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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-169
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Monday
Or contact your local HUD officeAugust 30, 1999


WASHINGTON - As part of a program to transform public housing around the nation, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded the Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority a $35 million HOPE VI grant to make housing available for 500 families and to demolish 550 deteriorated public housing apartments.

The funds are part of $571 million in highly competitive grants that HUD is awarding to 21 housing authorities this summer under the public housing transformation program known as HOPE VI. The grants will be used to provide public, affordable and market-rate housing for 9,311 families and to demolish 9,134 units of severely distressed public housing in 21 cities.

In Nashville, the HUD grant will be used to revitalize the Preston Taylor Homes public housing development. The grant also will help 200 Nashville public housing residents find jobs and provide supportive services for 450 young people over the next three years.

The HUD grant will draw an estimated $52 million in other investment to the area.

Cuomo made the announcement today in a conference call with Senator Bill Frist and Congressman Bob Clement.

"We are transforming public housing projects with problems into new mixed-income communities with promise," Cuomo said. "We are making public housing a launching pad to opportunity, jobs and self-sufficiency - instead of a warehouse trapping people in poverty and long-term dependence."

Senator Fred Thompson said: "This is great news for Nashville. I am pleased that HUD has made such a strong commitment to revitalizing the Preston Taylor community and opening up new opportunities for its residents. I am also pleased that so many others have committed to supporting this important project, including Tennessee State University, the Board of Education, and the City of Nashville. With such strong backing, I am confident it will be successful."

Senator Bill Frist said: "This funding will provide Nashville's public housing with many needed improvements. Revitalizing Preston Taylor will encourage a sense of community renewal while continuing to provide affordable housing for many residents. Neighborhood improvements will enhance safety and offer children a unique learning opportunity through the newly developed elementary lab school soon to be opened at nearby Tennessee State University. Investing in this community represents the positive outcomes that can be achieved when the public and the private sector work together toward a common goal."

Congressman Clement said: "Today's announcement is wonderful news. I applaud the work of Gerald Nicely and everyone at MDHA, as well as Secretary Cuomo and HUD, and for their unified partnership that will benefit numerous families in the inner city. Homeownership and revitalization such as this are essential for keeping families together and improving the quality of life for all, not just the privileged few. Nashville's HOPE VI grant will move us toward our goal of rebuilding community neighborhoods as we enter the new millennium."

In Nashville, the new units being built with the HOPE VI grants will be made up of 370 new public housing units; 100 affordable and market-rate homes for purchase; and 30 units of market rate rental housing.

The Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority (MDHA) has forged strong partnerships with Tennessee State University (TSU), the Board of Education, and the City of Nashville to develop a state-of the art elementary lab school, a true neighborhood amenity that will allow many children to walk to school. TSU will also create numerous student internships for the self-sufficiency component. The Preston Taylor Homes has good access to downtown, strong local churches, and the TSU campus.

These Tennessee housing authorities received HOPE VI grants from HUD in recent years: Knoxville - a $22 million revitalization grant for College Homes in 1997; Memphis - a $47 million revitalization grant for LeMoyne Gardens in 1995 and a $4.5 million demolition grant for Foote Homes in 1996; Nashville - a $13.5 million revitalization grant for Vine Hill Homes in 1997; Franklin- a $71,500 demolition grant for Spring Street in 1998; and, Lebanon- a $180,500 demolition grant for Upton Heights and a $91,000 demolition grant for Inman Court in 1998

The replacement housing units in the 21 cities around the nation receiving HOPE VI grants will be made up of 3,720 units of new public housing, 2,358 units of new privately owned affordable and market-rate rental housing, and 3,233 units that will be sold for homeownership by public housing residents and by market-rate buyers.

Some of the replacement housing units will be at the site of public housing being demolished, and some will be at other locations.

Nationally, HOPE VI funds will also be used to help about 3,400 public housing residents get jobs and become self-sufficient.

This year, every dollar HUD is investing in public housing transformation is generating a record high average of $2.07 in other investment - far more than the 31 cents in other investment the transformation program generated when it began in 1993. In Nashville, each HOPE VI dollar awarded today is expected to generate $1.49 in other investment.

HUD's investment of $571 million in HOPE VI public housing transformation grants around the nation this year is expected to help generate a record $1.2 billion in additional investment in housing and jobs programs at public housing developments - including $854 million in private funds and $328 million in other government funds.

HUD will pay temporary relocation costs for residents whose apartments are being demolished. Relocated residents in good standing will be given the first opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units at the site, or will be given rental assistance vouchers that will subsidize their rents in privately owned apartments if they choose not to return to public housing.

In addition, relocated residents receiving rental assistance vouchers will be given the same job training and other services that will be offered to people living in the replacement public housing, to help them get jobs and become self-sufficient.

All new units being built will conform to guidelines of HUD's Healthy Homes Initiative, which will ensure that homes incorporate safeguards to protect residents against hazards such as lead poisoning, fire, carbon monoxide and radon.

The 21 housing authorities receiving HOPE VI grants were selected in a competition involving 80 cities that submitted applications requesting a total of $1.8 billion in grants. Cities were selected based on a checklist of criteria measuring the effectiveness of their public housing revitalization plans.

Under the Clinton Administration, HUD is carrying out the most dramatic transformation of public housing since the public housing program was created in 1937 by President Franklin Roosevelt. The HOPE VI program was created in 1992 as a direct result of the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing report that found nearly 100,000 units of "severely distressed" public housing.

HUD has approved the demolition of 53,000 units of the worst public housing under the HOPE VI program, and has approved the creation of housing opportunities for 72,000 families. The new housing opportunities include 35,000 new public housing units, 25,000 other new units to achieve mixed-income housing, and 12,000 housing units subsidized by Section 8 rental assistance vouchers.

There are about 1.4 million units of public housing around the nation, where nearly 2.7 million people live. The median annual income of households in public housing is $9,257. A total of 49 percent of households are made up of families with children, another 32 percent house senior citizens, and 17 percent are home to people with disabilities.

HUD's HOPE VI assistance will be tailored to carry out plans developed by each grant recipient. Each recipient developed its own revitalization program under a HUD policy that gives local housing authorities great flexibility to come up with plans to meet their own special needs.

The HOPE VI program has five key objectives:

  • Changing the physical shape of public housing by demolishing severely distressed projects - high-rises and barracks-style apartments - and replacing them with garden-style apartments or townhouses that become part of their surrounding communities.

  • Reducing concentrations of poverty by encouraging a greater income mix among public housing residents and by encouraging working families to move into public housing and into new market-rate housing being built as part of the neighborhoods where public housing is located.

  • Establishing support services - such as education and training programs, child care services, transportation services and counseling - to help public housing residents get and keep jobs.

  • Establishing and enforcing high standards of personal and community responsibility by barring drug dealers and other criminals from moving into public housing and evicting those already there, under President Clinton's One Strike and You're Out policy and through other anti-crime programs as well.

  • Forging broad-based partnerships to involve public housing residents, state and local government officials, the private sector, non-profit groups and the community at large in planning and implementing the new communities.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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