|HUD No. 11-07
May 23, 2011
HUD AWARDS $18.4 MILLION TO REVITALIZE SEVERELY DISTRESSED PUBLIC HOUSING IN PATERSON
Paterson Housing Authority among eight cities selected nationwide
NEWARK - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims today awarded $18.4 million to revitalize the Alexander Hamilton development in Paterson, NJ. The high and low-rises formerly on the site will be replaced with 201 townhouse rental and for-sale units, as well as 70 off-site rental units for seniors. Sims made the announcement at the Paterson Housing Authority site, and was joined by Senator Frank Lautenberg, Congressman Bill Pascrell, Paterson Mayor Jeffrey Jones, and Paterson Housing Authority Executive Director Irma Gorham.
The grant funding announced today is part of $153 million awarded to eight public housing agencies across the country through HUD's HOPE VI Revitalization Program to transform severely distressed public housing developments into mixed-income communities.
"No one can dispute the exceptional track record of HOPE VI to improve housing conditions for hundreds of communities and most importantly, thousands of families," said Sims. "As we move toward the next generation of neighborhood revitalization-one that links housing, education, transportation, healthcare, and other support services-we will always remember it all began with HOPE VI."
"We are proud to work with President Obama and his administration to help rebuild Paterson," stated Lautenberg, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. "Affordable, safe housing is the cornerstone of our neighborhoods. This federal funding will help us complete the Alexander Hamilton housing redevelopment and create a safer place for Paterson families to raise their children."
"This investment will improve the quality of affordable housing for low and moderate income families in New Jersey and help revive our neighborhoods" said Senator Robert Menendez. "It is also an immediate economic boost that will translate into construction and economic jobs for the local community."
"One year ago, we were devastated to find out that Paterson's application was only one point away from receiving the 2010 HOPE VI Award," said U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-8), a former Paterson mayor who reviewed the 2010 HOPE VI application with other independent federal authorities so that a stronger application could be filed for this year's funding. "Thanks to the hard work and determination of all parties, particularly Paterson Housing Authority on their application, we are standing here today to celebrate this momentous event. This revitalization effort will reduce neighborhood crime and create a more integrated community with a sense of place that comes from giving families more space and having a safer neighborhood."
"The City of Paterson graciously accepts this award of $18.4 million on behalf of the many families that will benefit from this development," said Paterson Mayor Jeffrey Jones. "This positive step continues our efforts to build the community one family at a time."
Paterson Housing Authority Executive Director Irma Gorham said "After several submissions of the HOPE VI application, the time is come for the Paterson Housing Authority to once again demonstrate that HOPE VI is a powerful HUD initiative, which allows for the comprehensive rebuilding of housing and community social supportive infrastructures. Our past experience with the Christopher HOPE program improved the quality of life for our city's residents and transformed the community's housing stock. The Authority is committed to building communities that will embrace both renters and homeowners, and increase economic opportunities to sustain the City of Paterson."
The Alexander Hamilton revitalization project is comprised of 271 units of new construction. The previous housing development has already been demolished and 80 units have been constructed. The project will include 169 rental units on-site, of these, 54 units will be public housing and 115 units will be tax credit units with income limitations. Additionally, there will be 70 units of rental housing for seniors, 21 of which will be public housing and 49 tax credit units with income limitations. The final piece of the project is on-site and will offer 32 homeownership units, of which 22 will be priced for families earning 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI), and the remainder will be market rate. The Paterson Housing Authority will also construct an Early Childhood Center on the revitalized site, and Community and Supportive Services (CSS) will be provided to all impacted families.
This innovative revitalization project will reintegrate the street grid into the surrounding neighborhood. New houses will be placed with minimal front setbacks to create defensible space in front and optimal private space behind. Parking will be hidden behind the units in shared lots or driveways to improve walkability and overall site aesthetics. The plan creates unique spaces through the use of design and landscaping elements, such as wide sidewalks, street trees, planting strips, bulb-outs, on-street parking and a gently curved street. These "green" streets will create a pedestrian friendly, traffic-calming environment.
The eight housing authorities announced today were selected among 36 public housing authorities that applied for FY2010 HOPE VI Revitalization funding. Six of the grantees will be funded from FY 2010 HOPE VI appropriations; two awards will come from FY 2011 funding. Later this year, HUD will conduct a competition to award $65 million in FY2011 funding to implement the Department's new Choice Neighborhoods Program.
HUD awarded high marks to applicants who plan to extend neighborhood transformation efforts beyond public housing linking housing interventions with early childhood education programs. The Obama Administration is challenging communities to build upon the HOPE VI lessons to employ a comprehensive approach to community transformation. Choice Neighborhoods aims to transform neighborhoods of poverty into viable mixed-income neighborhoods with access to economic opportunities by revitalizing severely distressed public and assisted housing and then linking these neighborhoods to well-functioning services, effective schools, public transportation and jobs.
Housing authorities are competitively selected for HOPE VI grants based on many factors including the effectiveness and project readiness of their revitalization plans. HUD gives recipients the flexibility to develop revitalization plans that meet their local needs. Among other criteria, grantees are selected based on the capacity of their housing authority and its development team to administer and manage completion of the revitalization effort; the severity of physical distress of the development; the ability of the housing authority to supplement the HOPE VI grant with funding from other sources, private, state or local government; the ability to provide supportive services to displaced residents; and the proposed green development and energy efficiency strategies.
Since 1993, HUD has awarded 260 HOPE VI Revitalization grants to 133 housing authorities - totaling nearly $6.3 billion. HUD began awarding HOPE VI grants following a 1992 report by the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing that found approximately 86,000 public housing units in the U.S. needed revitalization. HOPE VI Revitalization grants are used for an array of activities, including: demolition of severely distressed public housing; acquisition of sites for off-site construction; capital costs of major rehabilitation; new construction and other physical improvements; costs for mobility counseling and relocation; and community and supportive service programs for residents, including those relocated as a result of revitalization efforts.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.