March 2010 Region III News

News and information from HUD's Regional Office serving Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia

Brenda Laroche, Deputy Regional Director
(215) 656-0600
March 2010

Deputy Regional Director's Message

Dear Friends:
It's been a busy and exciting time at HUD as we adopt a new way of doing business. I'm reminded of Patti Labelle's song, "New Attitude" or Michael Buble's song, "Feeling Good" which has the refrain, "It's a new day." Either of those could be the new theme songs for HUD.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is committed to tying the quality and location of housing to broader needs like access to good jobs, quality schools and safe streets. He's driving home the need to create sustainable communities.

The methods this Administration has taken to set that in motion is to first stimulate the economy with the Recovery Act that was designed to do three things: create jobs, help those suffering because of the economic crisis and to lay the foundation to make America competitive in the 21st Century. Across the region, we're putting people back to work greening homes, stabilizing neighborhoods by funding the purchase and or rehabilitation of dilapidated homes, and providing safe, decent and affordable homes for our seniors, low-income families and the disabled.

Secondly, the Administration ordered the first place-based review of all federal policies-asking HUD and other federal agencies to determine whether federal policies enable and encourage locally-driven integrated and place-conscious solutions or obstruct them. I have been traveling with our Community Planning and Development Director Nadab Bynum and our Public Housing Director Dennis Bellingtier to communities across Eastern Pennsylvania to see how we can strengthen communities and facilitate solutions to place based issues. We'd love to visit with your Mayor and or community leaders to collaborate on housing and associated issues that affect your respective community.

Third, HUD Secretary Donovan is leading the effort to forge interagency partnerships with other federal agencies to establish sustainable communities that provide access to transportation systems, business and job opportunities, and health care. For example, we've forged a national partnership between HUD, Department of Transportation (DOT) and The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide more sustainable housing and transportation choices for families. Right here in our region, we reached out to our regional partners at DOT and EPA and together we hosted a video symposium on February 17 to begin a dialogue with all our partners about how to promote the principles of this Partnership for Sustainable Communities (

[Photo 1: The Sustainable Communities video symposium]
The Sustainable Communities video symposium

The newly formed Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities will be webcasting input gathering sessions with partners in the District of Columbia this month. The discussion will center on the new Sustainable Communities Planning Grant and how it can be used to spur local innovation.

Secretary Donovan is also a stickler for the numbers so he's a believer in accountability and transparency. It's for you, our partners and customers, to see where tax dollars are being spent. If you want to learn more about monies being spent in your respective community and the measurable benefits of those dollars, please visit We also invite you to share your successes in using your Recovery Act funds by sending us an email with your story. We want to help communities share their solutions so we can all advance our shared priorities and values as Americans for future generations. You'll find in our newsletter this month stories about how HUD's investments are making a difference in communities across Region III every day.

Brenda Laroche

Making a Difference in Region III

Show Me the Money
President Obama has submitted HUD's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year to Congress. Our proposed $48.5 billion FY 11 budget is bold and commits to achieving more with less. It also promotes fiscal discipline and smart government in the most challenging of economic times. This link outlines the dollars and cents of the proposed spending plan.

HUD Lends a Helping Hand to Seniors in Pennsylvania
HUD welcomes the expertise of the former Pennsylvania Welfare Secretary Estelle Richman as she takes on her new duties as HUD's Chief Operating Officer.

[Photo 2: Brenda Laroche and Estelle Richman reviewing the Grace Court blueprints.]
Brenda Laroche and Estelle Richman reviewing the Grace Court blueprints.

She has been praised by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell for being an effective champion for the welfare of Commonwealth residents during some very challenging times. In her new position, she's focusing those same skills on national housing issues. Ms. Richman was a welcome participant in the recent dedication of a senior housing development newly named Grace Court in Yeadon.

HUD Secures Appropriate Housing for a Disabled Veteran in Maryland
HUD worked with the Army to locate housing for disabled veteran Edgar Figueroa-Torres that makes it easier for him to move around in his motorized wheelchair.

[Photo 3: Mr. Figueroa-Torres with his daughter, Aidaliz]
Mr. Figueroa-Torres with his daughter, Aidaliz

HUD's Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity staff in Baltimore conciliated an agreement that allowed Mr. Figueroa-Torres and his wife to move into a single story townhome with a designated parking space in front of their home.

