January 18, 2007
MAYOR DESTEFANO JOINS HUD IN ANNOUNCING FUNDING FOR NEW HAVEN YOUTHBUILD PROGRAM
Program helps at-risk youth with education and employment opportunities while producing affordable housing in the city
NEW HAVEN - Young people who lack basic education face a lifetime of underemployment and can be at higher risk
of homelessness. Today, Empower New Haven, an agency that helps low-income residents become self-sufficient,
got a boost with the announcement of a grant that will bring skills, diplomas and affordable housing to the city. The funding was announced by HUD Regional Director Taylor Caswell and New Haven Mayor John DeStefano.
The $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will be used to implement a YouthBuild program. YouthBuild grants provide funding to offer job training and leadership skills to more than 3,000 young adults in a nationwide network of more than 200 programs that challenge unemployed and undereducated residents ages 16-24 to work toward their GED while learning construction skills by building or renovating affordable housing for low-income and homeless individuals. The grant is part of $45.5 million in funding nationwide to help thousands of low-income young people who never finished high school return to school to earn their diplomas, while training them for a future in the construction trades.
"The YouthBuild program serves a population that needs a bridge between youth and adulthood," said Caswell. "Empower New Haven is receiving this funding because they have an excellent track record helping teenagers graduate high school and start them on a new career path. At the same time, we will be producing more affordable homes for low-income families which creates another advantage for the community."
The event was held at the St. Lukes Development Corporation Senior Citizen Housing - 18 units of affordable
housing for low-income elders - that is currently under construction. As part of the program, the YouthBuild participants will assist with the construction.
Empower New Haven, a first-time grantee under the YouthBuild program, has provided more than 1,300 youth with education and employment opportunities. Part of the agency's mission is to help residents develop job skills, improve levels of education, and help overcome barriers to obtaining employment or remaining employed.
With this funding, Empower New Haven will partner with the City of New Haven, the Housing Authority of New
Haven, the New Haven Job Corps, and local development corporations to provide training to 20 teenagers and
young adults, while renovating homes throughout New Haven.
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.