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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 97-124
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-1420Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD officeJuly 22, 1997


BOSTON -- President Clinton's proposal to establish new Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities will benefit communities around the nation by creating jobs, reducing poverty, strengthening local economies and spurring community revitalization, Vice President Al Gore and Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo said today.

Speaking at the Northeast Empowerment Board Conference in Boston, which attracted more than 1,000 community leaders and government officials from 26 Empowerment Zones (EZs) and Enterprise Communities (ECs) in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, the Vice President and Cuomo also announced over $160 million in new grants and loans for 14 EZs and ECs in the regions.

President Clinton's balanced budget proposal, agreed to by Congressional leaders in the spring, calls for second round of EZs and ECs. The President proposed 15 urban and 5 rural EZs, and 50 urban and 30 rural ECs. The proposal asks for $1 billion in tax incentives over five years and $1 billion in grants over three years for new EZs and ECs. It also allows a broader range of businesses in EZs and ECs to borrow against the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds. Congress is expected to finish work on the tax proposal before its August recess.

"Our investment in Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities will pay dividends for years to come," the Vice President said. "These programs give some of the poorest Americans the opportunity to climb out of poverty under their own power, creating jobs that enable fathers and mothers to support their families and work their way up to the middle class."

"Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities successfully treat the underlying causes of unemployment and community decay and can return impoverished communities to economic health," Cuomo said. "The federal government, local governments, businesses, non-profit groups and local residents all work in partnership to achieve this goal."

Existing EZs and ECs are receiving more than $1.5 billion in federal performance grants and more than $2.5 billion in tax incentives over a 10-year period that act as catalysts to stimulate billions of dollars in greater investment by the private sector in distressed communities.

Vice President Gore and Secretary Cuomo said the 105 EC/EZ communities designated by President Clinton in 1994 (72 urban and 33 rural) have amassed more than $8 billion in public/private commitments and have created thousands of jobs.

In six urban Empowerment Zones alone, the private sector has made more than $2 billion in new investments and made commitments for another $1.2 billion.

Vice President Gore chairs the Community Empowerment Board, which coordinates the work of all federal agencies assisting EZs and ECs. EZs and Supplemental EZs receive higher levels of federal assistance than ECs under the program.

Here are the total new grants and loans awarded to EZ and EC communities announced today by the Vice President and Secretary Cuomo:

     -Baltimore, MD   --  $41,114,000
     -Boston, MA      --  $40,743,544   
     -Bridgeport, CT  --  $13,387,260
     -Buffalo, NY     --  $7,675,000
     -Burlington, VT  --  $1,076,000
     -Chicoppee, MA   --  $1,503,000
     -Hartford, CT    --  $8,636,901
     -Lowell, MA      --  $4,084,997
     -Manchester, NH  --  $3,480,991
     -New Haven, CT   --  $7,706,000
     -Rochester, NY   --  $15,519,893
     -Schenectady, NY --  $4,543,000
     -Springfield, MA --  $7 million
     -Wilmington, DE  --  $3,767,592


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