May 17, 2005
HUD AWARDS PHILADELPHIA HOUSING AUTHORITY $17 MILLION TO REVITALIZE AGING PUBLIC HOUSING
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing Urban Development today awarded a $17,059,932 HOPE VI Revitalization grant to the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA). The funding will be used to revitalize the public housing units scattered in the Ludlow area and create a new mixed-income community.
The original public housing development will be replaced with 50 new public housing units and 72 homeownership units.
"This funding gives Philadelphia the opportunity to improve the lives of the residents in this public housing development and create a community that thrives," said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who announced the grant today. "This is only possible when a housing authority lives up to its responsibility of building the affordable housing in a timely manner."
This grant marks PHA's fifth HOPE VI Revitalization grant. It has received the following grants to revitalize public housing units throughout the city: $50 million in 1993 for Richard Allen Homes; $26.4 million in 1997 for Schuylkill Falls; $25.2 million in 1998 for Martin Luther King Plaza; and $34.8 million in 2001 for Mill Creek. Richard Allen Homes is completed and the others are moving forward to completion.
PHA was selected from a pool of 33 applications HUD received from public housing authorities across the country. Other grantees that received 2004 HOPE VI Revitalization funding are housing authorities in Allentown (Pa.), El Paso (Tex.), Greenville (S.C.), Springfield (Ohio), Tucson (Ariz.), Tuscaloosa (Ala.).
PHAs are competitively selected with an emphasis on the effectiveness and project readiness of their revitalization plans. HUD provides local housing authorities the flexibility to develop revitalization plans that meet their local needs. A team of HUD public housing and revitalization specialists score applications based on several revitalization rating factors, including:
Capacity: The ability of the housing authority or developer to administer and manage completion of the revitalization effort.
Need for Revitalization: The severity of physical distress of the development.
Match/Leveraging: The ability of the housing authority to supplement the HOPE VI grant with funding from other sources - private, state or local government.
As part of today's award, the housing authority will pay relocation costs for residents as needed. Affected residents can relocate to other public housing or get a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) to subsidize their rent in privately owned housing. Relocated residents who meet program requirements will be given the opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units at the site. Alternatively, if residents choose not to return to public housing, they may choose to keep their voucher. In addition, relocated residents will be provided with the same job training and other supportive services offered to families living in the revitalized development.
Including this round of grants, HUD has awarded 224 grants to 121 cities that total $5.6 billion. To date 42 HOPE VI communities are completed. With more than $2.4 billion funds awarded, but not yet spent, HOPE VI funding will continue to positively impact communities well into the future.
The HOPE VI program, also known as the Urban Revitalization Demonstration, was created in 1992 as a result of a report by the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which found approximately 86,000 public housing units in the U.S. needed revitalization. To date, more than 100,000 aging public housing units have been demolished under HOPE VI and other HUD programs.
When the first HOPE VI grants were awarded in 1993, it was the only significant means of leveraging private capital to revitalize public housing properties. Today new financial tools are available to housing authorities to transform aging public housing developments. For example, HUD has approved bond and loan transactions under its Capital Fund Financing Program that have leveraged approximately $2.3 billion in the last two years. By using this program, housing authorities borrow large amounts of cash to do major capital improvements or construct new units. They pay the debt using a portion of their annual Capital Fund allocation from HUD.
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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