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HUD No. 99-109
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Or contact your local HUD office1 p.m. EDT June 24, 1999


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WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced about $25 million in HUD grants to create jobs, spark economic development and build and improve housing in rural communities in 29 states and Puerto Rico.

"The grants we're announcing today will give people and places in need the opportunity to build better futures across rural America by becoming participants instead of spectators in our nation's booming economy," Cuomo said.

About 700 applicants around the country competed for the 81 grants announced today. The rural grants will go to communities in the following states in these amounts:

Alabama - $479,290 Maryland - $504,000 Ohio - $637,860
Alaska - $1.1 million Michigan - $500,000 Oklahoma - $1.06 million
Arizona - $1.12 million Minnesota - $650,000 Oregon - $200,000
California - $3.27 million Montana - $2.08 million Puerto Rico - $390,065
Florida - $500,000 Nebraska - $583,432 South Carolina - $1.04 million
Idaho - $200,000 Nevada - $69,075 Texas - $2.63 million
Indiana - $160,000 New Hampshire - $150,000 Virginia - $290,000
Iowa - $1.1 million New Mexico - $1.26 million Washington - $1.86 million
Louisiana - $176,008 New York - $950,000 West Virginia - $151,701
Maine - $129,500 North Carolina - $250,000 Wisconsin - $200,000

The HUD grants will fund housing and economic development programs run by local rural non-profit organizations, Native American tribes, community development corporations, state housing finance agencies, and state community development and economic development agencies.

About $17 million in grants will go to innovative local programs. The remainder of the grants will be used as seed money to start new programs and bolster existing programs, as well as to help grant recipients improve their capacity to run housing and economic development programs.

Grant recipients were selected based on:

  • Housing and economic development needs in a rural community.

  • The strength of proposals to use HUD funds for job creation, economic development, and improved housing.

  • The extent of support from other federal, state, local and private sources for the HUD-funded activities.

A HUD report issued in April called Now Is The Time: Places Left Behind In The New Economy pointed out the need for programs to strengthen rural housing and economic development.

The report said that while most of America's communities have benefited from the strong economy created by Clinton-Gore Administration policies, too many urban, suburban and rural communities still face challenges of high unemployment, population losses and poverty.

"The nation's economic challenges are not confined to the cities and suburbs in metropolitan areas," the HUD report said. "Many rural communities … have been mired in poverty and joblessness for decades. Their economic fortunes are like flat lines against the cycles of growth and contraction that have reshaped the nation over decades."

The HUD report also said:

  • "Rural poverty is often symptomatic of a region's narrow economic base - a focus on 'extractive industries' like mining or agriculture, for example, to the exclusion of other kinds of activity. Isolation also plays a distinct role in shaping rural poverty. Our rural communities are not only isolated from the investment capital that cities are (relatively) more successful at attracting; rural places are also more isolated from the diversity of institutions and networks that can mobilize responses to the complex problems of chronic poverty and joblessness."

  • "Some of the most isolated rural places are literally non-participants in the tremendous economic changes that have swept the nation over this century. But now, with a record-breaking economy, we can include these places in the promise of growth and vitality that all communities deserve."

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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