jefferson and Warren Streets in the Dey's Centennial Building, a former department store now owned by the City of Syracuse. The building houses city offices and offices for non-profit organizations.
Five HUD staff members will work in the Storefront Office to help people benefit from HUD programs. HUD Community Builders in the office will serve as a bridge to the public and are specially trained to assist the community with any aspect of housing and community development.
In addition, an expert in the disposition of HUD's properties will be available at the Syracuse Storefront to provide technical assistance to the community. HUD staff from Albany and Buffalo will also work periodically in the Syracuse office.
HUD is in the process of opening Storefront Offices in a dozen cities. The first Storefront Office opened in Washington last May.
Community Builders working out of Storefront Offices have laptop computers to enable them to travel widely and log onto HUD's computer network from any location in the country - allowing them to create temporary HUD offices when they travel to smaller communities. This system will allow for a higher level of service to the public.
The 4,000 square-foot Syracuse Storefront Office will resemble a high-tech office with warm lighting, workspaces, and dedicated computers called HUD Answer Machines where people can research information on HUD programs.
Outside the building will be a "touch screen" information computer kiosk that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing the public unlimited access to HUD information.
In addition, Community 2020 - HUD's new computer mapping software - is available at all HUD Storefronts and all HUD offices nationwide. This software provides the latest project and funding information on all HUD programs in thousands of cities across the country.
For example, the Community 2020 software provides valuable information for organizations looking to fund a homeless shelter or for businesses wanting to revitalize a downtown center. Included in the software is information on project location, purpose, number of people served and dollar amount.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009