(205) 731-2630 ext. 1129
June 3, 2004
HUD AWARDS $20 MILLION HOPE VI GRANT TO MOBILE TO TRANSFORM PUBLIC HOUSING, HELP RESIDENTS
BIRMINGHAM � The U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development today awarded a $20 million HOPE VI
Revitalization grant to the Mobile Housing Board that will be used to replace aging public housing with new housing
for 387 families.
In Mobile, the grant for Albert Owens/Jesse Thomas Homes will replace 787 older public housing units with 175 public housing units. It will also develop 50 other rental units and 162 homes for sale. The redevelopment plan also includes activities to improve the quality of life for participants in the revitalization efforts. The homes are located on an intertwined 85-acre site approximately � mile from downtown Mobile where over $200,000,000 of private and public funds are being invested to revitalize the downtown area.
"I was part of the Congressionally-appointed commission that created the HOPE VI program a little more than 10
years ago," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. "I'm pleased that Mobile is one of the 24 cities that will get
funding this year to revitalize this community and improve the lives of its residents."
Mobile was selected from a pool of 56 applications HUD received from public housing authorities (PHAs) for the 2003 funding. The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District has received two HOPE VI Revitalization grants totaling
over $24 million, including this award.
These PHAs were competitively selected with an emphasis on the effectiveness and project readiness of their public housing revitalization plans. HUD policy provides local housing authorities the flexibility to develop revitalization plans that meet their local needs. A team of HUD public housing and revitalization specialists score applications based on several revitalization rating factors, including:
Capacity: The ability of the housing authority or developer to administer and manage completion of the revitalization effort.
Need for Revitalization: The severity of physical distress of the development.
Match/Leveraging: The ability of the housing authority to supplement the HOPE VI grant with funding from other sources � private, state or local government.
As part of today's award, HUD will pay relocation costs for residents being displaced by this revitalization effort. Relocated residents who meet program requirements will be given the opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units at the site. Alternatively, if residents choose not to return to public housing, they will be given Section 8 vouchers to subsidize their rents in privately owned housing. In addition, relocated residents receiving vouchers will be provided with the same job training and services offered to people living in the revitalized development.
Including this round of grants, HUD has awarded 217 Revitalization grants to 118 cities that total $5.5 billion. With
$5 billion already awarded, and $2.3 billion not yet spent, HOPE VI funding will continue to impact communities well into the future.
The HOPE VI program, also known as the Urban Revitalization Demonstration, was created in 1992 as a result of a report by the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which found approximately 86,000 public housing units in the U.S. needed revitalization. The first HOPE VI Revitalization grants were awarded in 1993.
To date, approximately 112,000 aging public housing units have already been demolished. Of that number, HOPE VI Revitalization grants are responsible for demolishing 65,000 of those units. HOPE VI Revitalization funding will also demolish an additional 17,000 units. Over all, there are 145,300 aging public housing units that have been or are slated for demolition using HOPE VI funding and other HUD programs.
When the first HOPE VI grants were awarded 10 years ago, it was the only significant means of leveraging private capital to revitalize public housing properties. Today new financial tools are available to public housing authorities.
For example, HUD has approved bond and loan transactions that have leveraged approximately $1.5 billion in the last two years. By using HUD's Capital Fund Financing program, PHAs borrow large amounts of cash to do major capital improvements or construct new units. They pay the debt using a portion of their annual Capital Fund allocation from HUD.
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.