HUD No. 05-141
| For Release
October 11, 2005
JACKSON AND BOND JOINED LOCAL OFFICIALS FOR RIBBON CUTTING AND GROUNDBREAKING FOR ST. LOUIS HOPE VI DEVELOPMENTS
Public, private partnerships increase affordable housing for local families
ST. LOUIS - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson joined Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond and Congressman William "Lacy" Clay in St. Louis today for a ribbon cutting ceremony in celebration of the completion of the first phase of one of the city's HOPE VI developments. They also broke ground for another HOPE VI project soon to be under construction.
Jackson, Bond and Clay were at the new Renaissance Place at Grand, formerly Blumeyer Homes public housing development, to break ground for a senior building and family rental housing that is already under construction. When completed the development will consist of a 110-unit building for seniors, a 30-unit building for families and 94-unit building for mixed-income families. Jackson and the Congressional members also cut a ribbon at the new community center to celebrate the completion of the first phase at Renaissance Place at Grand, which consists of 158 mixed-income family units.
Earlier in the day, Jackson broke ground on the first phase of the Cochran Gardens HOPE VI development. This first phase will include 121 public housing and affordable housing units. When all three phases are completed, Cochran Gardens will house 266 families, including 24 in affordable single-family homes.
"Renaissance Place and Cochran Gardens are tributes to what can happen when the public and private sectors come together in a common purpose," said Jackson. "This is a win-win for St. Louis. Not only will the residents have new and better homes in which to raise their children but the entire community benefits from the revitalization these developments will help to generate."
Joining Jackson, Bond and Clay were Mayor Francis Slay, Housing Authority Executive Director Cheryl Lovell, Chairman of the Housing Authority Board Sal Martinez and other local partners who are working with the housing authority on the of these two developments.
The St. Louis Housing Authority has received three HOPE VI Revitalization grants since the program began in 1993. It received a $46.7 million grant in 1995 to redevelop the public housing at Darst-Webbe, now named Near Southside. Three of six phases of this development are completed, with the remaining phases under construction. Renaissance Place is being developed with a 2001 HOPE VI grant for $35 million. The most recent HOPE VI funding was a 2003 grant for $20 million for Cochran Gardens.
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. The first HOPE VI Revitalization grants were awarded in 1993.
HUD has awarded 224 grants to 121 cities that total $5.6 billion since the HOPE VI program began awarding grants in 1993. 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.
When the first HOPE VI grants were awarded 13 years ago, it was the only significant means of leveraging private capital to revitalize public housing properties. Today new financial tools are available to PHAs 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, PHAs 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.