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CUOMO SELECTS HOMEOWNERSHIP ZONE IN INDIANAPOLIS, ANNOUNCES $4 MILLION IN GRANTS TO SPARK $38.7 MILLION IN INVESTMENT
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today designated 50 acres near downtown Indianapolis as HUD's tenth Homeownership Zone and awarded the City a $4 million grant. The action is expected to attract an additional $38.7 million in investment to transform the blighted inner city area into a thriving neighborhood of owner-occupied single-family homes.
HUD's investment will lead to the construction of 219 new homes and the rehabilitation of 46 others. A total of 153 of the 219 homes will be reserved for low-income families. The Zone is expected to increase the homeownership rate from 30 percent to approximately 48 percent in the neighborhood.
HUD funds will be used to buy land and make infrastructure improvements to effectively cut costs for families buying homes and for retailers and other businesses setting up shop in the Fall Creek Homeownership Zone, increasing the attractiveness of the area.
In addition to the 219 homes that will replace vacant lots and blighted properties in the Zone, a commercial development will be built to support the neighborhood.
Father Joseph R. Hacala, S.J., Director of HUD's Center for Community and Interfaith Partnerships, traveled to Indianapolis today to present the grant to Mayor Stephen Goldsmith.
"HUD's Homeownership Zone initiative is designed to turn back the clock on urban decay," Cuomo said. "It will help revitalize Indianapolis and other cities after decades of decline and help neighborhoods that prospered in years past to achieve a new prosperity in the years ahead."
The Homeownership Zone initiative is a successful partnership that combines the resources of government on all levels, homebuilders, non-profit groups and the business community, Cuomo said.
In addition to the City of Indianapolis, five organizations will work with the City to attract businesses, create jobs and make the Fall Creek Homeownership Zone a more desirable place to live. They are: Key Bank; King Park Area Development Corporation; Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing partnership, a National Partner in Homeownership; Local Initiative Support Corporation; and C.P. Morgan Home Builders.
Congresswoman Julia Carson said: "This grant will give 219 families the opportunity to own their own homes. It is a vital component of the effort to improve the King Park Neighborhood and make it a more attractive place to live and work."
Mayor Goldsmith said: "Presently, King Park area residents and travelers making their way downtown are greeted by vacant lots and boarded houses. The Homeownership Zone will change that, by creating an attractive mix of new and renovated housing - giving residents a broad range of housing types and price levels to select from."
The Zone is located near downtown Indianapolis bordering on Fall Creek to the north and the Herron-Morton Historic Neighborhood to the south. The Zone lies within the Center Township area of Indianapolis, which has the largest minority population, the highest poverty rate and the greatest level of physical distress of the City's nine townships. The area is highly blighted due to on-going economic distress and large tracks of vacant land left from the Model Cities program. The area is within the Enterprise Community of Indianapolis.
HUD's Homeownership Zone initiative, begun last April, is designed to revitalize decaying urban areas by creating large new neighborhoods of owner-occupied, single-family homes. The new neighborhoods will attract new residents, new businesses and new jobs to inner cities.
Last year HUD designated Homeownership Zones in Baltimore, Buffalo, Cleveland, Louisville, Philadelphia and Sacramento. Cuomo recently designated new Zones in: Long Beach, CA; Trenton, NJ; and Flint, MI. Cuomo will announce Zones in two other cities in coming weeks. In all, 67 cities applied for designation as Homeownership Zones this year in a nationwide competition.
The Clinton Administration's 1999 proposed HUD budget asks for $25 million for Homeownership Zones, to create new Zones in five to seven cities next year.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009