HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 03-002
Alan Gelfand
(973) 622-7900 ext. 3105
For Release
March 6, 2003


NEWARK, NJ - The U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development today awarded a $13,446,700 HOPE VI Revitalization grant to the Pleasantville Housing Authority that will be used to replace aging public housing with new housing for 163 families.

In Pleasantville, the grant for the Woodland Terrace development will replace 104 older public housing units with 75 public housing units. It will also develop 63 rental units and 25 homes for sale.

"Revitalizing distressed communities continues to be a priority of this administration," said HUD Secretary Mel
Martinez. "Pleasantville is one of the 28 cities that will get funding this year to revitalize this neighborhood and improve lives."

Pleasantville was selected from a pool of 58 applications HUD received for the 2002 funding.

Cities 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 own special needs.

Through the HOPE VI program, HUD has awarded $5 billion in 193 grants to 114 cities. With $2.5 billion already awarded, but not yet spent, and an additional $1 billion to be awarded in 2002 and 2003, 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. in need of revitalization. To date, more than 90,000 aging public housing units have already been demolished. Of that number, HOPE VI Revitalization grants are responsible for demolishing 57,000 of those
units. HOPE VI Revitalization funding will also demolish an additional 23,000 units. Over all, there are 140,000 aging public housing units that have been or are slated for demolition using HOPE VI funding and other HUD programs.

As part of today's award, HUD will pay relocation costs for residents being displaced by the 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 vouchers to subsidize their rents in privately owned apartments. In addition, relocated residents receiving vouchers will be provided with the same job training and services offered to people living in the revitalized development.

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 (PHA). HUD has approved bond and loan deals that have leveraged approximately $500 million in the last two years. PHAs can mortgage their properties to leverage private capital. In Maryland, PHAs are forming consortias to leverage their collective resources and assets to attract private capital. Cities such as Chicago are committing hundreds of millions of dollars of their own money to revitalize public housing neighborhoods. HUD is also seeking additional tools from Congress such as the Public Housing Reinvestment Initiative, and the 80 percent loan guarantee initiative,
which will allow PHAs to leverage up to $1.7 billion in additional private sector financing.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, 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.


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