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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 97-195
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 $16.1 million to the Peoria Housing Authority in Illinois "to continue the Clinton Administration's dramatic and unprecedented transformation of public housing."

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

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 $16.1 million HUD grant to the Peoria Housing Authority will be used to revitalize Colonel John Warner Homes. Of the original units, 321 will be demolished, 89 will be redesigned, and 117 will be newly built. In addition, thirty off-site replacement homes will be built and purchased by the Peoria Housing Authority at 30 percent of appraised value and then made available to public housing residents seeking homeownership or lease-purchase opportunities.

"I congratulate HUD on having the vision to choose Peoria as the recipient of one of this year's HOPE VI Revitalization grants," said Senator Carol Moseley-Braun. "This $16 million investment to revitalize Warner Homes will make a difference not only to the residents of Peoria's public housing, but to the whole Southtown community. "This HOPE VI grant is part of a citywide effort to eliminate crime, improve living conditions, and offer homeownership opportunities to low-income families."

"This important grant will do more than transform public housing in Peoria," said Senator Richard Durbin. "It will give low-income families shelter and an opportunity to one day become homeowners."

"As one whose grandparents were some of the first residents of Warner Homes, I am elated that this grant will revitalize the development and restore quality housing for its residents," said Congressman Ray LaHood. "The rehabilitation of some existing units and the addition of new townhomes provided by this grant will greatly assist those who are in need of housing. This will also make low-cost homeownership a reality for some who have not had that chance."

Peoria Mayor Lowell Grieves said: "I thank Secretary Cuomo for his leadership and dedication in addressing the issue of public housing. This is another fine example of HUD's commitment to the citizens of our community."

Around the nation, 6,284 units of public housing will be built or modernized 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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