HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 01-084
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In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685
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For Release
September 27, 2001


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded a $35 million grant to the Boston Housing Authority that will be used to replace 413 deteriorated public housing units with 509 new public housing units.

In Boston, the HOPE VI grant will be used to replace Maverick Gardens public housing development and revitalize the surrounding community. Upon completion of the project, the grant will provide housing for 646 families. In addition to the new public housing units, there will be 87 market rate rental units and 50 affordable homeownership units. The redevelopment plan includes day care facilities, transportation assistance, computer training and job readiness programs.

"Across the country, and here in Boston, we have seen HOPE VI developments transform aging public housing units into beautiful, thriving, mixed-income communities," said Michael Liu, HUD Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public and Indian Housing, today in a joint press conference with Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift. "HOPE VI is much more than building new homes, it is also about building lives. Bostonians will see a number of self-sufficiency and training programs aimed at turning public housing residents into community stakeholders."

"The revitalization of Maverick Gardens plays an integral role in the success story taking place in East Boston," said Governor Jane Swift. " We are creating a diverse, integrated community that will provide economic opportunity for the families of this city."

Boston was selected from a pool of 66 applications the agency received for the 2001 funding. The Boston Housing Authority has received two HOPE VI Revitalization grants prior to today's announcement. Those awards include $49.9 million for Mission Main in 1993 and $30 million for Orchard Park in 1995.

Today's grant will ultimately attract $100 million in total investment to Boston, a return equal to about $2.86 for every dollar invested this year in the program. In 1993, the first year of the HOPE VI program, the return was only 31 cents for each dollar invested.

HUD will award more than $491 million this year in HOPE VI grants. The funds will be used to build or rehab more than 12,000 housing units and replace 8,000 older public housing units. 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 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 public housing units in the U.S. in need of revitalization. The HOPE VI grants, first awarded by HUD in 1993, have five objectives:

  • Improve public housing by replacing severely distressed public housing projects, such as high-rises and barracks-style apartments, 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.

  • 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.

As part of today's award, HUD will pay temporary relocation costs for residents being displaced by the revitalization effort. Relocated residents who meet program requirements will be given the first opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units at the site. Those residents who choose not to return to public housing 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.

Since 1993, HUD has awarded 149 HOPE VI grants to 90 cities. The program's $4 billion in awards has leveraged more than $6.7 billion in public and private funds.




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