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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 97-194
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-1420Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD officeOctober 7, 1997


WASHINGTON -- Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced the award of a total of $58.6 million to housing authorities in Allegheny County, Chester County, and Philadelphia, PA, "to continue the Clinton Administration's dramatic and unprecedented transformation of public housing."

Allegheny County will receive $15.8 million, Chester County will receive $16.4 million and Philadelphia will receive $26.4 million in grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Nationwide, Cuomo said HUD is awarding $498.3 million in grants this month to housing authorities in 27 cities under the HOPE VI program.

"HUD's Hope VI grants are a step towards achieving my Administration's goal of helping people help themselves to improve their lives and their communities through hard work," said President Clinton. "By providing job training and improving the quality, management and safety of public housing, we are giving hope to communities that have previously known despair."

In announcing the first group of grants last week, Vice President Al Gore said: "We are transforming the worst public housing developments in America into outposts of opportunity that will help poor families build better lives and help revitalize America's cities."

Cuomo said the vast majority of the 3,400 public housing authorities around the nation do a good job providing safe and affordable housing to low-income families. However, some older public housing developments have deteriorated over the years, becoming magnets for crime and roadblocks to efforts to revitalize the surrounding area.

"We are creating a new concept of public housing for the new century," Cuomo said. "Besides removing blighted public housing from the urban landscape, we will breathe new life into cities by building safe neighborhoods that will attract more businesses, more jobs and more residents."

In addition, HUD is using the HOPE VI grants to help make welfare reform succeed, Cuomo said.

"Besides providing families in need with improved housing, we will help them move from welfare to work so they can climb out of poverty under their own power," Cuomo said.

The $15.8 million in HUD grants to the Allegheny County Housing Authority will be used to build 178 new rental and homeownership units for families with a range of incomes at McKees Rocks Terrace. Of the 178 new on-site units, 32 will be homes for sale; 20 of those homes will be targeted to public housing families. In the community surrounding McKees Rocks Terrace, 90 replacement units will be built; the new units will complement existing single-family homes and multifamily buildings. The grant also pays for the demolition of 288 obsolete public housing units at the McKees Rocks Terrace site.

The $16.4 million in HUD grants to the Chester County Housing Authority will be used to build 261 new rental and homeownership units at 400 Oak Street, Broadview Court, Hillcrest Drive, and Rosemont Court. Additionally, the Housing Authority will modernize and reconfigure 46 units at Parkway Court and Woodland Court in South Coatesville. Twenty families will have an opportunity to buy a home through a lease-to-own program; another 37 renters will have an opportunity to move up to homeownership. The grant also pays for the demolition of 192 obsolete public housing units at 400 Oak Street, Broadview Court, Hillcrest Drive, and Rosemont Court.

The $26.4 million in HUD grants to the Philadelphia Housing Authority will be used to build 300 new rental and homeownership units for a cross-section of incomes and lifestyles. Families with incomes up to 120 percent of median income will have a chance to buy a home through a lease-to-own program. New rental units include a building with elevators for the elderly and empty nesters. The grant also pays for the demolition of 266 low-rise units.

Around the nation, 6,284 units of public housing will be built or modernized across the country with the new HOPE VI grants, creating successful residential communities that will help revitalize surrounding neighborhoods, Cuomo said.

In addition, 7,772 substandard public housing apartments will be demolished with the grants. HUD's assistance will be tailored to carry out plans developed by local communities as part of President Clinton's overall urban policy.

Nationwide, the HOPE VI funding will pay for:

  • Making physical improvements to existing public housing.

  • Building new public housing.

  • Demolishing some of the nation's most deteriorated public housing.

  • Job training and employment programs to help public housing residents and other low-income people move from welfare to work.

  • Fighting crime and drugs in public housing through President Clinton's "One Strike and You're Out" policy, which is keeping criminals from moving into public housing and evicting those already there.

  • Improving the management of public housing.

  • Helping working public housing residents and other poor working families become homeowners.

Under the Clinton Administration, HUD is carrying out the most dramatic transformation of public housing since the housing was created six decades ago.

HUD has demolished about 30,000 units of the worst public housing and will demolish another 70,000 (for a total of 100,000) by the end of the year 2000 to change the physical landscape of public housing.

Despite these demolitions, the supply of affordable housing will increase under the Clinton Administration's transformation.

About 40,000 of the 100,000 public housing units being demolished are in such bad shape that they are vacant. As a result, only about 60,000 occupied apartments are being demolished. These apartments will be replaced by about 40,000 new units of public housing and by 61,000 rental vouchers that will allow poor families to rent housing in the private market.

As a result, the number of affordable housing opportunities supported by HUD will increase by about 40,000. Public housing residents displaced by demolitions are given the opportunity to receive vouchers or to move into new public housing.

It would cost more to rehabilitate the 100,000 worst units than it will to carry out plans to replace them with new public housing and vouchers.


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