|HUD No. 00-205|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Tuesday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||August 8, 2000|
CUOMO, WALSH ANNOUNCE NEW HOUSING PROGRAMS FOR AUBURN
AUBURN, NY - Hundreds of Auburn-area public and private school teachers and administrators, and police and correctional officers are now eligible to buy select homes at a 50 percent discount, now that the City has been designated as a "HUD revitalization area" by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo, during a visit to Auburn with U.S. Representative James Walsh and Mayor Melina Carnicelli, announced that Auburn becomes the latest of New York's 126 revitalization areas, which will enable area residents to purchase discounted homes through HUD's Officer Next Door and Teacher Next Door initiatives.
"By making it more attractive for police officers and teachers to live and work in the same areas where they're needed most, we can build better futures for children and neighborhoods in need," Secretary Cuomo said. "A good police officer and a good teacher can make a great neighbor -- as a mentor and an inspiring role model, serving to stabilize neighborhoods that might otherwise be in transition."
"Homeownership is a large piece of the American dream," said U.S. Rep. Amo Houghton. "So when a federal program can help more people realize that dream, everyone benefits. I am especially pleased that this effort took pains to honor the historic nature of the properties wherever possible. I congratulate Secretary Cuomo and my friend and colleague Rep. Jim Walsh for their part in making this project a reality."
"Today's announcement is welcomed news for the people of the City of Auburn," said Rep. Walsh. "With the revitalization zone designation, new affordable housing opportunities will be offered within the city, continuing to assist in maintaining and improving the quality of life of all neighborhoods in Auburn."
Mayor Carnicelli said: "It's an honor to have Secretary Cuomo visit Auburn where we are focused on being the best small city in New York State, and working with HUD over the years has helped significantly in revitalizing our neighborhoods."
"The City of Auburn has been working with HUD utilizing CDBG/HOME funds for more than 26 years. These programs have helped the city in revitalizing its neighborhoods, provided rehabilitation assistance to our low income residents and developed initiatives for the creation of business opportunities and new jobs," said Vijay K. Mital, Auburn's Director of Planning & Economic Development. "We have used the Small Cities Program to improve the lives of our low income residents by providing decent and affordable housing, as well as revitalizing Auburn's neighborhoods and stimulating economic growth. Community Development Block Grant/HOME programs have made a major impact in making our neighborhoods more livable."
Corrections Officer Todd Clark, union steward of the local correctional officers union said: "This will give over 550 employees an incentive to make a commitment to the neighborhoods of Auburn, which is a great place to live and work. It will also will assist corrections officers and their families to purchase an affordable home and build a future in the community."
The Officer Next Door program is open to anyone who has the "power to arrest." Cuomo said that corrections officers, including the 500 employees of the Auburn Correctional Facility, have that power and will be eligible for the Officer Next Door program.
The Teacher Next Door program is open to teachers and administrators in public or private schools. The home must be in a HUD-designated revitalization area served by the school district that employs the teacher.
Also, each officer or teacher must occupy the home as his or her sole residence for at least three years.
The homes may be bought directly from HUD, through real estate agents, or from local governments or not-for-profit groups that have purchased the homes from HUD. HUD currently has 765 single-family houses, townhouses and condominiums available for purchase using either of the two initiatives in New York cities.
In addition to receiving a 50 percent discount on the price of a home, teachers and officers who buy a home with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of HUD, can make the purchases with downpayments as low as $100. FHA will also insure mortgages that cover costs of rehabilitating homes in need of repair.
Police officers have bought more than 3,800 homes since the program was announced in 1997. Teachers have closed on or had contracts accepted on more than 400 homes in just the first few months of that program.
Across the country, there are 727 HUD-designated revitalization areas in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Homes for sale under the two initiatives come into HUD's possession when the FHA forecloses because homeowners do not make their mortgage payments.
Cuomo, Rep. Walsh and Mayor Carnicelli also celebrated the continuing success of Auburn's neighborhood revitalization efforts, cutting the ribbon on a newly renovated home in the Fort Hill neighborhood through HUD's Community Development Block Grant and HOME programs.
Today's announcement comes during the
second day of a three-day tour of upstate New York by Cuomo to promote tourism,
economic growth and job creation that will take him along the Hudson River
and the Erie Canal, and to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.