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CUOMO DESIGNATES HOMEOWNERSHIP ZONE IN NEW YORK CITY AND ANNOUNCES $4.65 MILLION IN GRANTS THAT WILL SPARK $42.7 MILLION IN INVESTMENT
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today designated a one-half square mile area of Central/East Harlem as HUD's twelfth Homeownership Zone and awarded New York City a $4.65 million grant. The action is expected to attract an additional $42.7 million in investment to help transform a blighted inner-city area into a thriving neighborhood of owner-occupied row houses and new rental units.
HUD's investment will lead to the construction of 119 three-family row houses - 51 percent of them for low-income families. Each house will include one owner-occupied unit and two rental units, creating both new homeownership opportunities as well as 238 new rental apartments.
In addition to the 119 new homes that will replace vacant lots and blighted properties in the Homeownership Zone, the new ANCHOR/Partnership Plaza mixed-use commercial redevelopment project is nearby. This major redevelopment is taking shape with the help of HUD's loan guarantees and a HUD Economic Development Initiative (EDI) grant.
Cuomo announced the Homeownership Zone designation in a telephone news conference from Washington with Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel and Commissioner Richard Roberts of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
"HUD's Homeownership Zone initiative is designed to turn back the clock on urban decay," Cuomo said. "This will help spur the continuing revitalization of Harlem and will help the community 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 New York City, seven organizations will work with HUD to attract businesses, create jobs and make the Mount Morris Homeownership Zone a more desirable place to live. They are: Chase Community Development Corporation; New York City Housing Partnership; New York State Affordable Housing Corporation; the Harlem Empowerment Zone; North General Local Development Corporation; Masjid Malcolm Shabazz Mosque; and Hope Community.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said: "I am delighted that New York City's application won amidst such stiff nationwide competition. Housing brings business, and business brings more housing. Thanks to everyone who worked on this grant, things are turning around in Mount Morris!"
Senator Alfonse D'Amato said: "This federal funding will aid the ongoing revitalization of Harlem and make the American dream of homeownership a reality for more than 100 families."
Congressman Rangel said: "This grant from HUD is a critical element in making homeownership opportunities accessible to low- and middle-income families in the Empowerment Zone. This addition of new homeowners in the Mt. Morris neighborhood will contribute greatly to the sustainability of that area and the economic viability of the entire Harlem community"
The Mount Morris Homeownership Zone surrounds Marcus Garvey Park in Central/East Harlem. It is bounded by 125th Street, 117th Street, Park Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard.
Located within the Harlem Empowerment Zone, the community has experienced significant disinvestment, abandonment and blight. Among the area's strengths, however, are the many community organizations and institutions, recreational facilities at Marcus Garvey Park, accessible public transportation and the Mount Morris Park Historic District. Additionally, 125th Street - Harlem's "Main Street" - is increasingly attracting national retail outlets and the commercial center of 116th Street is the site of the ANCHOR/Partnership Plaza redevelopment project.
HUD's Homeownership Zone initiative, begun last April, is designed to revitalize decaying urban areas by creating large new neighborhoods of owner-occupied 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. This year, Cuomo has designated Long Beach, CA; Trenton, NJ; Flint, MI; Indianapolis, IN; and San Juan, PR as Homeownership Zones. 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