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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-149
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Friday
Or contact your local HUD officeAugust 13, 1999


U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced the availability of up to $1 million worth of advisory services to help communities in Appalachia design, expand and build affordable housing.

The advisory services, known as technical assistance, will be made available to local governments in Appalachia that participate in HUD's HOME program. About $1 billion worth of HOME funds are distributed each year to create affordable housing for low-income households.

"Despite the nation's booming economy, over 5 million American families are in desperate need of affordable housing," Cuomo said. "This new assistance to communities in Appalachia will help them find ways to increase the supply of such housing."

HUD Deputy Secretary Saul Ramirez discussed the new HUD assistance in Huntington, WV, on the second day of the Appalachian Summit. Cuomo addressed the first day of the summit yesterday in Ashland, KY.

The two-day summit is the first to bring together state governments in the 13-state Appalachian region with businesses, four federal agencies (HUD and the Departments of Agriculture, Transportation and Labor) and the Appalachian Regional Commission. More than 700 people are attending to discuss the special housing, economic development, transportation, labor, agricultural, and rural development needs facing the region.

Ramirez also announced today the signing of the Memorandum of Understand and grant agreement to formally establishes the new Huntington, WV/Ironton, OH Empowerment Zone. This will trigger the release of the initial $3 million in federal funds to allow the cities to begin the implementation of the EZ Strategic Plan.

Huntington/Ironton were jointly named an Empowerment Zone by Vice President Gore in January. The Strategic Plan that helped the two cities win the EZ designation will serve as the roadmap for community redevelopment to stimulate economic growth and job creation. The Clinton Administration is asking Congress for a total of $130 million in bonding authority and $100 million in grants over the next 10 years for each of the newly named EZs.

Cuomo toured the Huntington/Ironton Empowerment Zone in February and met with local business and community leaders to discuss their vision for the two-state region.

Cuomo was also in Appalachian Kentucky on July 5, when he joined President Clinton and other federal officials on the first stop of the President's New Markets Tour of six urban and rural communities where unemployment is too high and jobs are too scarce. Corporate and governmental leaders joined the President on the tour, during which he announced new initiatives to bring economic opportunity to these places left behind.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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