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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-104
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeJune 21, 1999


MECCA, CA - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced $800,000 in HUD grants to the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition for housing and community development programs to benefit low-income farm workers in the valley in Southern California.

"These funds represent a continuing commitment by the Clinton-Gore Administration to create affordable housing and spark economic development in American communities," Cuomo said. "This is a wise investment that will give families new opportunities to build better futures."

Riverside County Supervisor Roy Wilson joined Cuomo for the announcement in Mecca, CA. "I want to thank Secretary Cuomo for this important assistance," Wilson said. "Poverty and a shortage of affordable housing are serious problems for many rural communities."

Cuomo's announcement came on the first day of a two-day visit to communities in California. Cuomo was meeting today with migrant farm workers and people working to create improved housing for them in Indio and Mecca - near Palm Springs in the Coachella Valley. The Secretary was also meeting with state and local officials to learn more about how HUD can help people and places left behind become participants in the nation's strong economy.

The visit was one of a series Cuomo has made to communities around the country that continue to have unemployment, poverty rates and affordable housing shortages that exceed national averages. The problems of these communities were highlighted in two recent HUD reports - The State of the Cities (issued June 11), and Now Is The Time: Places Left Behind In The New Economy (issued April 28). The reports conclude that while most American cities are prospering with strong economies, too many have been left behind and face major challenges of population decline, loss of middle-class families, slow job growth, income inequality, and poverty.

The Coachella Valley Housing Coalition will use $600,000 of the HUD assistance announced today to develop a 100-space mobile home park in Mecca. Mecca is within a designated Rural Empowerment Zone. The park will provide a safe, affordable housing alternative to tenants, almost all of whom are expected to be farm workers.

The Coalition will use the remaining $200,000 in HUD grants to hire a full-time housing counselor and support staff for three years to directly assist potential tenants of the new mobile home park. The counselor and staff will also assist other low-income people and will offer counseling on credit, debt, and financial management, in addition to housing counseling.

The Coalition has commitments by other private and public organizations to invest $1.92 million in services and funds in the Coachella Valley. Participating organizations include: the Riverside County Economic and Community Development Offices, the Desert Communities Empowerment Zone, the California State Farmworker Housing Grant Program, the Rural Community Housing Assistance Corporation, the Union Bank, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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