HUD No. 05-128
September 20, 2005
HUD AWARDS $2.4 MILLION TO FIVE LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO ADD AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO REJUVENATED DOWNTOWN AREAS
New program to bring back small town "Main Streets"
WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced today that five cities - with populations ranging from 3,500 to 26,000 - will receive $2,459,509 in funding to add affordable housing in city centers that are currently being revitalized. These grants are being issued under a new HUD program that helps "Small Town USA" include affordable housing in their efforts to revitalize older, downtown business districts.
The first Main Street Program grants will go to Bastrop, La.; Clinton, Okla.; Okolona, Miss.; Hinton, W.Va. and Aibonito, Puerto Rico. These cities will use the funding to rehabilitate or construct affordable housing in the area where rejuvenation of their "main streets" has already begun.
"When small towns want to give their downtown areas a facelift, it is difficult to include affordable housing in the mix," said Jackson, "These grants bring the necessary funding to give low- to moderate-income families the opportunity to be part of the revitalization of these new, up-and-coming communities."
A portion of HOPE VI funds were set aside to create the Main Street Program for small communities with a population of less than 50,000 and that either does not have a local housing authority or has one that serves less than 100 housing units.
This year's grantees will use their funding in this way:
|The Municipality of Aibonito, which has a population of approximately 26,000, will use its grant to develop 24 affordable housing units behind existing traditional façades on its main street. The total cost of the development is estimated at $2,854,717.|
|The City of Bastrop, which has a population of approximately 11,000, will use its grant to renovate the Historic Bastrop High School and convert it into 79 affordable housing units. The school is two blocks from the Historic City Center. The total cost of the renovation is estimated at $7,326,333.|
|The City of Clinton, which has a population of approximately 8,800, will use its grant to renovate the walk-up retail space above three of Clinton's oldest downtown buildings and create 11 affordable housing units. The total cost of the renovation is estimated at $690,000.|
|The City of Hinton, which has a population of approximately 2,880, will use its grant to defray the cost of renovating the historically significant McCreery Hotel and convert it to 29 affordable housing units for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities. The total cost of the rehabilitation is estimated at $4.2 million.|
|The City of Okolona, which has a population of approximately 3,500, will use its grant to renovate a vacant historic commercial building and convert it into five affordable housing units. The estimated cost of this renovation is $525,000.|
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.