Getting the Lead Out in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania
HUD delivered a $3 million Lead Hazard Control grant to the Lawrence County Community Action Partnership. The grant will help to ensure healthy, lead free homes for youngsters up to age six.

Recovery Act Dollars Help Communities Across The Region
February marked the one year anniversary of the Recovery Act. Let's take a look at some of the ways the Recovery Act monies are helping communities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.

Recovery Act Funds Fuel Energy Savings and Green Development in Philadelphia
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan applauds the Philadelphia Housing Authority for utilizing its $125 million in Recovery Act monies to reduce energy costs and negative environmental impacts for public housing developments across the City. The Housing Authority is stimulating the local economy by providing employment to local contractors to rehab 340 properties and redevelop another site.

[Photo 4: Secretary Donovan participates in a press conference for the grand opening of the Warnock Village Development in Philadelphia.]
Secretary Donovan participates in a press conference for the grand opening of the Warnock Village Development in Philadelphia.

Creating Affordable Opportunities in Delaware
More than $2.5 million in Recovery Act funds will fund a facelift for 70 long term vacant units and the demolition of 146 obsolete units in Wilmington to make way for new affordable housing. Ground has already been broken at the site of Eastlake Court Townhouses.

[Photo 5: The Wilmington Housing Authority Eastlake Court Groundbreaking Thursday, September 17, 2009.]
The Wilmington Housing Authority Eastlake Court Groundbreaking Thursday, September 17, 2009.

Jobs, Housing Improvements and More in Erie, Pennsylvania
HUD Recovery Act dollars are putting people like Norberto Rodriguez back to work in Erie. Rodriguez works for a contracting firm that's helping to make energy efficiency improvements to Erie Housing Authority properties.

[Photo 6: Roberto Rodriquez pours a cement pad.]
Roberto Rodriquez pours a cement pad.

ARRA Is Helping Change the Face of Public Housing in Charleston
Two Recovery Act funding streams are helping Charleston to clear out the old public housing and make way for the new. HUD's Neighborhood Stabilization Program and the Tax-Credit Assistance Program will help to transform two pubic housing developments and make some units accessible for the disabled.

We Want to Hear How the Recovery Act Funds Are Helping in Your Community
This Recovery Act section provides a few examples of how Recovery Act dollars are making a difference in so many ways across the Region. We'd love to hear your story or the story of someone you know who has gotten another opportunity or a brand new home thanks to HUD Recovery Act investments. Please share your story.

In the News

  • Doug Criscitello Sworn In As HUD's Chief Financial Officer
  • HUD Secretary Donovan Announces New Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities
  • HUD Awards $26 Million in Grants to Fight Housing Discrimination
  • HUD Secretary Donovan Announces $2 Billion in Recovery Act Grants to Stabilize Neighborhoods, Rebuild Local Economies
  • Administration Completes Implementation of Initiative To Support State and Local Housing Finance Agencies
  • HUD Awards Nearly $12 Million in Grants to Housing Authorities To Help Public Housing Residents Obtain Jobs, Economic Independence

More News You Can Use
Read our newest Philadelphia Multifamily Newsletter.

Save the Date

  • Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (, Breaking Ground, Building Livable Communities in Greater Philadelphia, March 17, 2010, Union League, Philadelphia
  • University of Delaware Creating Knowledge Based Partnerships: The Future of the Non-Profit Sector in Delaware and the Nation, March 22-23 (, University of Delaware's John M. Clayton Hall, Newark DE Campus
  • Housing Development Corporation (Lancaster, PA), The Faces of Affordable Housing, April 28, 2010, 6 p.m., Location Lime Spring Farm, 2452 Marietta Avenue, Lancaster, PA 17601
  • Middle Atlantic Regional Council National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials 2010 Annual Conference, May 2-5, DoubleTree Hotel, Wilmington, DE e-mail for more information
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Reinventing Older Communities, May 12-14, 2010, Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn's Landing
  • The Future of the Past: New Economic Realities for Traditional Revitalization, June 13-16, 2010, Pennsylvania Downtown Center, Statewide Conference, Downtown Lancaster

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Content Archived: May 7, 2012