HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 19-120
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
For Release
May 22, 2019


MIAMI - The Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that it is approving a loan guarantee to City of Cocoa, Florida, for $894,000 to secure financing for the construction of a 16,000 square foot community center. The Doctor Joe Lee Smith Community Center will be in the city's Diamond Square community redevelopment area, a designated Opportunity Zone. The venue will be dedicated to serving the needs of low-income area residents through healthcare programs, recreational activities, and various services.

HUD's Section 108 Loan Guarantee Assistance Program enables local governments to borrow money at reduced interest rates to promote economic development, stimulate job growth and improve public facilities. Such public investment is often needed to inspire private contributions, to provide seed money, or to simply boost confidence private firms and individuals may need to invest in distressed areas.

"The community center will benefit all residents of the area, of which 78 percent are low-and moderate- income persons," said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Denise Cleveland-Leggett. "HUD's Loan Guarantee Program can be a powerful public investment tool to drive economic development in underserved areas."

The center will have an estimated total development cost of $4.5 million. To provide needed services to the residents at the center, the city partnered with Cocoa Police Athletic League, the Alliance for Neighborhood Restoration, Inc., Brevard County Action Team, Brevard Health Alliance, Career Source Brevard, and the Central Adult Community Education Center. These partners will provide services such as rental and housing resources, including grants to pay for utility bills; burial and cremation assistance; self-sufficiency programs; financial literacy, budgeting, and asset development; and employment and job training programs.


HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and

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Content Archived: January 1, 2021