October 28, 2004
HUD OFFICIAL JOINS RENO HOUSING AUTHORITY TO CUT RIBBON FOR HILLBORO PLACE - A NEW RENO HOMEOWNERSHIP COMMUNITY
Housing Authority Gets Funding for Homeownership Efforts
RENO - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Michael Liu joined U.S. Senator Harry Reid, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell and Reno Housing Authority Executive Director David Morton to cut the ribbon on the newly developed Hillboro Place - a new homeownership community. The Reno Housing Authority leveraged HUD funds with private funds to revamp this once blighted, crime-ridden neighborhood.
"This is a fine example of what can be achieved through public-private partnerships," said Liu, who heads HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing. "The federal government working with a bank, the city, and local churches are helping low-income families become first-time homeowners."
The officials cut the ribbon to celebrate the construction of nine new homes on Friendship Lane - now renamed Hillboro Place. The homes will be sold to former public housing residents who participated in Reno's Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program. The HUD FSS program encourages communities to develop local strategies to help assisted families obtain employment that will lead to economic independence and self-sufficiency. The PHA establishes an interest-bearing escrow account for families who participate in this program. Additional family income is deposited in the account that can be accessed by the family pay for higher education or provide downpayment on a home.
The city of Reno combined more than $550,000 from HUD's HOME program with other government and private funds to purchase and demolish the old homes that lined Friendship Lane. The 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. The Reno Housing Authority also provided Section 8 funds to assists with relocation.
Liu also presented the Reno Housing Authority $9, 000 in incentive funding for its success with HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership program. The housing authority has helped four Reno families become homeowners.
This financial incentive from HUD will be used for administrative costs incurred by the program and to continue to promote homeownership to other residents.
Since rolling out the HCVH program nationally in 2001, the program has helped more than 2,200 low-income families who were renters become homeowners. Today there are more than 350 public housing authorities administering the program.The HCVH program is a component of the Housing Choice Voucher program, formerly known as Section 8. It is designed to promote and support first-time homebuyers. Under this initiative, PHAs make monthly homeownership assistance payments to help first-time homeowners with monthly expenses, instead of making monthly payments on behalf of families to assist with rent. Monthly expenses include the principal and interest on the mortgage debt, real estate taxes and insurance, and the PHA established allowances for utilities, routine maintenance, and major repairs and replacements.
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.
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