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September 28, 2001
HUD AWARDS $35 MILLION GRANT TO ATLANTA TO TRANSFORM PUBLIC HOUSING, HELP RESIDENTS
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded a $35 million grant to the Atlanta Housing Authority that will be used replace 694 deteriorated public housings units with new housing for 1,123 families.
In Atlanta, the HOPE VI grant will be used to revitalize the Capitol Homes public housing development. Upon completion, the grant will develop 357 public housing units, 676 affordable and market rate rental units, 90 affordable and market rate homeownership units. The new development will also include a day care, computer training and job readiness center.
"HOPE VI is much more than building new homes, it is also about building lives," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez. "The residents of the Capitol Homes public housing development will see a number of homeownership opportunities and training programs that will have a positive impact on entire neighborhoods."
"This is great news for Atlanta and Georgia, and it's going to mean the creation of many new jobs," said Senator Zell Miller. "It's especially gratifying to me because I have pushed for this project not only as a senator, but also when I was governor. I am eager to watch the transformation of Capitol Homes into an attractive, livable community for all families."
Atlanta was selected from a pool of 66 applications the agency received for the 2001 funding. The Atlanta Housing Authority has received five HOPE VI Revitalization grants, including this award. Prior awards include: $42 million for Techwood/Clark Howell/Centennial Place in 1993; $20 million for Perry Homes in 1996; $34 million for Carver Homes in 1998; and $35 million for Joel Chandler Harris Homes in 1999.
Today's grant will ultimately attract $120 million in total investment to Atlanta, a return equal to about $3.45 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. 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.
Since 1993, HUD has awarded 149 grants to 90 cities. The program's $4 billion
in awards has leveraged more than $6.7 billion in public and private funds.