| Kristine Foye
March 23, 2006
PROGRAM HELPS AT-RISK YOUTH GET NEW START WHILE BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS
Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Taylor Caswell joined Congressman Michael Capuano to welcome a family into their new affordable home, and to present a $700,000 grant to
The YouthBuild program provides young people who have struggled and who have not stayed in school the opportunity to receive their GED while learning life skills and a useful trade. The participants alternate between classroom training and working at a construction site to produce or renovate homes for low-income households or homeless families.
The officials also cut a ceremonial ribbon for a house that was constructed by YouthBuild Boston and was sold to
a first-time, low-income homebuyer in January. The City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development
worked with YouthBuild Boston to secure a vacant, city-owned building to use for its youth education/construction apprentice program. Construction on the project began in October 2004, and was completed in September 2005.
The project involved the gut rehab of a building located at 27 Norwell Street. The project was marketed through
the city's First Time Homeowner program and the property was sold to a family of five in January 2006.
The Sequeira family migrated from the Cape Verde Islands in 1995 to seek a better life in the United States. The Sequeiras are a hardworking low-to-moderate income family who have worked multiple jobs over time in order to provide for their family. Their dream of homeownership became a reality when soon after attending a First Time Homebuyers Seminar sponsored by the Veterans Benefits ClearingHouse, they won a City of Boston lottery for one
of the rehabilitated properties in the city. Their good fortune did not end there, for they subsequently qualified for
a below market rate affordable mortgage loan, which is heavily subsidized by Massachusetts Housing Partnership
Fund using Sovereign Bank as the lender.
During the event, a $700,000 grant was awarded to YouthBuild Boston to continue its successful program. The
grant is part of $58 million in funding that has been awarded this year by HUD nationwide, and $4.2 million awarded
in Massachusetts, 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. YouthBuild grants enable enrollees to take the first step toward self-sufficiency by providing job training and leadership skills to an estimated 4,300 young people ages 16-24 in a nationwide network of more than 200 programs.
"The YouthBuild program serves a population that needs a bridge between youth and adulthood," said Caswell.
"It is a win-win since the participants learn marketable skills while producing affordable homes in their own communities."
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.