HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-254
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 Sunday
Or contact your local HUD office September 24, 2000


LOMITA, Calif. – Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today awarded $4.3 million in grants to Ability First, a non-profit group that will create 42 apartments in Lomita and Irvine for people with disabilities, and provide five years of rental assistance to people living in the apartments.

Cuomo announced the awards during the first day of a three-day swing through 20 California cities.

"People living with a disability shouldn’t have to struggle to find affordable housing," Cuomo said. "The assistance that we’re announcing today will give people with disabilities both independence and peace of mind."

Ability First will receive $2.5 million for a project in Irvine and $1.8 million in Lomita. Joining Cuomo in the announcement were Richie Geisel, from Ability First; Ken Blackwood, mayor pro-tem in Lomita, and Christina Shea, mayor of Irvine.

Most of the apartments funded by the grants will be newly constructed with the HUD funds, though some will be existing units that will be purchased and rehabilitated when necessary. Residents living in the housing will pay 30 percent of their income for rent, with the federal government paying the rest.

The grants were awarded under HUD’s Section 811 program, which houses very low-income persons between the ages of 18 and 62 who have disabilities, including persons with physical or developmental disabilities or chronic mental illness and disabled families. The term "disabled family" may include two or more persons with disabilities living together, and one or more persons with disabilities living with one or more live-in aides. A disabled family may also include an elderly person with a disability.

To be classified as a "very low-income," a household income cannot exceed 50 percent of the area median income. However, most households that receive Section 811 assistance have an income less than 30 percent of the area median. Generally, this means that a one-person household will have an annual income of about $10,000, and a two-person household will have an income of about $11,500.

Cuomo will deliver the keynote address in Los Angeles on Monday at Creating Partnerships for Renewed Hope, a HUD-sponsored conference that will bring together community and faith-based organizations, public officials and business leaders. Cuomo’s trip concludes Tuesday in Los Angeles at Closing the Gap: Investing in America’s Communities, an economic development conference that will focus on effective strategies, tools, and resources for creating partnerships that address the needs of America’s distressed communities.


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