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November 9, 2001
HUD AWARDS $40.2 MILLION IN GRANTS TO PHILADELPHIA TO TRANSFORM PUBLIC HOUSING, HELP RESIDENTS
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $40.2 million in HOPE VI grants to the Philadelphia Housing Authority that will be used to replace aging public housing units with 627 new housing units.
In Philadelphia, a $34.8 million revitalization grant for Mill Creek will replace 496 older public housing units with 380 new public housing units. It will also be used to develop 247 affordable and market rate homes. The plan also includes a 2.5-acre park and programs for job training, small business development, youth and substance abuse counseling. Philadelphia also received a $5.4 million demolition grant to remove 954 aging public housing units.
"Across the country, and in Philadelphia, we have seen HOPE VI developments transform aging public housing units into beautiful, thriving, mixed-income communities," said HUD Deputy Secretary Alphonso Jackson at a press conference with Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) today in Philadelphia. "HOPE VI is much more than building new homes, it is also about building lives. The residents of Philadelphia will see a number of self-sufficiency and training programs aimed at turning public housing residents into community stakeholders."
The Philadelphia Housing Authority was selected from a pool of 66 applications the agency received for the 2001 funding. The PHA has received several HOPE VI grants including $50 million in 1993 for the Richard Allen Homes; $26.4 million in 1997 for Schuylkill Falls; and $25.2 million in 1998 for Martin Luther King Plaza.
Today's grants will ultimately attract $52.7 million in total investment to Philadelphia, a return equal to about $1.51 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.
As part of today's award, HUD will pay relocation costs for residents being temporarily relocated or 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, 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.