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CUOMO ANNOUNCES PILOT CITIES FOR PARTNERSHIP THAT WILL BUILD ONE MILLION NEW HOMES OVER NEXT 10 YEARS
WASHINGTON - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced 14 cities have been chosen for pilot programs that will be used as models for a national initiative to build an additional 1 million new homes over the next 10 years in America's cities.
Each pilot city selected today will initiate innovative approaches to reduce barriers to new construction and foster creative relationships with home builders and the home building industry, in an effort to increase the number, quality and affordability of new housing.(SEE ATTACHMENT)
The pilot cities are:
Vice President Al Gore, who announced the Building Homes in America's Cities Initiative in February, said today: "The selection of these pilot cities is a positive step that will help transform the American Dream of homeownership into a reality for hard-working families in our cities. This partnership will add to the reinvestment in our cities that is vital to their future."
HUD, the National Association of Home Builders and the U.S. Conference of Mayors signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February agreeing to work together to make the initiative a reality. At that time, the groups said the initiative would begin with the selection of pilot cities. Cuomo said today: "The partnership HUD has established with the National Association of Home Builders and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to build more homes in our cities will create a more prosperous urban America in the 21st century. New homes transform neighborhoods and transform lives by attracting the residents, businesses, and jobs cities need to reverse decades of decline."
The goal of the initiative is to produce 100,000 new housing units a year over the next decade in America's cities, including both single-family homes and apartments, though the focus of the effort will be on increasing homeownership.
Cuomo said the initiative will help narrow the homeownership gap dividing suburbs from cities, and whites from minorities. The Secretary announced last week that during the third quarter of 1999, 73.7 percent of suburban families owned their homes - compared with just 50.5 percent of families in central cities, which are the major communities in a metropolitan area. At the same time, 73.5 percent of white families were homeowners, compared with just 45.5 percent of Hispanic families and 47 percent of black families.
Cuomo announced selection of the pilot cities at a ceremony marking the 50th Anniversary of the Housing Act of 1949. The landmark legislation elevated housing to a national priority and set the goal of "a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family."
The anniversary event was sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Building Museum and the National Housing Conference.
The pilot programs for the urban home initiative will develop models to use as part of the national effort.
An advisory council called the Council on Building Homes in America's Cities - made up of representatives from HUD, the National Association of Home Builders, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and community based organizations - determined the selection criteria for the pilot cities.
Now that the pilot cities have been selected, the Council will facilitate communication and interaction between HUD, participating cities, home builders and others in the housing industry, and other community-based organizations. The Council also will monitor the initiative's progress, develop models of successful approaches and compile and communicate best practices agreements. HUD will provide specially trained staff, known as Community Builders, in the first participating cities to help mayors and home builders identify new federal resources, such as the HOME Program, Homeownership Zones, Empowerment Zones, and technical assistance grants as well as to ensure coordination of existing federal resources and programs.
NAHB will work through its more than 800 state and local home builder associations to encourage home builders to pursue urban residential development opportunities, while working with local jurisdictions to identify and remove barriers to urban home construction.
The Conference of Mayors will urge its members to join in the partnership and work with HUD and NAHB to help cities develop and implement strategies for removing barriers to new home production.
Content Archived: January 20, 2009
Content Archived: January 20, 2009