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CUOMO ANNOUNCES ALMOST $9.8 MILLION IN HOUSING AID FOR ALABAMA FOR ELDERLY, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND HOMEOWNERSHIP
PRICHARD, AL - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $9.7 million to Alabama non-profit groups to create subsidized housing for poor senior citizens and people with disabilities. He awarded another $73,165 in counseling grants to help increase homeownership in the state.
In Alabama, the HUD assistance will fund construction or rehabilitation of 106 apartment units for senior citizens and 28 apartment units for people with disabilities, and will also provide rental assistance subsidies on all of these units for five years. The units will be located in Birmingham, Cullman, Prichard and Sylacauga.
Cuomo made the announcement at a news conference in Prichard with Congressman Sonny Callahan and Mayor Jesse Norwood.
Everyone receiving the housing assistance must be classified as "very low income" - meaning a household with an income of less than 50 percent of the area median. On a national basis, this amounts to an income of less than $8,000 a year.
Residents receiving the assistance pay 30 percent of their income in rent. HUD subsidies pay the remaining funds needed to operate the housing.
"This assistance can transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable Americans," Cuomo said. "Without this aid, impoverished senior citizens and people with disabilities would be forced to live in substandard conditions, in nursing homes or other institutions, or on the streets and in homeless shelters."
Nationally, Cuomo said HUD is awarding $696 million to non-profit groups in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico under the Section 202 Program for senior citizens and the Section 811 Program for people with disabilities. The 202 Program is awarding $563 million of the money and the 811 Program is awarding $133 million. The assistance will create 6,563 apartment units for the elderly and 1,650 rental units for people with disabilities around the United States, and will subsidize the units for five years.
Congressman Callahan said: "I'm pleased that Secretary Cuomo is coming to South Alabama to announce funds aimed at enabling some our elderly to live as independently as possible in the community. This 58-unit complex will open the doors to seniors living on their own in a modern, state-of-the-art facility."
Mayor Norwood said: "I think it's great that funding is being made available for affordable housing for seniors and disabled citizens in the city of Prichard. I applaud the Secretary, his staff and the responsible agencies."
HUD provides Section 202 and Section 811 funds to non-profits in two forms:
Homeownership counseling grants that Cuomo announced will be used by 12 Alabama agencies to help homebuyers, homeowners, and renters meet their housing needs and work through housing problems. The groups will provide consumer education on the homebuying process to first-time homebuyers, counseling services to help people threatened with foreclosure of their mortgages, and information to senior citizens about reverse mortgages that enable them to borrow against the value of their homes.
The Alabama groups receiving the counseling grants are based in: Auburn, Birmingham, Decatur, Florence, Hayneville, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery and Troy.
Nationally, almost $18 million in housing counseling grants are being awarded to 369 non-profit agencies in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Here is a breakdown of the subsidized housing assistance Cuomo announced for Alabama:
SECTION 202 - ELDERLY HOUSING
Project location: Cullman
Project location: Prichard
Project location: Sylacauga
SECTION 811 - HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Project location: Birmingham
Project location: Birmingham
The Auburn Housing Authority will receive $6,684 to provide individual and group counseling in all aspects of homebuying, from money and debt management to housing selection and rental and purchase procedures. The Authority also will provide delinquency and default counseling services.
The Alabama Council on Human Relations, Inc., will receive $5,000 to provide housing counseling services for the residents of Auburn and Opelika that focus on budgeting, mortgage defaults and delinquencies, mortgage financing, and eviction laws and requirements. The Council also will provide comprehensive job skills assessments, budgeting and planning sessions, and rental delinquency counseling.
The Birmingham Housing Authority will receive $6,451 to provide comprehensive housing counseling services in Birmingham, Jefferson County and surrounding areas. The Authority will provide pre-rental counseling to low-income families in preparation for moving into the Authority's newly-constructed home units. The Authority also will provide 6-month follow-up sessions to first-time homebuyers who successfully complete homebuyer education counseling sessions.
The Birmingham Urban League will receive $6,374 to provide a variety of counseling, resource information, intervention, and referral services for first-time homebuyers, delinquent renters, and pre-renters. The agency also will assist with resolving landlord-tenant conflicts.
The Jefferson County Housing Authority in Birmingham will receive $7,462 to provide comprehensive housing counseling services to low and very low-income families living in the county. The agency recently added additional housing counseling staff to handle the needs of victims of the recent devastating tornado that hit the area, and to assist Jefferson County residents in general.
The Community Action and Community Development Agency of North Alabama in Decatur will receive $6,607 to provide comprehensive counseling services to clients in a three-county service area. Services will include pre-rental and pre-purchase, mortgage default and rent delinquency, home equity conversion mortgage, home improvement and rehabilitation, displacement and relocation, and pre-foreclosure sale counseling.
The Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama in Florence will receive $5,000 to provide extensive housing counseling services to Colbert, Franklin, and Lauderdale Counties. Services will include first-time homebuyer education and delinquent renters counseling, assistance to the homeless, and interpreters for predominantly Hispanic communities.
The Wil-Low Non-Profit Housing Corp. will receive $6,684 to provide homebuyer counseling for underserved populations of the Hayneville area. Wil-Low will emphasize awareness of homeownership opportunities to improve access to sources of mortgage funding for low- to moderate-income families.
The Community Action Agency of Huntsville/Madison will receive $5,000 to develop a comprehensive housing program that will include pre-rental, pre-purchase, rental delinquency, mortgage default, reverse mortgage, and energy conservation counseling.
The Mobile Housing Board will receive $6,529 to develop a comprehensive housing counseling program that will serve low- and moderate-income housing clients in the First Congressional District of Alabama. Services will consist of pre-occupancy, pre-purchase and post-purchase, mortgage default, rental delinquency, and displacement/relocation counseling.
The Montgomery Housing Authority will receive $6,374 to provide counseling for potential and existing renters, homebuyers, and homeowners. Mortgage default counseling also will be provided to homeowners who fail to meet the conditions of their mortgages.
The Organized Community Action Program in Troy will receive $5,000 to provide housing counseling to low-income residents in seven counties. County coordinators and counseling staff will make referrals for issues such as job placement, legal service, educational opportunities, and other service problems.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009