|HUD No. 00-182|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Monday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||August 7, 2000|
28 CITIES AND THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AWARDED HUD GRANTS TO REVITALIZE BLIGHTED AREAS
WASHINGTON - More than 10,000 families will be moving into new or renovated homes thanks to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which today announced that it has awarded nearly $564 million to 28 cities and the Virgin Islands in its latest round of grants to replace or renovate some of the nationís worst public housing.
HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo released a list of this yearís winners after notifying Washington, DC city officials that they were the final recipient of this yearís HOPE VI housing grants.
"HOPE VI grants are remaking public housing in the U.S.," Cuomo said. "These 18 awards bring us a step closer to meeting a bold pledge by the Administration to transform public housing so that every American will have a safe, clean and decent place to live."
Cuomo added that HUDís $515 million investment this year in HOPE VI revitalization grants will help generate another $1.5 billion in additional investment in housing and jobs programs at public housing developments.
Cuomo said that the HOPE VI grants are intended to:
- Improve public housing by demolishing severely distressed public housing projects, such as high-rises and barracks-style apartments, and replace them with townhouses or garden-style apartments that blend aesthetically into the surrounding community;
- Reduce concentrations of poverty by encouraging a mix of incomes among public housing residents and by encouraging working families to move into housing that is part of revitalized communities;
- Provide support services, such as education and training programs, child care services, transportation and counseling to help public housing residents get and keep jobs;
- Establish and enforce high standards of personal and community responsibility through explicit lease requirements; and,
- Forge partnerships that involve public housing residents, state and local government officials, the private sector, non-profit groups and the community-at-large in planning and implementing new communities.
In addition to replacing or rehabbing more than 10,000 run-down apartments and houses, Cuomo says that city housing officials will also be able to demolish another 6,400 severely distressed units.
Joining Washington, DC, as winners were: Biloxi, MS; Camden, NJ; Chattanooga; Chicago; Danville, VA; Durham, NC; Memphis; Mercer County, PA; Milwaukee; Newport, KY; Norfolk, VA; Oakland, CA; Richmond, CA; Savannah; Seattle; Tacoma; and Tucson.
The winning cities were competitively selected based upon the effectiveness of their public housing revitalization plans. HUD policy provides local housing authorities with the flexibility to develop revitalization plans that meet their own special needs.
The replacement housing units in the 18 cities that won revitalization grants will be made up of 4,104 units of new public housing, 2,864 units of new privately owned affordable and market-rate rental housing, and 3,160 units that will be sold to public housing residents for their use. Some of the replacement housing units will be at the site of public housing being demolished, and some will be at other locations.
HUD also awarded $50 million in HOPE VI demolition grants to the housing authorities in the following locales to remove dilapidated housing units: Atlanta; Chicago; Columbus, OH; Cuyahoga County, OH; Douglas, GA; Hartford; Jersey City, NJ; Lexington, KY; Little Rock; Milwaukee; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Seattle; and the Virgin Islands.
Nationally, HOPE VI funds will also be used to help about 2.7 million public housing residents get jobs and become self-sufficient.
As part of the grants HUD will pay temporary relocation costs for residents whose apartments are being demolished. Relocated residents who meet program requirements will be given the first opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units at the site. Alternatively, if residents choose not to return to public housing, they will be given vouchers to subsidize their rents in privately owned apartments. In addition, relocated residents receiving vouchers will be provided with the same job training and services offered to people living in replacement public housing.
All newly constructed units must conform to HUD guidelines for Healthy Homes. This initiative ensures that safeguards are in place to protect residents from hazards caused by lead, fire, carbon monoxide and radon.
The HOPE VI program was created as a result of a report by the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which found nearly 100,000 units of "severely distressed" public housing in the U.S.
HUD, which made its first HOPE VI awards in 1993, has now awarded more than $5.1 billion in grants under the program, Cuomo said. More than 50,000 units of distressed public housing have been approved for demolition and 39,000 new public housing units are being created as a result of the program.
About 2.7 million people live in the nationís 1.3 million public housing units. Nearly half of the units are home to families with children, 32 percent have senior citizens, and 17 percent are home to people with disabilities. The median annual income of households in public housing is $9,777.