|HUD No. 00-59|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||Tuesday|
|Or contact your local HUD office||March 21, 2000|
HUD HEADQUARTERS RELOCATES TO BOISE FOR A DAY AS CUOMO ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP TO HELP REVITALIZE CITY
BOISE, ID - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo and senior HUD officials today relocated the Department's headquarters to Boise for a day to strengthen HUD's successful partnership with the city, and announced more than $2.5 million in grants.
Cuomo was joined by Mayor Brent Coles at a series of HUD For A Day events designed to give top HUD officials a better understanding of the needs of Boise so HUD can do more to help create jobs, spur economic development and expand the supply of affordable housing in the city.
"Mayor Coles is doing an outstanding job serving Boise and its people, and I appreciate the opportunity to see first-hand what he's accomplished," Cuomo said. "I've brought the top leadership of HUD here because the best way to understand Boise and its needs is to come here. The knowledge we gain today will help us to do a better job working with Boise to bring a new prosperity to this city and its people."
"I am pleased that Secretary Cuomo has accepted my invitation to come to Boise," said Mayor Coles. "This is a great opportunity to showcase what we are doing and to learn how we can strengthen our partnership with HUD. I appreciate the investment that HUD has made and will continue to make in our community."
- A Consolidated Action Plan grant of $1.8 million to Boise.
- A $357,000 Supportive Housing grant to the Women's and Children's Alliance.
- A $320,000 contract to the Idaho Housing Finance Association for rental assistance contract services.
- A grant of up to $25,000 for anti-drug training.
- A $25,000 grant for Fair Housing consulting.
- A commitment by the Federal Housing Administration to insure home mortgages totaling $1.7 billion over five years in the Boise/Ada County area.
- Plans for a SuperNOFA Training Day and Model Building Code and Accessibility Training Day in Boise, and a Public Housing Assessment System Award.
Today's visit was the 11th HUD For A Day that Cuomo has held around the nation since becoming Secretary in 1997.
HUD officials joining Cuomo for the day included: Assistant Secretary for Housing/Federal Housing Commissioner William Apgar; Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development Cardell Cooper; Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Housing Investments in Public and Indian Housing Elinor Bacon; and General Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Amy Wilkinson.
Cuomo and the other HUD officials began the day by meeting with representatives of community and business groups for a roundtable discussion at the Boise Train Depot. Cuomo and the HUD officials then went their separate ways, to visit sites throughout Boise.
Cuomo joined Mayor Coles for a community walking tour of the River Street neighborhood, which has been revitalized thanks to HUD funding and unique public/private partnerships. There is a police substation, playground, senior public housing, homeless shelter, soup kitchen and new apartment building built with the help of tax credits all within two square blocks.
This neighborhood is one of the city's oldest near-downtown neighborhoods and is transitioning from a blighted poorer single family area into a mixed-use district of housing, office and retail. This is a neighborhood where HUD Community Development funds have been used in partnership with private funds to build a homeless shelter, transitional housing, and single-room occupancy units. HUD funding was also used to provide extensive street lighting as well as a police substation and youth facilities.
During his visit, Cuomo held an official opening of The River Plaza Apartment Complex, a 116-unit, four-story, tax credit complex located in the River Street neighborhood. The project began with the purchase of the land using $900,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds. Now as a tax credit project the complex has more than 70 percent of its units available as affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families.
The project has a community room with a computer/business center. This center has four work stations, all of which have up-to-date computers installed. U.S. West recently donated 10 additional computers to the center. The communications corporation, through its U.S. West Foundation, is partnering with Boise State University to coordinate a program to conduct Internet training throughout Idaho. This is being accomplished by the WOW (Widening Our World) Jr. Van, a mobile interactive school.
Cuomo also met with the Treasure Valley Partnership, and organization of elected and business leaders, before returning to preside at a closing roundtable session at the Boise Senior Center/Community Center.
HUD FOR A DAY IN BOISE
DETAILS OF HUD ASSISTANCE FOR BOISE
Here are details of the assistance that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced for Boise during his HUD For A Day visit on Tuesday.
- A Consolidated Action Plan grant of $1.8 million. The grant will fund housing, community policing services, homeless assistance, economic development and job creation, fair housing and infrastructure improvements to provide a better living environment for Boise's low- and moderate-income families.
- A $357,000 Supportive Housing grant to the Women's and Children's Alliance (WCA), which operates a five-bedroom transitional housing project for women and children leaving the WCA domestic violence Crisis Center who are not ready for total self-sufficiency.
- A $320,000 contract awarded to Idaho Housing Finance Association to provide contract administration services for project-based Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contracts in Idaho under Section 8 rental assistance contract services. Idaho is one of the first three states to receive this award. It will perform various duties for HUD including management and occupancy reviews, payment of monthly housing assistance payments to owners and contract renewals.
- A contract for up to $25,000 for anti-drug training to assist the Public Housing Authorities of Boise City and Ada County staff and other appropriate community partners to deal with the increasing problems with methamphetamine (meth) laboratories. Meth is manufactured from volatile and unstable substances and careless handling can result in explosions, fires and toxic fumes as well as chemical contamination of surrounding properties.
- A $25,000 grant for Fair Housing consulting to provide advice to the Idaho housing industry on design and construction of multifamily housing to comply with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act. The Department will provide services of an expert who can come to Boise and assist local owners, architects, and building managers to reach a mutually acceptable way of building units for the elderly and persons with disabilities who need more accessible living spaces.
- A commitment by FHA to insure home mortgages totaling $1.7 billion over five years in the Boise/Ada County area. As part of HUD's "FHA in Your State" outreach, Cuomo noted that FHA insurance in Boise/Ada County totaled $375 million in Fiscal Year 1999. FHA mortgage insurance helps families qualify for mortgages they need to become homeowners. Without the insurance, many families would be locked out of homeownership.
- Plans for SuperNOFA Training Day in Boise. Within the next 60 days, special training will be made available to the community explaining the various grants available from HUD and the correct procedures for applying for these funds.
- Plans for a Model Building Code Day in Boise. Within the next 60 days, the Department will send HUD staff to Boise to meet with local building code officials to review the City's current building code and to make suggestions as to how the code could be updated to include the design and construction requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act.
- Presentation of Public Housing Assessment System Award. Since Boise officials were unable to attend the recent award ceremony in Washington, Cuomo brought a certificate to them recognizing the city's efforts in public housing.
In addition, Cuomo saw first-hand these River Street Neighborhood Revitalization projects that have received HUD funding.
- Cops and Kids Program - A total of $375,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement funding was used to purchase and renovate the Community Oriented Policing Services facility. An additional $125,000 funding was provided to the Boise Parks and Recreation Department to assist with staffing and operation of the Pioneer Community Center and to carry out the Catch Them While They're Young program.
- Neighborhood Streetlights - $50,000 per year over a five year period ($250,000) of CDBG entitlement funding has been used to purchase and install historical streetlights in the residential areas of the River Street neighborhood.
- Pioneer Tot-Lot; Playground Improvements - $130,000 in CDBG funds have been used for the purchase and installation of new playground equipment, landscaping and the improvements to the Pioneer Tot Lot located adjacent to the Community Soup Kitchen.
- Community Soup Kitchen - $160,000 of CDBG funding was used to renovate the kitchen. This included expansion of the dining room, upgrade of electrical service, new heating and ventilation and air conditioning systems, installation of a grease trap/interceptor, two new fully accessible restrooms, new floor coverings and interior/exterior paint.