HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 06-025
Antoinette Banks
(202) 708-0685
For Release
March 6, 2006

Innovative new program taps into the expertise of faculty and students

NEW ORLEANS - Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today announced 16 universities will receive over $5 million through an innovative new program that draws on the expertise of these centers for higher learning to help rebuild communities throughout the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. The funding is provided through HUD's new Universities Rebuilding America Partnership (URAP) initiative.

[Photo: Secretary Alphonso Jackson, Harry G. Robinson and woman]

Jackson announced the funding in New Orleans while touring Xavier University and said the funding is designed to tap into young, bright minds to help devastated Gulf Coast communities to rebuild.

"I want to inspire and empower students and faculty to get involved in one of the most important rebuilding efforts in our country's history," said Jackson. "These institutions of higher learning have a unique opportunity to partner with devastated communities and, together, help to breathe new life into these neighborhoods."

HUD's URAP initiative was created through an existing design program that benefited schools of architecture and planning and a grant program that assists Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Nine URAP grants are being awarded to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and seven grants will assist other schools for community design and planning. Working with local, state, and national organizations URAP will provide an opportunity for groups of college and university students, faculty, and staff to develop creative solutions to respond to the disaster.

In addition to the grant funding, HUD will also provide a URAP Toolkit, a step-by-step guide on how to select and arrange service projects in the Gulf Region, and what to expect. And, in conjunction with the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, URAP ( has established the Universities Rebuilding America Honor Roll and Awards Program to recognize higher education institutions for their contributions to the recovery and rebuilding efforts.

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


College or University Grant Amount
University of Washington $299,982
Tulane University $299,128
Mississippi State University $300,000
University of Nebraska - Lincoln $293,660
University of Missouri - Kansas City $273,742
Pratt Institute $266,741
Ohio State University $266,741
Xavier University of Louisiana* $350,000
Alcorn State University* $349,682
Howard University* $350,000
Southern University - Baton Rouge* $350,000
Elizabeth City State University* $350,000
Tennessee State University* $350,000
Southern University - New Orleans* $350,000
Grambling State University* $350,000
Southern University - Shreveport* $350,000

* Historically Black College and University (HBCU)

Universities Rebuilding America Partnerships (URAP) Community Design Grantees

Grantee: University of Washington
Grant Amount: $299,982

University of Washington (UW) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Community Design grant to target the needs of the low- to moderate-income populations in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana to increase affordable housing, public facilities, and employment opportunities. The project activities include: a) an analysis to gather and analyze existing conditions and identify issues to be addressed; b) the development of a project web site that will include project documents, and on-line surveys to obtain community input, develop interactive lessons to train local officials, community leaders and residents on best practices in neighborhood design strategies; c) a series of community workshops to present findings of the analysis and identify critical issues; d) the development of alternative plan scenarios to be developed through faculty-student independent studies; e) the organization of a Symposium for public officials and community leaders to share best practices and models for the reconstruction effort; f) identification of strategies and tools for implementing the plan and; g) preparation of the final plan document and video presentation on the plan. UW will be collaborating with the UW Department of Urban Design and Planning, and its public service arm, the Northwest Center for Livable Communities, and Jefferson Parish in Louisiana.

Grantee: Tulane University
Grant Amount: $299,128

Tulane University School of Architecture (TUSA) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Community Design grant to develop the Tulane URBANbuild Program, an outreach community design and construction program, as a center for post-Katrina reconstruction efforts in the greater New Orleans area. URBANbuild will be located in the downtown Tulane City Center. TUSA will provide a wealth of local knowledge, urban research, analysis capacity, architectural programming, design and technical expertise, to implement an effective community response. They will also take a leadership role in consolidating Tulane's academic programs with the resources and efforts of community organizations, as well as, local, regional and national governmental authorities to implement the city's rehabilitation and reconstruction. TUSA will be collaborating with Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. (NHS) of New Orleans, Public Architecture of San Francisco, and the Tulane Center for Bioenvironmental Research (TCBR).

Grantee: Mississippi State University
Grant Amount: $300,000

Mississippi State University (MSU) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Community Design grant to provide planning and architectural services to rehabilitate damaged houses and build new houses to resettle the displaced residents in East Biloxi, Mississippi. The project includes the following activities: an assessment and GIS mapping of the target neighborhoods to analyze and visualize the neighborhoods parcel by parcel; neighborhood meetings to engage the community in the planning process and to identify rehabilitation and construction needs; design of innovative housing rehabilitation strategies and new house construction plans; construction documents for non-profit developers and builders; and continuing architectural services during construction. MSU will be collaborating with a local, non-profit organization, the Biloxi Relief, Recovery and Revitalization Center.

