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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-176
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeSeptember 1, 1999


NEWARK, NJ - As part of a program to transform public housing around the nation, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded housing authorities in Atlantic City and Newark, New Jersey a total of $70 million in HOPE VI grants to make housing available for 1,355 families and to demolish 1,393 deteriorated public housing apartments.

Each of the housing authorities received a $35 million grant - the maximum allowed this year under the public housing transformation program known as HOPE VI.

The funds are part of $571 million in highly competitive grants that HUD is awarding to 21 housing authorities this summer. 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 Atlantic City, the HUD grant will be used to revitalize the Shore Park/Shore Terrace public housing development. In Newark the grant will be used to revitalize Stella Wright Homes.

The grants also will help 140 Atlantic City and 345 Newark public housing residents find jobs and provide supportive services for 325 Atlantic City and 500 Newark young people over the next three years.

The HUD grants will draw an estimated $157 million in other investment to the Atlantic City area and $119 million to the Newark area.

Cuomo made the announcement today at a press conference in Newark with Senator Frank Lautenberg, Congressman Donald Payne, Newark Mayor Sharpe James and Atlantic City Mayor James Whelan.

"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."

Congressman Frank LoBiondo said: "I want to thank HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo for this very important HOPE VI grant for Atlantic City's housing authority. I also want to thank Senator Frank Lautenberg and Senator Bob Torricelli for their work on behalf of the citizens of New Jersey. This $35 million grant is particularly important to Atlantic City. It will help stabilize the neighborhood and improve the quality of life of the residents. This will also help to continue the revitalization of Atlantic City that has been happening in partnership with the City and Reinvestment Development Authority."

The new units being built with the HOPE VI grants in New Jersey will be made up of 494 new public housing units (Atlantic City - 190; Newark - 304), 577 affordable homes for purchase (Atlantic City - 410; Newark - 284); 87 units of market-rate rental housing in Newark; and 80 units of privately-owned low- and moderate-income housing in Newark financed with the help of the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.

The Atlantic City Housing Authority, in partnership with the City and the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, will use the HUD grant to undertake an extensive redevelopment effort, including the renovation of historic Firehouse No. 1 as community and administrative space. The grant also will fund additional education, recreation, job training, employment, and child care facilities in the City's Midtown and Uptown neighborhoods.

The Housing Authority of the City of Newark will use the HUD grant to transform Stella Wright Homes in Newark's Central Ward from a 13-story high-rise structure into a new development that will blend seamlessly with the wider community and include landscaped yards, individual entries, and front porches. In addition, there will be two new community centers, five parks, more green spaces, and city-wide infrastructure and street improvements. Community and supportive services will provide intensive case management to assist residents in making the transition from welfare to work. Services will include job training, job placement, adult education, on-site child care and health care facilities, and after-school activities.

These New Jersey housing authorities received HOPE VI grants from HUD in recent years: Camden - a $42.2 million revitalization grant for McGuire Gardens in 1994 and a $3.1 million demolition grant for Westfield Acres in 1998; Elizabeth - a $28.9 million revitalization grant for $28.9 million for 1997; New Jersey - a $32.2 million revitalization grant for Curtis Woods in 1997; New Brunswick - a $7.5 million revitalization grant for New Brunswick Homes in 1998; Newark - a $50 million revitalization grant for Archbishop Walsh Homes in 1994 and a $9 million demolition grant for Hayes Home in 1996; and Paterson - a $21.6 million revitalization grant for Christopher Columbus in 1997 and a $2 million demolition grant for Dean McNulty in 1996.

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.

In Atlantic City, each HOPE VI dollar awarded today is expected to generate $4.49 in other investment; in Newark, each HOPE VI dollar will generate $3.42.

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 this summer 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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