|HUD No. 00-14|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Monday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||January 24, 2000|
CUOMO, WALSH MEET WITH SYRACUSE BUSINESS LEADERS TO ENCOURAGE REVITALIZATION EFFORTS, ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR $5 MILLION IN HUD AID
SYRACUSE, NY - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo and Congressman James Walsh met with local business leaders today to encourage them to invest in Syracuse, and announced approval of a plan to spend $5 million in HUD assistance on neighborhood revitalization
Walsh, the City and business leaders prepared the plan, which will use HUD funds to pursue comprehensive community development initiatives in blighted and distressed neighborhoods. Planned activities include: rehabilitating existing houses; building new houses; building new apartments with affordable rents; and demolishing blighted buildings and redeveloping the sites.
More than two dozen business leaders attended the meeting with Cuomo and Walsh.
"Creating a strong, economically healthy Syracuse is the best way to improve the economic health of Central New York," Cuomo said. "To make this happen, everyone who cares about this region needs to work together to encourage increased business investment in Syracuse that will turn our dreams of economic growth and job creation into a reality. Congressman Walsh and I are here because we share this goal and because we're committed to work across party lines to achieve it."
"Creating and expanding businesses in Syracuse makes good economic sense," Cuomo added. "It's not an act of charity. It's a sound investment."
Walsh said: "With Secretary Cuomo's help, we are taking major steps toward securing our City's future and the entire region's economic health for generations to come. Secretary Cuomo and I are asking for the support of the business community in our efforts to remove dangerously dilapidated houses, build new ones, encourage single-family homeownership, and support grass roots organizations in their initiatives."
Here's how HUD's $5 million Neighborhood Initiative grant will be used by Syracuse:
- Neighborhood affordable housing priorities: $1.85 million
- Purchase and rehabilitation of single-family homes: $1.5 million
- Demolition and redevelopment of select sites : $1.35 million
- Tree planting: $250,000
- Administrative support: $50,000
Today's meeting carried out commitments made when Cuomo visited Syracuse in April at the invitation of Walsh. Cuomo brought top HUD officials to learn how to work with the community to create jobs, spur economic development and expand the supply of affordable housing.
In addition to the $5 million grant, here are other commitments HUD has made to Syracuse:
- Opened a HUD Storefront - a new type of consumer-oriented office that gives people better access to HUD programs and helps HUD better respond to local needs - in downtown Syracuse, staffed by six full-time HUD employees.
- Provided $3 million in HUD loan guarantees for businesses locating in the Crossroads Commercial Park.
- Sponsored a regional conference for leaders of religious groups and community organizers to explore creative ways to bring jobs and housing to economically distressed areas.
- Partnered with the Department of Agriculture to plant 1,000 new trees.
Cuomo said business investment has sparked revitalization in communities across the nation. He gave these examples:
- Minneapolis, MN - Honeywell has kept its headquarters in the Phillips neighborhood (now one of the poorest in the city) for more than 100 years. Instead of abandoning the neighborhood for the suburbs, Honeywell has invested in Phillips, helping to redevelop housing and offering educational and employment opportunities for local residents. Business is booming for Honeywell and this is spurring a revitalization of Phillips.
- Milwaukee, WI - Harley-Davidson is increasing employee morale while strengthening the neighborhood surrounding its corporate headquarters through an employer-assisted homeownership program. Harley-Davidson offers employees financial assistance for a downpayment and closing costs if the home is purchased in certain neighborhoods.
- New London, CT and Brooklyn, NY - Pfizer is building a biotech research center on a brownfield. Brownfields are former sites of factories and other industrial facilities and businesses that dealt with polluting substances. Pfizer was able to acquire the land at a discount and turn an empty lot into an industrial park that will generate 500 jobs. In Brooklyn, Pfizer has worked with New York City to develop an industrial park and affordable housing adjacent to the company's pharmaceutical manufacturing plant.