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CUOMO SAYS WOMEN IN PUBLIC HOUSING WILL GET NEW OPPORTUNITIES AS A RESULT OF $507 MILLION IN NEW HUD GRANTS
WASHINGTON - Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo said today that low-income women - who head over 75 percent of households in public housing developments - will receive new opportunities for improved housing, job training, child care and other assistance to help them become self-sufficient as a result of $507 million in new grants.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding the $507 million to 22 cities under the public housing transformation program known as HOPE VI, Cuomo said. The cities will demolish about 7,000 units of severely distressed public housing that are occupied and another 3,400 units that are vacant because of their extremely poor condition. Rehabilitating the substandard units would cost more than tearing them down.
The units being demolished will be replaced by about 12,100 units of housing - including about 6,800 units of new public housing, 3,300 units of new privately owned low-income rental housing, and about 2,000 units that will be sold for homeownership.
HUD funds will also be used to help about 10,000 families get jobs and become self-sufficient through a broad range of initiatives.
"This program is about much more than rebuilding housing," Cuomo said. "It's about giving public housing residents the chance to rebuild their lives. It's easy to tell a young single mother with little education, few skills and little work experience to go get a job - and then criticize her when she can't find one that pays enough for child care and transportation. We will give these women and other residents of public housing the education, training, child care, transportation and other help they need to get and keep good jobs. We will give them the chance to work their way out of poverty and out of public housing."
Housing authorities receiving the HUD grants plan to use $108 million of the assistance to hire public housing residents to work on the revitalization of their own developments. These jobs will provide paychecks and teach valuable job skills to public housing residents.
On top of this, housing authorities will use HUD funds to make loans and provide other assistance to public housing residents to help them start small businesses - such as child care, catering and cleaning services - that are expected to create another 400 jobs for public housing residents.
HUD and housing authorities will also partner with schools near public housing to help children from public housing families do better in school to prepare them for self-sufficiency as adults.
In addition, all new units being built will conform to guidelines of HUD's Healthy Homes Initiative, which will ensure that homes incorporate safeguards to protect residents against hazards such as lead poisoning, fire, carbon monoxide and radon.
There are about 1.2 million units of public housing around the nation, where about 2.8 million people live. The median annual income of households in public housing is $6,939.
Cuomo said the HOPE VI grants will go to the following cities:
Albany, NY.................................................$28.8 million
HUD's investment of $507 million in public housing transformation grants this year is expected to help generate a record $1.15 billion in additional investment in housing and jobs programs at public housing developments - including $854.1 million in private funds and $300.2 million in other government funds.
This year, every dollar HUD is investing in public housing transformation is generating a record high average of $2.28 in other investment - far more than the 31 cents in other investment the transformation program generated when it began in 1993.
HUD will pay temporary relocation costs for residents whose apartments are being demolished. Relocated residents of a development will be given the first opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units at the site, or will be given rental assistance vouchers that will subsidize their rents in privately owned apartments if they choose not to return to public housing.
In addition, relocated residents receiving rental assistance vouchers will be given the same job training and other services that will be offered to people living in the replacement public housing, to help them get jobs and become self-sufficient.
The HOPE VI program has five key objectives:
Content Archived: January 20, 2009