HUD No. 05-044
April 7, 2005
HUD, HACLA CUT RIBBON FOR COMMUNITY CENTER AT REVITALIZED MIXED-INCOME COMMUNITY
HACLA also receives $650,000 to combat drugs, crime in public housing
LOS ANGELES - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Michael Liu joined Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles Executive Director Rudolf Montiel, other city officials and private partners today to cut the ribbon for a new community center at Pueblo del Sol, the new mixed-income community, formerly Aliso Village public housing development.
"This ribbon-cutting marks a new day for both this neighborhood and the city's housing authority," said Liu during a ceremony at the new community center prior to cutting the ribbon. " Over the past year the new leadership at HACLA has focused on getting the housing authority on a solid course to improve the quality of life not only for public housing residents, but families who benefit from HUD's Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, known as Section 8."
The opening of the community center marks the total transformation of HACLA, which entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with HUD last year to address serious deficiencies in its HCV program. Under Montiel's leadership, HACLA has brought the dire situation under control, while putting HALCA's financial house in order. This has kept Section 8 assistance flowing to local families who need it and restored confidence in the housing authority's ability to manage the program effectively. To mark these improvements, Liu presented Montiel, with a revised MOU, lifting some of the old restrictions of the earlier document, giving HACLA more authority. For example, HACLA will no longer need HUD approval to award contracts $50,000 and under. The new MOU elevates this restriction to $250,000. Montiel was selected to lead HACLA in consultation with HUD officials.
The 6,000 square foot community center will house a swimming pool, job-training resources, including a computer-learning center that will provide residents important tools to search for educational and employment opportunities. The new facility will also host after-school activities for residents of the entire community. The transformation of Aliso Village was made possible by a 1998 HUD HOPE VI grant for $23 million. The new community Pueblo del Sol includes public and affordable housing units and single-family homes.
Liu also took this opportunity to award HACLA a $650,000 Public Housing Safety Initiative grant. The funding is part of a $7,936,000 special set-aside in HUD's 2005 annual appropriation to support the Department of Justice's programs that investigate, prosecute and prevent violent crime and illegal drug activity in public and federally-assisted low-income housing, including Indian Housing. This award will be used to combat violent crime and drug offenses in Los Angeles' public housing 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.