HUD No. 07-134
September 21, 2007
HUD AWARDS $300,000 FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN CEIBA, PUERTO RICO
Downtown to benefit from business loans, job creation and affordable housing
SAN JUAN, PR - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi today presented the "Corporation de Desarrollo Economico de Ceiba" (Ceiba Housing and Economic Development Corporation) with $300,000 to stimulate economic development, create jobs and produce more affordable housing. Awarded earlier this week, the grant Bernardi delivered today is part of $16.8 million in grants provided through HUD's Rural Housing and Economic Development (RHED) Program.
Bernardi was joined by the Ceiba Mayor Gilberto Camacho Parilla as he presented the grant to Hector Nieves, Executive Director of the Ceiba Housing and Economic Development Corporation at the HUD Field Office.
"This grant will stimulate the economy and breathe new life into Ceiba's downtown area," explained Bernardi. "Used smartly, the money will have a positive impact on Ceiba for years to come."
The RHED grant will assist the Housing and Economic Development Corporation in creating businesses in low-income areas of Ceiba through revolving business loans. It is also anticipated that 25 jobs will be created and 25 affordable housing units will be rehabilitated. The Municipality of Ceiba and the Ceiba Credit Union are partnering with the Ceiba Housing and Economic Development Corporation to ensure the successful restoration of Ceiba's downtown.
"Through this grant, we have high hopes and expectations. Our goal is to develop more than the originally planned 25 housing units," said Hector Nieves, Executive Director, Ceiba Housing and Economic Development Corporation. "Thanks to HUD and the partnership with the city of Ceiba, we will be able to restore life to the Main Street area by revitalizing vacant and abandoned properties and providing opportunities to new entrepreneurs."
RHED grants help pay for land acquisition, new home construction, housing demolition, infrastructure improvements and construction training. Other possible uses include homeownership and financial counseling; financial assistance to homeowners, businesses and developers; creating microenterprises and small business incubators; and establishing lines of credit or revolving loan pools to benefit the local business community. RHED grants have provided nearly $190 million, creating more than 12,000 jobs, assisting nearly 8,200 businesses and producing nearly 20,000 affordable homes.
Rural communities will use this funding as seed money to pay the start-up costs for housing or economic development projects. These grants will also help organizations to hire and train their staffs, develop strategic plans and acquire office space and other needed facilities.
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.