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HUD No. 99-187
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Friday
Or contact your local HUD officeSeptember 10, 1999


1999 Hope VI Grants

WASHINGTON - As part of a program to transform public housing around the nation, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded the District of Columbia Housing Authority a $30 million HOPE VI grant. The new grant brings total HOPE VI grants around the country to $571 million for 21 cities this year.

The HOPE VI grants are replacing decaying public housing with new housing and helping residents get education, training and jobs to become self-sufficient.

In Washington, DC, the HUD grant will be used to make housing available for 600 families and to demolish 448 deteriorated public housing apartments, of which only 333 are occupied, at the Frederick Douglass and Stanton Dwellings public housing developments in Southeast Washington. The grant to Washington will also fund supportive services, such as job training, educational opportunities and leadership development. The District of Columbia Housing Authority has already secured 770 private-sector jobs for residents who complete job training.

Cuomo made the announcement today at the Frederick Douglass Community Recreation Center with Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Washington Mayor Anthony Williams.

The HUD grant to Washington will draw an estimated $51 million in other investment to the area.

"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."

Mayor Anthony Williams said: "The HOPE VI grant brings more than hope-it brings the reality of new homeownership opportunities, new jobs and a new future. It is the next major step in our effort to revitalize communities east of the River."

The 21 HOPE VI grants were awarded in a competition under the public housing transformation program. 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 the 21 cities. Eighty housing authorities applied for grants under this year's HOPE VI program.

The replacement housing units in the 21 cities 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 Washington, each HOPE VI dollar awarded today is expected to generate $1.73 in other investment.

The new housing being built in Washington with the HOPE VI grant will be made up of 105 public housing units, 173 market-rate and affordable homes for purchase, and 120 units of privately-owned low- and moderate-income housing financed with the help of the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. The housing authority also will rehabilitate 202 existing units.

The HUD grant to Washington will be used to create housing in a variety of styles to complement the historic Anacostia neighborhood, all with front and back yards. Neighborhood recreational facilities will be upgraded and a computer learning center will be added to a local school.

The District of Columbia Housing Authority has received the following HOPE VI grants in recent years: a $25 million HOPE VI revitalization grant for Ellen Wilson Homes ion 1993; a $20 million HOPE VI revitalization grant for Valley Green Skytower in 1997; and a $2 million demolition-only grant for Fort Dupont and Stoddard Terrace in 1996.

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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