HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 01-090
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In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685
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For Release
October 3, 2001


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $105 million - three $35 million HOPE VI grants - to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), agreed to approve a $291 million bond issue by the CHA to finance the city's housing transformation plan and will provide $31 million in vouchers to pay relocation costs for residents.

"Today begins a new chapter in Chicago's housing history," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez at a press conference with Mayor Richard Daley today in Chicago. "Once this project is complete, you will see some beautiful homes befitting this city but more importantly you will see lives being built through a variety of HOPE VI service programs. This is an opportunity for Chicago's public housing residents to become community stakeholders."

The two HOPE VI revitalization grants will be used to replace 1,675 aging public housing units with 1,674 new public and mixed-income housing units. The third award is a HOPE VI demolition grant that will be used to demolish 4,500 aging public housing units.

The bond proceeds will be used to rehabilitate senior public housing units and public housing units at sites throughout the city. CHA will repay the $291 million bond initiative by using its annual federal funding over the next 20 years.

CHA will get one $35 million revitalization grant to replace 1,103 public housing units at the Robert Taylor Homes with 297 public housing units, 400 affordable and market rate rental units and 197 market rate homeownership units, creating a total of 894 housing units. The community redevelopment plan will transform State Street into a thoroughfare adding trees and small parks, and include a new retail development.

CHA will get a second $35 million revitalization grant to replace 572 older public housing units at Rockwell Gardens with 260 public housing units, 260 affordable and market rate rental units and 260 market rate homeownership units, creating a total of 780 housing units. The revitalization plan also includes a new community center to serve as a central location for employment and neighborhood services.

The third $35 million grant will be used to demolish aging public housing units at Robert Taylor, Cabrini Extension, Stateway Gardens, Rockwell Gardens, Grace Abbot, Jane Addams, Madden Park and Ida B. Wells.

As part of this 10-year Public Housing Transformation Plan, which aims to revitalize 25,000 public housing units, HUD will pay relocation costs for residents temporarily relocated or displaced. Relocated residents who meet program requirements will be given the first opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units at the site. 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.

The CHA was selected from a pool of 66 applications the agency received for the 2001 funding. CHA has received a number of HOPE VI awards, including $50 million for Cabrini-Green in 1994; $18.4 million for Henry Horner, $25 million for Robert Taylor, and $24.4 million for ABLA Brooks Extension, all in 1996; $35 million for ABLA in 1998; and $35 million for Madden/Wells/Darrow last year.

Today's HOPE VI revitalization grants will ultimately attract $235 million in total investment to Chicago, a return equal to about $3.36 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 $491million this year nationally 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.

Since 1993, not including this year's grants, HUD has awarded 149 HOPE VI grants to 90 cities. The program's $4 billion in awards has leveraged more than $7 billion in public and private funds.




Content Archived: March 26, 2010