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HUD AWARDS $716 MILLION TO 74 COMMUNITIES TO CONTINUE
HISTORIC TRANSFORMATION OF PUBLIC HOUSING
WASHINGTON -- Housing Secretary Henry G. Cisneros today awarded $716 million to 74 communities around the country as part of "a major step forward in the Clinton Administration's historic and unprecedented transformation of public housing."
Cisneros said almost $477 million of the grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will pay for demolishing some of the nation's worst public housing, for improving public housing, and for building new public housing.
Nearly 17,000 substandard units of public housing will be demolished with the grants from HUD's HOPE VI program.
About 4,000 new units of public housing will be built, creating successful residential communities that will help revitalize surrounding neighborhoods, Cisneros said.
Another $239 million of the grants will fund assistance that will allow over 15,000 families displaced from public housing by demolitions and rehabilitation projects to rent apartments on the private market.
"For decades, our nation failed to launch a comprehensive and effective attack on the problems of public housing," Cisneros said. "The Clinton Administration changed that. We've come up with a successful strategy to fundamentally change public housing, and to give the people living there a real chance to improve their lives."
"These grants will allow us to continue transforming public housing developments from isolated ghettos of poverty, crime and despair into neighborhoods of hope and opportunity," Cisneros said.
Cisneros said the new federal budget sets aside another $550 million for public housing grants -- to be awarded in May. That assistance will come on top of the $716 million in grants announced today.
"Our transformation of public housing is helping many of its 3 million residents -- most of them children and their single mothers -- to dramatically turn around their lives," Cisneros said. "Because of this federal assistance, many families living in public housing will move from welfare to work. Many will eventually move from public housing to private housing."
The grants will allow the Clinton Administration to continue implementing its four-part strategy to revitalize public housing.
Congress failed this year to pass legislation to make HUD policies implementing the strategy permanent. However, appropriations measures passed by Congress and HUD's use of its powers under current laws will allow the Department to continue carrying out its public housing strategy for a second year.
The strategy calls for:
In addition, HUD will continue policies that enable more struggling working families to live in public housing, serving as role models for residents on welfare.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009