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Martinez Delivers $700 Million to New York -- Largest Single Grant in HUD's History -- To Help Businesses Recover from Terror Attacks
NEW YORK - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today presented New York the largest single grant in the Department's history, $700 million, to help businesses located in Lower Manhattan recover from the terrorist attacks of September 11. Martinez made the presentation in New York during a ceremony to launch the State's program to assist affected businesses.
The funding is part of a special appropriation to HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and will help affected businesses near ground zero in New York City recover from damages and lost revenue since the September attacks. The Empire State Development Corporation, in conjunction with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, will distribute the funds to local businesses based on a recently approved State action plan.
"There was no doubt that New York City would come back stronger than ever after the terrorist attacks," said HUD Secretary Mel Martinez. "This city has a tremendous history and a great heart, and the world depends on the strength of the New York economy and the continued vitality of its businesses."
"This program will help struggling businesses meet the real challenges they face since Sept. 11, but there is no government substitute for the thousands of workers, visitors and tourists that made Lower Manhattan so vital and vibrant," said New York Governor George Pataki. "Thanks to the leadership of President Bush and Secretary Martinez, and their ongoing commitment to New York, this expedited and unprecedented $700 million grant will be the foundation on which many of Lower Manhattan's small businesses build their future as we rebuild our city and state."
"New York City would like to thank President Bush and Secretary Martinez for their dedication to ensuring the economic stability and revitalization of Lower Manhattan," said New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "This program will further enhance our ability to retain and attract businesses, as well as seizing the significant opportunity we have to remake Lower Manhattan into a vibrant, 24-hour commercial, retail, cultural and tourist destination."
Martinez announced the funding in November as New York State began developing a plan to help affected businesses in Lower Manhattan. Since then, HUD has been working closely with Gov. Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and officials with the Empire State Development Corporation and the Economic Development Corporation in an unprecedented effort to expedite delivery of the funds to the State.
HUD's $700 million CDBG funding to New York State is part of the Bush Administration's initial $20 billion commitment to help the City recover from the terrorist attacks. In addition, HUD is vigorously working with New York officials to provide an additional $2 billion to further assist the City and State to respond to the pressing economic and community development needs in the wake of the attacks.
The Empire State Development Corporation and the Economic Development Corporation plan to use the HUD grant to compensate businesses for economic losses following the attacks and to provide grants to community-based organizations and other service providers to further assist struggling small businesses. The HUD funds will also provide loans and grants to retain businesses and attract new companies and jobs to Lower Manhattan.
Since September 11, HUD has directed an additional $15 million in emergency assistance to the New York City Housing Authority and the City's Department of Housing Preservation & Development to help defray the extraordinary costs incurred after the attacks. Martinez also moved quickly in directing all FHA-approved lenders to provide relief to families affected by the tragedy and encouraged the lending industry to delay any foreclosure action against those impacted by the events of September 11.
Shortly after the attacks, Martinez and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld teamed up to remind all mortgage lenders that federal law requires they reduce mortgage interest rates to no more than six percent for eligible active duty military personnel, including National Guard members and Reservists called to active duty. Martinez also issued a letter to the housing industry and state and local leaders to stand united against housing discrimination that may result after the attacks.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010