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CUOMO ANNOUNCES $3.15 MILLION IN HUD HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT FUNDS FOR TOPEKA, KANSAS
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $3.15 million in HUD grants for housing and community development programs in Topeka, Kansas.
"These funds will go toward community-based solutions to the housing and economic development challenges Topeka faces," Cuomo said. "We are funding a comprehensive strategy to create jobs and affordable housing, and help homeless individuals become self-sufficient."
Under Topeka's 1998 Consolidated Plan, which was approved by HUD, the City will receive $2.4 million in Community Development Block Grant funds; $95,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants for homeless assistance; and $617,000 under the HOME Investment Partnership program.
HUD Acting Deputy Secretary Saul Ramirez presented the funds to Topeka Mayor Joan Wagnon in a telephone conference call from Washington today.
Among the housing and community development efforts to be funded by Topeka this year are: the Topeka Opportunity to Own (TOTO) program for first-time homebuyers; affordable housing rehabilitation through a cooperative agreement between the City and the Kansas Department of Corrections; the Model Block Program and a loan assistance program to help low-income homeowners make disability accessibility improvements to their homes.
Mayor Wagnon said: "Topeka is moving away from a top-down strategy where we tell neighborhoods how to do their business to a bottom-up process of listening to our neighborhoods. Our Consolidated Plan emphasizes neighborhood development and the core values of efficiency, collaboration, competition and innovation. This bottom-up approach strengthens neighborhoods as well as the whole city."
Congressman Jim Ryun said: "These reforms, which give states block grants, are much more effective than the old, heavy handed Washington knows best approach. These grants provide people with a hand up, not a hand out."
The Consolidated Planning process, developed by Cuomo when he served as HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, ensures that local residents have strong input into the creation of comprehensive, community-based housing and economic development plans.
The streamlined process gives communities maximum local flexibility, while reducing burdensome regulatory requirements. Local HUD staff are empowered to work closely with communities to customize Consolidated Plans and help them realize their housing and economic development goals.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009