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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 98-614
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-06853 p.m. Thursday
Or contact your local HUD officeNovember 19, 1998


Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded nearly $800,000 to non-profit groups serving Paterson, New Jersey to train 53 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 learn construction skills as they work to convert two industrial buildings into buildings containing 44 apartments. The units will be used by homeless people and other low-income families.

Cuomo made the announcement with Congressman Bill Pascrell in a telephone news conference from Washington.

"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."

The grants will go to:

  • The Paterson Coalition for Housing - $449,535. The 33 young people participating in the program will learn construction skills by working to rehabilitate a three-story factory building into 34 low-income apartments. HUD's investment in the project will attract other investment from outside the Department of $392,849 in cash and services. The New Jersey Youth Corps will participate in the project.

  • The New Jersey Community Development Corporation in Paterson - $349,990. The 20 young people participating in the program will rehabilitate an industrial building into 10 low-income apartments. Groups outside the Department will provide $87,200 in cash and services for the project. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs will be a partner in the project.

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 that HUD is awarding this month.

HUD's investment in the program nationwide this year will attract other investment from outside the Department of $34 million in cash and in-kind resources supporting Youthbuild.

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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