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Martinez, On Behalf of Bush Administration, Delivers First Installment of $2 Billion to Support Rebuilding of Lower Manhattan
NEW YORK - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez today presented New York nearly $306 million to provide residential incentives and job training to tens of thousands of individuals and families living or working in Lower Manhattan. HUD's assistance will also reimburse New York for the design and installation of the interim memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The assistance announced today is the first installment of a $2 billion grant from HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and represents the largest single grant in the Department's history. Martinez made the announcement during a ceremony in New York with Governor George Pataki. Earlier this year HUD also provided New York $700 million to assist businesses affected by the events of September 11th.
"Today's announcement is another example of the Bush Administration's commitment to the citizens of New York City," said HUD Secretary Martinez. "If the terrorists thought that by destroying the Twin Towers they were destroying America's spirit and resolve, they were wrong. September 11th had the reverse effect - it has made us stronger and more unified."
Residential Incentive Program
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, in cooperation with the State of New York and New York City, will distribute direct housing grants of up to $12,000 to eligible tenants and homeowners who commit to living in Lower Manhattan for at least two years. In order to retain existing residents, one-time grants of up to $1,500 are also available to families who commit to remaining in Lower Manhattan for at least one-year.
Lower Manhattan residents represent an important part of the economic revitalization of New York City. This incentive program is designed to attract and retain residents, reduce vacancies and re-establish the health of the area's economy.
Martinez said, "Restoring the area's housing and job market is a necessary step in helping to make this community whole again."
Employment Training Assistance Program
HUD funding will also help approximately 5,000 current and prospective employees of businesses and nonprofit organizations located in Lower Manhattan. These workers will receive vital customized training for jobs that require specific skills not taught in traditional classroom settings. The program will give special attention to individuals that lost wages and worked south of Houston Street on September 11th.
Included in HUD's assistance is $350,000 to help defray the cost of an interim memorial for the victims of the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center. Located in a section of historic Battery Park, the memorial includes "The Sphere for Plaza Fountain," a monument to world peace that sat atop a granite fountain in the center of the World Trade Center Plaza. The Sphere is framed on either side by a row of trees and park benches. This memorial is intended to provide comfort and common commemorative ground for the victims and survivors of the terrorist attacks.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will continue to fashion a plan to spend the remaining $1.7 billion of HUD funding.
This assistance is in addition to the traditional role of HUD as the nation's housing agency. HUD is committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010