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CUOMO ANNOUNCES $17.1 MILLION HOPE VI GRANT TO WHEELING, WV TO TRANSFORM PUBLIC HOUSING AND HELP RESIDENTS
WASHINGTON - As part of a program to transform public housing around the nation, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded the Housing Authority of the City of Wheeling, WV a $17.1 million HOPE VI grant to make housing available for 150 families and to demolish 328 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 Wheeling, the HUD grant will be used to revitalize the Grandview Manor and Lincoln Homes public housing development. The grant also will help 30 Wheeling public housing residents find jobs and provide supportive services for 75 young people over the next three years.
The HUD grant will draw an estimated $28 million in other investment to the area.
Cuomo made the announcement today during a telephone conference call with Senator Robert C. Byrd, Congressman Alan Mollohan and Wheeling Mayor Jim Lipphardt.
"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 Robert C. Byrd said: "Throughout West Virginia, many communities are struggling with the problem of downtown decay. They are searching for ways in which to reverse this trend that has afflicted cities across the country. The City of Wheeling, through the leadership of Mayor Lipphardt and the City Council, should be commended for its aggressive efforts to fight this problem. This grant is another tool that can help to advance the Wheeling Heritage initiative. The city's HOPE VI plan, when combined with other economic development initiatives already underway, is truly an 'all Wheeling' effort. I applaud the efforts of Wheeling's citizens, who are setting an example for others in creating a blueprint of growth and revitalization."
Congressman Alan Mollohan said: "This grant is wonderful news for the people of Wheeling. The HUD money invested here is well in keeping with the agency's mission to address both housing needs and urban development. The HOPE VI funds will revitalize public housing facilities, positioning the Wheeling Housing Authority as a leader in the nation. This builds on the progress now underway in Wheeling. We greatly appreciate Secretary Cuomo's attention to our community and look forward to a highly successful venture with the agency on this projects."
In Wheeling, the new units being built with the HOPE VI grants will be made up of 85 new public housing units and 65 affordable and market-rate homes for purchase.
The Housing Authority of the City of Wheeling will promote "home-earnership" with an aggressive Family Self-Sufficiency Program that will utilize innovative financing through Federal Home Loan Bank and Community Block Development Grant funds to underwrite land and construction costs. The physical revitalization plan will make apartment more accessible to people with disabilities.
Last year, the Charleston Housing Authority received a $1.3 million HOPE VI grant from HUD to demolish the deteriorated Orchard Manor public housing development.
The replacement housing units in the 21 cities around the nation receiving HOPE VI grants this year 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.
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:
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009