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CUOMO PRAISES BLUE RIBBON "BEST PRACTICES" WINNERS
City, State Leaders Meeting in Charlotte, NC, to Exchange Ideas
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today lauded leaders from cities, counties and states across the country who received John J. Gunther Blue Ribbon "Best Practices" awards and are gathered at a symposium in Charlotte, NC, to share ideas and information about their winning strategies for HUD-funded programs.
"Winners of these awards are doing an excellent job working in partnership with HUD and can serve as national models," Cuomo said. "We are calling attention to the good work they are doing because we want to help communities around the country learn from their success."
Named after the late John J. Gunther -- who was Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 1961-1987 -- the "Best Practices" Awards honor state and local governments that do a superior job administering HUD-funded programs. The awards recognize a wide range of outstanding and innovative work to expand affordable housing, create jobs, strengthen local economies, fight housing discrimination, reduce homelessness, increase homeownership and accomplish other goals to improve life in America's communities.
This year marks the second year the Gunther "Best Practices" awards have been given out, and 277 communities were honored for outstanding program management. Winners are meeting this week in Charlotte, NC, to exchange ideas and showcase their working models of successful programs. Leaders from states, counties, citites and municipalities are working together at the symposium to learn how to more efficiently and effectively use federal funds provided through HUD.
Secretary Cuomo said the exchange of ideas and practical information in Charlotte is part of HUD's commitment to restoring the public's trust by working collaboratively with local governments. HUD also is taking unprecedented steps to make information available to through state-of-the-art technology, streamlined distribution and other reforms that are part of Cuomo's HUD 2020 overhaul of the agency.
"We're using the newest technology to help find solutions to some of the oldest problems facing America's communities," Cuomo said. "We're creating a national town square in cyberspace where a mayor in California can learn from the success of a mayor in Florida."
Top HUD officials, including Acting Deputy Secretary Saul Ramirez and Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research Bill Apgar, are addressing the Best Practices Symposium taking place at the Convention Center in downtown Charlotte. For a complete schedule of week-long events, contact Jessica Christie at HUD Public Affairs 202-708-0685.
HUD stands ready to help states, towns and cities around the nation learn from the successes of the communities winning Gunther Awards. Detailed descriptions of the winning programs will go on HUD's web site - www.hud.gov - and will also go to all of HUD's 81 field offices to make them easily accessible to HUD staff and local government officials. By using a keyword search, an official from one city can look up successful programs in a particular category - such as homeless assistance - in all winning cities on the web site. The official can then learn about strategies that have proven successful for dealing with homelessness in other communities, and apply this knowledge to help local homeless people.
Award winners were chosen by HUD program offices and field offices around the country.
1998 Gunther Award Winners
Content Archived: January 20, 2009