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HUD CONFERENCE BRINGS RELIGIOUS AND NON-PROFIT GROUPS TOGETHER TO DISCUSS CREATING HOUSING AND REVITALIZING COMMUNITIES
SYRACUSE, NY - Representatives of religious and non-profit groups from around the Northeast met in Syracuse today for a conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to strengthen their partnership with each other and with government to create affordable housing and revitalize communities.
The Commitment to Justice: Partnerships for Renewed Hope in Our Communities Conference is the first of 10 such regional meetings HUD is sponsoring for faith-based and community groups around the country.
Vice President Al Gore suggested the conferences to enhance government's partnership with faith-based groups at his Family Reunion Conference in June in Nashville.
HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo said government and faith-based groups have a long record of working together for the betterment of America.
"Faith-based and community-based organizations have always spoken out for the hungry, the tired, and the poor," Cuomo said. "They spoke out during the Great Depression. They spoke out during the struggle for civil rights. And today they are the voice of conscience in the struggle for economic rights."
"We called this conference to strengthen our partnership with others who share our goal of creating new opportunities for people and places left behind, " Cuomo said. "Working together, we can turn eloquent words about more opportunity for more Americans into effective actions that will make our dreams a reality."
Congressman James Walsh of New York said: "I am delighted that the first of these conferences is being held in Central New York, where I and an activist community of housing advocates are working in partnership to expand affordable housing for all. I want to thank Secretary Cuomo for his energy and focus, and I look forward to continuing our own partnership in pursuit of a responsible national housing policy."
Cuomo added: "In Syracuse you have outstanding groups like Jubilee Homes building affordable housing, the Spanish Action League working in the Latino community, the Rescue Mission serving the homeless, and many more. Groups like this exist across the country, and they are a tremendous national resource."
Federal Housing Commissioner/Assistant HUD Secretary for Housing William Apgar opened today's conference with the keynote address.
Workshops held today gave attendees practical information on using HUD programs to develop effective methods to increase employment and affordable housing opportunities. At the workshops, HUD officials answered questions about a broad range of HUD programs.
HUD's Center for Community and Interfaith Partnerships organized the conference. The Center was created two years ago by Cuomo to strengthen HUD's partnership with the nation's faith-based groups, non-profits and community development corporations. The Center is headed by Father Joseph Hacala, S.J.
"We hope these conferences will build on the historical success of faith-based groups to further the cause of justice and opportunity for poor and working class people across the country," Hacala said.
The next Commitment to Justice Conference is set for December 8-9 in Nashville. The remaining conferences will be next year in Houston; Seattle; Portland, OR; Baltimore; Boston; Sacramento; Denver and Chicago.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009