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CUOMO ANNOUNCES $14.1 MILLION FOR PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, MD DURING HUD-FOR-A-DAY VISIT WITH TOP DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS
SEAT PLEASANT, MD - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo and top aides today relocated HUD headquarters to Prince George's County, MD for a day to announce $14.1 million in assistance - the transfer of the $5 million Manchester Square apartment complex to the county and the award of $9.1 million in funding.
Cuomo made the announcements during a visit where he was joined by: Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Congressman Albert R. Wynn , Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry, City of Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene F. Kennedy, and Capitol Heights Mayor Vivian Dodson. The officials appeared at events designed to strengthen HUD's successful partnership with Prince George's County and to help Department officials learn first-hand what they can do to help revitalize the county.
"All of us at HUD headquarters are familiar with Prince George's County - as residents or as neighbors and visitors to this county so close to our offices," Cuomo said. "I've brought some of the top officials of HUD with me to get to know the county, its leaders and its people even better. We want to strengthen our partnership and work together more effectively to bring a new prosperity to Prince George's County and its residents."
Manchester Square is a 516-unit apartment complex that suffered years of neglect before HUD took possession of the property in November 1997, when its owner defaulted on the HUD-insured mortgage. Signing over the property to the county represents a $5 million investment HUD is making toward revitalizing affordable housing in Prince George's County.
Cuomo said Prince George's County will receive $9.1 million in housing and community development funds under HUD's 1998 Consolidated Plan - $6.6 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, $2.2 million under the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and $265,000 to help homeless people become self-sufficient.
Cuomo also announced $20,000 in technical assistance to aid Prince George's County in its efforts to formulate a CDBG Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. This designation will help the county leverage federal and state funds to create and retain jobs, improve public services, and maximize economic development and housing assistance.
Senator Mikulski said: "Prince George's County has the plans, has the attitude, and has the people, it just needs help with the tools. HUD can help provide those tools, and I'm proud to be here today with the Secretary, Congressman Wynn and County Executive Curry to talk about a federal/community partnership that would do just that."
Congressman Wynn said: "We appreciate Secretary Cuomo's interest in the county and look forward to working closer with the Department of Housing and Urban Development to stimulate better quality housing for all citizens. Area residents understand that it takes the combined efforts of federal, state and local entities to ensure the county's success. I am happy to commit my support."
County Executive Curry said: "This is a long-awaited day for Prince George's County. Today's tour is the highlight of our endeavors to build a partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in supporting our investment in the revitalization of our inner Beltway communities."
Seat Pleasant Mayor Kennedy said: "When Secretary Cuomo, Senator Mikulski, and County Executive Curry visit Martin Luther King and Eastern avenues, which is one of the gateways to the county, I hope they will see what we, the elected officials and citizens, have been seeing for years. Any help they can give us to help us rid the area of blight would be greatly appreciated."
In related actions, Cuomo:
Future HUD-Prince George's County collaborative efforts will include the establishment of community development agencies, the creation of a Neighborhood Network linkage between the county and the National Urban League, and the hosting of forums that bring together HUD officials and county business leaders.
Today's visit was the ninth "HUD For A Day" that Cuomo has held around the nation since becoming Secretary last year, to enable him and his top staff to spend a day in an area to meet with their counterparts, visit projects receiving HUD assistance and learn more about the nation's communities.
HUD officials joining Cuomo for the day included: Assistant Secretary-designee for Housing William Apgar; Assistant Secretary-designee for Community Planning and Development Cardell Cooper; Assistant Secretary-designee for Public and Indian Housing Harold Lucas; Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Eva Plaza; Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations Hal DeCell; Deputy Chief of Staff Rhoda Glickman; Counselor Robert Hickmott; Director of Special Actions Alvin Brown; Director of the Center for Community and Interfaith Partnerships Father Joseph Hacala; Secretary's Representative for the Mid-Atlantic Region Karen Miller; and Special Assistant to the Secretary for Empowerment Zones Gloria Robinson.
Cuomo and the other HUD officials began the day by meeting with Mikulski, Curry, Wynn, Kennedy, Dodson, local elected officials, county business leaders and members of the community at Seat Pleasant City Hall, where they discussed the challenges facing the county and HUD's commitment to helping the county achieve its economic development and housing goals.
The group was then scheduled to visit the site of the proposed Prince George's County/District of Columbia joint Empowerment Zone. The two communities are applying for the Empowerment Zone designation to serve as a catalyst for locally generated strategies that would lead to the resurgence of distressed areas, attract businesses, create jobs and spur housing construction. Congress is considering President Clinton's proposal to create new Empowerment Zones.
Following his viewing of the proposed Empowerment Zone site, Cuomo was to tour Woodland Springs Apartments, a thriving apartment complex in Suitland that symbolizes the kind of successful housing developments Prince George's County wants to create. Woodland Springs at one time housed 3,000 residents and was funded by a $26 million HUD co-insured loan before the owner defaulted on the mortgage.
The renovated development is the result of a partnership between HUD, the Prince George's Public Housing Authority, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, NationsBank, and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Construction was assisted with federal housing tax credits. Services include after-school tutoring, organized sports activities, family counseling, recreational facilities, and offices for community police.
Later in the day, Cuomo was to drive through Suitland Manor, a development consisting of low-income rental apartment complexes and single-family homes. He planned to participate in a walking tour of Suitland's shopping district and discuss HUD's economic development programs with local merchants.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009