October 8, 2004
BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $144 MILLION TO STIMULATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING IN FLORIDA
HUD grants targeted to lower income persons and families in need
MIAMI - The State of Florida will receive more than $144 million in federal funding to stimulate its local economy, produce more affordable housing and help homeless individuals and families, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced today. HUD is also giving communities the flexibility to use their HOME funds and Community Development Block Grants for disaster recovery efforts brought on by the recent wave of hurricanes that have devastated many parts of the state. This can include activities such as repairing homes, constructing streets and water systems and helping businesses to create jobs.
"The Bush Administration's commitment to the State of Florida is strong. I am confident that under the leadership of Governor Bush these funds will help the State get back on its feet and be even stronger than it was before the storms," said Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.
"These grants, and the added flexibility to use them for disaster recovery efforts, will help many Floridians as we continue to rebuild in the wake of these storms," Governor Bush said. "Meeting the housing needs of our state is a top priority, I thank Secretary Jackson for recognizing the vital role this funding will play in rebuilding our communities".
The funding announced today includes:
For the past 30 years, HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has awarded over $100 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities. CDBG is one of HUD's oldest and most popular programs. The rehabilitation of affordable housing has traditionally been the largest single use of the grants although CDBG is also an important catalyst for job growth and business opportunities. CDBG funds are distributed by formula around the country based on a community's population, income levels, poverty rates and the age of its housing stock.
HOME (HOME Investment Partnerships Program) is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to produce affordable housing for low-income families. Since 1992, more than 600 communities have committed to produce nearly 785,000 affordable housing units, including almost 300,000 for new homebuyers purchasing their first home. In addition, over 100,000 tenants have received direct rental assistance.
The American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) aims to increase the homeownership rate, especially among lower income and minority households, and to revitalize and stabilize communities. ADDI will help first-time homebuyers with the biggest hurdle to homeownership: downpayment and closing costs. The program was created to assist low-income first-time homebuyers in purchasing single-family homes by providing funds for downpayment, closing costs, and rehabilitation carried out in conjunction with the assisted home purchase.
Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) help local communities to meet the basic shelter needs of homeless individuals and families. These grants also provide transitional housing and a variety of support services designed to move the homeless away from a life on the street toward permanent housing. This block grant program, in concert with more than $1 billion HUD awards by competition, helps thousands of local homeless assistance programs to help those who would otherwise call the streets their home.
HUD's Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) grants are distributed based on the number of AIDS cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The grants provide rental assistance and support services to individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families. In addition, the HOPWA program also helps many communities develop strategic AIDS housing plans and fill in gaps in local systems of care. A stable home environment is a critical component for low-income persons managing complex drug therapies and potential side effects from their treatments.
"This Administration is committed to promoting economic development and job growth, increasing the supply of affordable housing, and helping our most vulnerable neighbors," said Jackson. "These funds will serve as a catalyst for low-income families trying to cross the threshold into homeownership and reinforces our commitment to rebuilding entire communities."
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and 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 and espanol.hud.gov.