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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-603
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-068511 a.m. PST Tuesday
Or contact your local HUD officeNovember 17, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $350,000 to the Excelsior Education Center in Victorville, California to train 30 high school drop-outs to build and renovate low-income housing and to support themselves as construction workers.

The assistance under HUD's Youthbuild Program will give the young people on-the-job training by having them renovate one house and several apartments at the Northgate Village Apartments. The units will be used to house homeless people and other low-income families.

HUD's investment in the Victorville program will attract other investment from outside the Department of $107,000 in cash and in-kind resources. Victor Valley Community College is also involved in the program.

Cuomo made the announcement in a telephone news conference from Washington with Congressman Jerry Lewis and Victorville officials.

"This program helps high school drop-outs build new housing for families in need, while building new careers and new lives for themselves," Cuomo said. "With the construction and academic skills they learn in Youthbuild, young people can work their way out of poverty and support themselves for a lifetime."

Youthbuild participants - ranging in age from 16 to 24 - would have a hard time finding good jobs without the program, because they lack high school diplomas and job skills. Youthbuild helps the young people get general equivalency high school diplomas and provides social services and training in leadership skills, in addition to training as construction workers.

Around the nation, HUD is awarding $33.1 million this month to local governments, housing authorities and non-profit groups to train nearly 2,300 high school drop-outs in the Youthbuild program. More than 850 affordable houses and apartments will be built or renovated.

A total of 217 applicants around the country competed for the 69 Youthbuild grants the HUD is awarding this month.

More than $170 million in grants have been made under Youthbuild since it began in 1993, enabling over 7,800 young people to take part in building or rehabilitating more than 3,650 affordable housing units in their communities.

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