HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-310
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeJuly 27, 1998


WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo said a report today showing that whites are leaving the welfare rolls much faster than African Americans and Hispanics shows the need for initiatives President Clinton has proposed for HUD's 1999 budget to close the opportunity gap separating whites from minorities.

The report in today's New York Times says "black and Hispanic (welfare) recipients combined outnumber whites by about 2-1" and found that "minority recipients were much more likely to live in poor, central city neighborhoods, far from the job growth that rings many cities."

"Too many members of minority groups are denied the opportunity to compete on a level economic playing field in their struggle to achieve the American Dream," Cuomo said. "Instead, they are stuck in the bleachers - spectators instead of participants in the new prosperity benefiting so many American families. Our job is to get these spectators out of the bleachers and onto the playing field of opportunity, so that we no longer maintain two societies and two economies that are separate and unequal."

The President's proposed $25 billion HUD budget calls for an intensified effort to revitalize communities, create jobs, produce affordable housing and expand homeownership.

Programs targeted for expansion and improvement in the budget involving jobs and economic opportunity that would have a positive impact on minorities include: $400 million in grants for a Community Empowerment Fund to create and retain an estimated 280,000 jobs; funding for 15 additional urban Empowerment Zones to stimulate job creation and economic development in inner cities; expanded Community Development Block Grants to local communities; and increased funding for programs to redevelop contaminated industrial sites and for programs to train high school dropouts for jobs.

Other HUD programs that would help close the opportunity gap include: higher Federal Housing Administration loan limits to enable more families to qualify for FHA-insured mortgages over the next five years; 103,000 new rental housing vouchers for people needing affordable housing, including those moving from welfare to work; and an intensified crackdown on housing discrimination, which can keep minorities out of neighborhoods closer to jobs.


Content Archived: January 20, 2009