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CUOMO ANNOUNCES $700,000 IN HUD AID TO TRAIN YOUNG PEOPLE IN OREGON TO CREATE LOW-INCOME HOUSING
WASHINGTON -- Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $700,000 in assistance to the city of Portland, Oregon and to Youthbuilders Inc., of Portland, to train young high school dropouts to build and renovate low-income housing through the Youthbuild program.
Nationwide, Cuomo said the Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding $27.9 million this week to 41 organizations in 22 states and the District of Columbia under Youthbuild.
High school drop-outs ages 16-24 from low-income families participate in Youthbuild.
"This program helps young people build good careers for themselves while they build good housing for families in need," Cuomo said. "With the construction skills they learn in Youthbuilders, young people can support themselves for a lifetime."
In Portland, HUD assistance will give 32 young people on-site training in the construction trades, along with leadership development and educational opportunities. A five unit residence for disabled adults will be built and additional rental units will be renovated in Portland.
"This new grant for the Youthbuild program is an excellent use of federal resources," Senator Gordon Smith said. "It is a real opportunity for young men and women who want a change in their lives and who desire job skills. I also applaud the program's policy of zero tolerance for drug and alcohol use."
"This program would be a success if it only taught valuable skills to at risk youth or only provided affordable housing for low income persons," stated Senator Ron Wyden. By doing both, it stands as a model of what our communities can achieve when we pull together. I'm proud to be working with these folks, and I congratulate them on their many successes."
Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse noted that the Youthbuilders Inc., proposal will benefit people with acute housing needs, as well as the youth who receive skills training. "I am very pleased that Youthbuilders will help build a five unit residence for disabled adults in Portland Oregon, Representative Furse stated. "Youthbuild instills a work ethic and a sense of community for the youth of our country. By teaching kids at an early age that what they do will impact and help others in their community, Youthbuilders is creating a foundation for our future."
Congressman Earl Blumenauer praised the Youthbuild program. "As a former member of the Portland City Council and as a Member of Congress I understand and appreciate the importance of the Youthbuild programs," Blumenauer said. "This award is a real life expression of a working partnership between the City of Portland and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Most importantly, it is testimony to the faith we are placing in the young people of our community to not only learn a skill but to assist others in need."
Nationwide, the 1997 grants will allow 1,980 young people to rehabilitate or build nearly 1,500 units of affordable housing this year. The grants also attract other sources of funding, with over $18 million in cash and in-kind resources supporting Youthbuilders programs around the nation.
More than $121 million in grants have been made under Youthbuild since it began in 1994, enabling over 5,600 young people to take part in building or rehabilitating more than 2,800 homes in their communities.
"As someone who has worked many years promoting school-to-work programs, it is encouraging for me to see such an innovative program as Youthbuild receiving such substantial support from the federal government," Mayor Vera Katz, of Portland said. "This grant helps the city achieve three goals very important to me -- making sure young people get an education, linking that education with workforce development by giving them the tools to build marketable skills in a growing industry, and creating affordable housing. Youthbuild is a school to work program that helps us meet the goals of our education and economic development strategy simultaneously."
Here is a breakdown of the HUD assistance to Youthbuild in Oregon.
Grant Amount: $700,000
Number Participants: 32
Project Description: The City of Portland will receive a Youthbuild
Implementation grant in the amount of $700,000. The 32 participants will complete
construction on eight units of affordable housing. Participating parties include the
City of Portland Bureau of Housing and Development and Portland YouthBuilders.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009