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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-98
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Friday
Or contact your local HUD officeJune 4, 1999


MEXICO CITY - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo and Mexican Social Development Secretary Esteban Moctezuma Barragán today signed an accord to cooperate on housing and urban development issues.

The agreement focuses on four areas of U.S.-Mexico cooperation: urban planning and development in the border region, metropolitan planning and administration, housing financing systems, and housing market statistics.

"The people of the United States and Mexico both benefit when our governments work together as partners," Cuomo said. "Our geography, economies, history and family ties bind us together and give us a common interest in seeing prosperity and good housing conditions on both sides of the border."

"The road that now HUD and Sodesol are broadening mirrors the great joint effort between Mexico and the U.S. to cooperate and improve our relationship based on mutual respect and progress," Moctezuma said.

The agreement signed by Cuomo and Moctezuma was part of a broader Memorandum of Understanding signed by the entire U.S.-Mexico Bi-National Commission, which met today in Mexico City. U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Rosario Green Macias presided over the Commission meeting. Cuomo was one of seven U.S. Cabinet members attending.

In addition, Cuomo and Moctezuma announced a series of actions to help local governments on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border work together on common problems and learn from each other. These include:

  • A California-Mexico Border Conference for local officials in both nations to allow them to discuss ways to collaborate and coordinate programs to deal with regional challenges.

  • A Municipal Border Exchange and Cooperation Program that will encourage local officials in both nations to share information and work together on "smart growth" initiatives for communities, metropolitan financing strategies, and public participation in local planning and policy-making.

  • A Pilot Cross-Border Urban Planning Program to promote improved communication and collaboration between sister cities along the U.S.-Mexico border. This will build on the successful efforts of Laredo and Nuevo Laredo to build joint urban development plans.

  • Secondary Mortgage Market Working Groups, a set of small bilateral groups that will discuss secondary market issues such as: mortgage insurance; interest rate risk management; collateral requirements; capital requirements for securitizing mortgages; tax treatment of mortgage-backed bonds; and institutional development of information systems.

  • An analysis of the border's impact on urban infrastructure and development in the U.S. and Mexico, to be undertaken with an eye towards facilitating joint planning and development.

The housing agreement follows a series of meetings in the past year in Mexico City, Nuevo Laredo, Laredo, and Washington convened by the U.S.-Mexico Bi-National Commission's housing and urban development working group.

The meetings explored many issues including: establishing the framework for the joint planning of urban development projects; addressing urban problems including lack of affordable housing, unemployment and pollution caused by border industries; and data and statistics for housing markets and housing finance.

Mexican Deputy Secretary of Social Development Roberto Salcedo Aquino was one of several senior officials from the Mexican housing department who participated in the most recent conference hosted by HUD. Other participants included housing officials from the Mexican states of Puebla, Jalisco and Mexico City; officials of U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. city planners, and representatives of several non-governmental organizations from the United States.

The Mexican delegation visiting Washington also toured Pleasant View Gardens, a HUD-financed public housing revitalization project in Baltimore, and met with representatives from regional development organizations in that city.

Established in 1981, the U.S.-Mexico Bi-National Commission is made up of 14 working groups that work on a range of bi-national issues including housing, environmental pollution, social and economic issues, labor, trade and transportation. Housing and urban development was added in 1991.

Content Archived: January 20, 2009

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