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CUOMO ANNOUNCES $5 MILLION IN HUD ASSISTANCE TO EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, NJ TO CREATE 170 JOBS IN SPACE-LAUNCH PROJECT
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $5 million in HUD loan guarantees to Egg Harbor Township, NJ, to help create about 170 jobs in a space-launch project expected to benefit people with low and moderate incomes.
Cuomo said Egg Harbor Township will use the loan guarantees to make a loan to Eclipse Space Lines, Inc., which wants to locate a facility at Atlantic City International Airport. The company plans to use the loan to help finance the purchase of machinery and equipment for the first phase of the Sprint - a reusable sub-orbital space-launch vehicle system for satellites. Eclipse Space Lines plans to raise an additional $1 million for the project.
Atlantic City International Airport is a former Naval Air Station and Federal Aviation Administration facility that is now used as a commercial airport. The William J. Hughes Technical Center, a major research and development facility, is also located at the airport.
The assistance is part of the Clinton Administration's efforts to create jobs for communities and to assist individuals moving from welfare to work, Cuomo said.
"Space has now become the final frontier for HUD's job creation efforts," Cuomo said. "We are working to create 21st Century jobs in Egg Harbor Township that will give 170 people the opportunity to support their families and to build better futures for themselves and for the community."
"These loan guarantees will strengthen HUD's partnership with Egg Harbor Township," Cuomo said. "This is an example of the type of wise investment by the Clinton Administration that is helping job creation efforts in communities around the nation."
HUD's Economic Development Loan Guarantee Fund provides communities with a source of financing for job creation, housing rehabilitation, and construction of public facilities and large-scale development projects. The majority of jobs created by each project are available to people with low and moderate incomes.
The Economic Development Loan Guarantees, also known as the Section 108 program, save communities money by reducing the interest rate they are charged on loans from commercial lenders. The guarantees also make loans more readily available and often attract other sources of funding from local and state governments, non-profits and the private sector to complete financing for major job creation activities.
HUD Acting Deputy Secretary Saul Ramirez joined Egg Harbor Township Mayor James J. McCullough in a telephone news conference today to discuss the loan guarantees.
U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg said: "By stepping in with loan guarantees, the federal government is effectively working in partnership with local communities to expand housing and create new jobs. This program has the multiplier effect of putting people to work, providing more affordable housing and giving former welfare recipients a means to become self sufficient."
U.S. Senator Robert G. Torricelli said: "Eclipse Space Lines will help the local economy take off, adding new business, new jobs and new life to the region. We welcome HUD's participation in this vital economic development effort."
U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo said: "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that new jobs are good news for any community. This public-private partnership will create jobs and spur meaningful economic development in Southern New Jersey."
Egg Harbor Mayor James J. McCullough said: "The investment being made in Egg Harbor Township by HUD will provide the catalyst to create a truly diverse International Airport in our community, serving the entire region and southern New Jersey. The Eclispe Space Lines project will usher in employment in space age technology and research areas within our community."
The Clinton Administration has proposed a new $400 million Community Empowerment Fund to assist communities like Egg Harbor Township with their job creation efforts. Cuomo said the Administration expects this proposal to leverage an estimated $2 billion in private sector loans to businesses and to create and retain an estimated 280,000 jobs for economically distressed communities.
Recent reports have indicated that many people are leaving the welfare rolls without finding permanent jobs. Cuomo said that Clinton Administration job creation programs as well as President Clinton's plan to create 50,000 new welfare-to-work housing vouchers are both key elements to the success of welfare reform.
The welfare-to-work housing voucher proposal would enable welfare recipients to move closer to areas where jobs are being created and would assist job creation and retention efforts by providing for the critical housing needs of welfare recipients in transition.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009