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July 9, 2004
BUSH ADMINISTRATION AWARDS $884,318 TO BOOST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND JOB GROWTH IN RURAL ALABAMA
Funds will help produce affordable housing in Alabama
WASHINGTON � Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced $884,318 in grants
to help five rural communities in Alabama to stimulate local economies, produce more affordable housing and boost
job growth. The funding is provided through HUD's Rural Housing and Economic Development Program and is part
of a total $24.5 million awarded to more than a hundred rural communities nationwide.
In addition, these grants are expected to generate nearly $48 million from other public and private sources to further promote economic development and employment.
"This investment in rural America demonstrates that this Administration's commitment to our nation's heartland is strong," said Jackson. "These grants will help rural communities across Alabama produce affordable housing and jobs where they're needed most."
Rural Housing and Economic Development grants help pay for land acquisition, new home construction, housing demolition, infrastructure improvements and construction training. Other possible uses include homeownership and financial counseling; financial assistance to homeowners, businesses and developers; creating microenterprises and small business incubators; and, establishing lines of credit or revolving loan pools to benefit the local business community.
Rural non-profit organizations, federally recognized Native American tribes, community development corporations
and state agencies will administer these grants. The funding will help 105 rural communities to build and improve affordable housing, create jobs and generate community and economic development.
Rural communities will use this funding as seed money to pay the start-up costs for housing or economic
development projects. These grants will also help organizations to hire and train their staffs, develop strategic plans and acquire office space and other needed facilities.
In April, HUD proposed new federal regulations that would raise the GSEs targeted lending requirements. HUD estimates that over the next four years an additional one million low- and moderate-income families would be served as a result of the new goals.
The public comment period on this proposed rule was recently extended 15 days and will now end July 16. After consideration of comments received, HUD will publish a final rule before it takes effect in 2005.
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.