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CUOMO ANNOUNCES $12.1 MILLION IN HOUSING AID FOR RHODE ISLAND FOR ELDERLY, PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND HOMEOWNERSHIP
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $12.1 million to Rhode Island non-profit groups to create subsidized housing for poor senior citizens and people with disabilities, and to fund counseling grants to help increase homeownership.
In Rhode Island, $12 million of HUD assistance will fund construction or rehabilitation of 102 apartment units for senior citizens and 20 apartment units for people with disabilities, and will also provide rental assistance subsidies on all of the units for five years. The units will be located in Cranston, North Kingstown, Pawtucket and Tiverton.
Cuomo said another $130,000 in housing counseling grants will go to: the Blackstone Valley Community Action Program in Pawtucket ($10,000), Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance ($110,000) and the Urban League of Rhode Island ($10,000) -- both in Providence -- to boost homeownership in Rhode Island.
Cuomo made the announcement in a telephone news conference with Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Tiverton Town Administrator James Goncalo.
"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."
Congressman Kennedy said: "By providing assistance to low-income elderly, this grant will allow seniors to live independently, but with support services nearby. It is the best of both worlds for seniors."
Congressman Bob Weygand said: "While the population of the City of Cranston has grown by only two percent over the past two years, its elderly population has grown by close to 40 percent. The need for additional elderly housing in this city is critical."
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.
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 apartment units for people with disabilities around the United States, and will subsidize the units for five years.
A total of 368 groups applied for the Section 202 assistance and 166 received grants. A total of 236 groups applied for the Section 811 assistance and 161 received grants.
HUD provides Section 202 and Section 811 funds to non-profits in two forms:
The Homeownership counseling grants that Cuomo announced will be used by the three non-profit 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.
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 Rhode Island:
SECTION 202 - ELDERLY HOUSING
Project Location: Cranston
Project Location: Tiverton
SECTION 811 - HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
Project Location: North Kingstown
Project Location: Pawtucket
Content Archived: January 20, 2009