HUD No. 07-061
May 11, 2007
HUD COMMITTED TO CORPORATE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
Bernardi Addresses Business Civic Leadership Center's National Conference
WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy Bernardi today addressed the opening remarks of the 2007 Business Civic Leadership Center's (BCLC) National Partnership Conference. The conference, which is affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, launched the BCLC's new program dedicated to corporate community investment and brought business leaders and their community partners together. Bernardi discussed HUD's commitment to creating corporate community partnerships through HUD's Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnership Program.
"A city is more than a place on a map. Great cities are about people; their hopes, hard work, and investments," said Bernardi, who opened the day's conference. "A great city is its people and their families. And a corporation can be a powerful part of that story."
Speaking to a crowd of business and community leaders, Bernardi stressed the importance of how partnerships between citizens and businesses help make American cities great cities. He also discussed how HUD is working to form such partnerships through government grants and programs.
"Government at all levels can be helpful in the formation and continuation of corporate community partnerships. And at HUD we have been working to enable such partnerships," said Bernardi.
Through HUD's HOME and CDBG programs, cities work with local corporate partners to help create affordable housing and improve their communities. The HOME program requires local jurisdictions to match 25 cents of every dollar of HOME funds, which includes donated materials and labor, or the value of the property.
"The requirement for matching resources has been a highly effective way to foster partnerships. It has created a culture of cooperation in affordable housing," stated Bernardi.
The CDBG program has also helped secure public and private partnerships, and helped communities meet their development needs for the last 30 years.
"HUD can be a strong, valuable partner in your efforts to enhance our cities. We have been in the �city business' from the beginning. And we know that working partnership make a profound difference, both financially and in quality of life," concluded Bernardi.
Since 1974, HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) has awarded an estimated $119 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities. The rehabilitation of affordable housing and construction of public facilities and improvements have traditionally been the largest uses of the grants, although CDBG is also an important catalyst for job for growth and business opportunities.
HUD's HOME (Investment Partnerships Program) is the largest Federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to produce affordable housing for low-income families. Since 1992, 645 communities have completed almost 781,000 affordable housing units, including more than 327,000 for new homebuyers. In addition, more than 163,000 tenants have received direct rental assistance.
If cities and private corporations work together, Bernardi said we can create stronger communities, do a better job revitalizing our inner cities and energize the people who live there.
"I propose that we leave this conference with such a commitment. If our partnership does produce greater corporate involvement in the future of our cities, then we will observe a timeless truth. Magnetically, all good things will be attracted to our cities in greater number," Bernardi concluded.
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, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.