Grantee: University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Grant Amount: $293,660

University of Nebraska - Lincoln will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Community Design grant to develop rehabilitation strategies for 10 houses and document the process for future replication in the Esplanade Ridge neighborhood in New Orleans near the French Quarters. Final drawings for reconstructing 10 houses will also be provided. In addition, the University of Nebraska - Lincoln will develop10 new final construction designs with 10 variations that can be replicated for a number of sites. Each design and/or strategy will respond to environmental elements as well as sustainability issues. Further, since the critical key to the ultimate success of this reconstruction project lies in neighborhood and community involvement, appropriate design fit, and user acceptance, the proposed team also includes the venues to gain feedback and support from the impacted parties. The University of Nebraska - Lincoln will partner with the Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Grantee: University of Missouri - Kansas City
Grant Amount: $273,742

University of Missouri - Kansas City will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Community Design grant to identify and plan for the economic recovery and resettlement of heritage tourism nodes in the City of New Orleans. The target population for this project includes homeowners, low- to moderate-income residents, and small business owners and their employees in the area of heritage tourism. The project will focus on the development of a plan for the economic recovery and housing resettlement of the "second tier" heritage tourism sites outside of the French Quarter. Project activities will include identification and analysis of heritage tourism nodes, interviews and focus groups with business owners and residents in supporting neighborhoods, and identification of obstacles to economic renewal and housing resettlement. Project deliverables will include a plan for the recovery of specific heritage tourism nodes in the city, including demographic and spatial analysis using GIS, community input and economic analyses, as well as priority sub-plans for implementing housing resettlement and infill opportunities, databases for gathering and disseminating information, and policy recommendations for public and private investment. The University of Missouri - Kansas City will be collaborating with a local partner the Urban Conservancy (UC).

Grantee: Pratt Institute
Grant Amount: $266,741

Pratt Institute will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Community Design grant to provide community planning, design, and development expertise to support and bolster local efforts to rebuild low-income areas of New Orleans East (NOE). The project will help to plan and develop model blocks to catalyze the rebuilding of the entire neighborhood and to identify and assemble the resources and strategies necessary to accomplish that objective. Project activities will include: 1) conducting outreach and providing support to displaced low-income residents to engage them in resettling and rebuilding NOE; 2) inspecting, cleaning and preparing properties in targeted areas where a critical mass of engaged low-income residents live, and 3) developing the NOE Community Database for Rebuilding, an integrated land use, and rebuilding resource for the entire NOE Neighborhood Project partners will produce environmentally sustainable development plans, and strategies, and assemble resources to rebuild the target model blocks/clusters in low-income areas of NOE; Pratt Institute will be collaborating with a local partner, ACORN Housing Corporation.

Grantee: Ohio State University
Grant Amount: $266,741

Ohio State University will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Community Design grant to provide planning services to the designated disaster area in Harrison County, Mississippi. This target population is low- to moderate-income families in the unincorporated areas of Harrison County, Mississippi. Ohio State will partner with Harrison County and expand their existing relationship by building on the work of the Mississippi Governor's Commission for Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal through the creation of community plans and policies that reduce regulatory barriers and ensure the availability of affordable housing in the County. Activities include: 1) development of citizen participation opportunities; 2) a strategic planning meeting with the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors; 3) the creation of community plans; 4) a revision of the Building Codes; and 5) revisions to the zoning ordinance. Ohio State will collaborate with Harrison County.

Universities Rebuilding America Partnerships (URAP)

Historically Black College Universities (HBCU)

Grantee: Xavier University of Louisiana
Grant Amount: $350,000

Xavier University of Louisiana will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant to assist low- and moderate-income residents in the Hollygrove, Gert Town and the Treme communities in New Orleans. Xavier will work in partnership with New Orleans City Health Department, McDongh #35 High School, Earthwalk, Inc., and the United Negro College Fund Special Programs, Inc. to implement the following program activities: 1) Establish the Neighborhood Technology and Health Information Center (NTHIC); 2) Recruit, train and track a cadre of volunteers to include service-learning and community service students, faculty, residents, and health professionals; and 3) Provide technical assistance related to clearance and demolition for residents, especially the elderly.

Grantee: Alcorn State University
Grant Amount: $349,682

Alcorn State University (ASU) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant to restore healthcare networks and infrastructure in low-income coastal and rural underserved communities affected by Hurricane Katrina. The goals of this project are: 1) to meet the primary healthcare needs of low-income coastal and rural underserved individuals and families; 2) reduce complications of major health problems of residents in the target area through the use of telehealth monitoring; 3) obtain housing assessment data; 4) utilize contract opportunities with individuals and families during primary healthcare delivery to conduct an assessment of perceived housing needs and health status for the purpose of establishing a user friendly database; and 5) utilize housing assessment data to identify resources for meeting housing rehabilitation needs.

Grantee: Howard University
Grant Amount: $350,0000

Howard University will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant in partnership with Dillard University and the Franklin Avenue Church (in New Orleans) to address housing needs of low- to moderate-income (LMI) individuals in Treme, Mid-City, and Gentilly neighborhoods. This project will: 1) Develop and implement two training programs in Environmentally Safe Renovation and Rehabilitation Work Practices (ESRRWP) for housing. One of the programs will be developed for residents and one for businesses. Each program will include a "train-the-trainer" component for Dillard Nursing faculty and staff to ensure program sustainability; 2) Provide subsidies of about $4,000 each for 25 housing units occupied by LMI individuals to implement environmentally safe rehab work, with oversight from the project team; and 3) Provide GIS, analysis, and planning support for Dillard University as it participates in the rebuilding process of New Orleans, especially in three target New Orleans neighborhoods.

Grantee: Southern University - Baton Rouge
Grant Amount: $350,000

Southern University - Baton Rouge (SUBR) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant to implement activities to assist low- to moderate-income (LMI) residents in the target disaster designated parishes to become self-sufficient and improve their quality of life. The program activities include development of: 1) life skills and technical training certification and job placement; 2) entrepreneurship training in support of the State of Louisiana's initiative to grow and strengthen small and minority-owned business; and 3) a neighborhood network center in designated LMI census tracts in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, LA. SUBR will be collaborating with a variety of community partners.

Grantee: Elizabeth City State University
Grant Amount: $350,000

Elizabeth City State University will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) -Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant to provide services that are directed principally towards persons of low- to moderate-income, disabled and senior citizens impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Additional target sites include facilities operated by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana where all clubs suffered severe damage or were destroyed. The project will: 1) Implement a comprehensive housing counseling, technical assistance and referral programs to assist approximately 250 residents in making informed decisions regarding their housing options; 2) Provide home repair assistance for ten substandard homes owned and occupied by low- to moderate-income households; 3) Provide down payments and closing cost financing to assist up to 15 renter-status households in becoming first-time homeowners; 4) Provide technical assistance to 8-10 organizations within the disaster area; and 5) Provide assistance to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Louisiana to repair Club facilities and install technology equipment for academic learning and administrative operations.

Grantee: Tennessee State University
Grant Amount: $350,000

Tennessee State University (TSU) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant in partnership with AZ In Home Tutoring, New Heights Family Health Center/Baton Rouge AIDS Society & Parent Information Resource Center and New Orleans area teachers and counselors to develop Supercharge Summer Day Camp. This camp will be a safe and educationally stimulating environment where young hurricane victims will be engaged in high quality academic learning activities, emotional counseling and mentoring and fun recreation. The camp will allow parents to transition back into a work routine while having the peace of mind that their children are safe. The camp will provide academic instruction consistent with Louisiana Academic Content and Learning Standards, a nutritious meal and snack each day, and a fun-filled afternoon of recreation, fine arts and emotional counseling.

Grantee: Southern University - New Orleans
Grant Amount: $350,000

Southern University - New Orleans (SUNO) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant to create the project " Rebuilding Communities Without Walls." This project will create distant learning opportunities to displaced students, a university/faith-based partnership to serve as an anchor to rebuild communities for returning residents, and citizen participation workshops designed to provide displace residents with vital information for rebuilding and an opportunity to have input into a vision for two communities (New Orleans East and Lower Ninth Ward).

Grantee: Grambling State University
Grant Amount: $350,000

Grambling State University (GSU) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant to complete the following program objectives: 1) renovate one public building for use as a Community Development Center; 2) rehabilitate 5 homes for low- to moderate-income families; 3) implement critical education and social services, technical assistance and job training programs for the hurricane impacted evacuees and; 4) to extend GSU's childcare program to a limited number of evacuated children between the ages of three and four. GSU will be collaborating with the City of Grambling, the Ruston Housing Authority and other partners for service delivery to the area of North Louisiana that encompasses the cities of Ruston and Grambling of Lincoln Parish.

Grantee: Southern University - Shreveport
Grant Amount: $350,000

Southern University - Shreveport (SUS) will use its Universities Rebuilding American Partnerships (URAP) - Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) grant to assist the displaced citizens of the Gulf Coast region that have relocated to the Shreveport-Bossier City Metropolitan area. The program activities will include: 1) providing financial and technical support to displaced small businesses from the Gulf Coast Region; 2) establishment of a Center for Transitional and Relief Services; 3) providing Construction Training and Home Ownership Counseling; and 4) provision of outreach and service programs for affected youth.


Content Archived: May 6, 2010