|HUD No. 09-148
August 6, 2009
HUD DEPUTY SECRETARY RON SIMS SEES $4 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT FUNDS AT WORK FOR PUBLIC HOUSING IMPROVEMENT IN OAKLAND
Improvements will increase energy efficiency, reduce costs and create jobs
OAKLAND - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims today visited Palo Vista Garden Community, an Oakland Housing Authority (OHA) property that is receiving funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) for capital improvements and energy efficiency upgrades. It is one of seven developments that is receiving funding through OHA's total $10.6 million Recovery Act Public Housing Capital Fund (PHCF) grant.
Joined by Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and OHA Executive Director Jon Gresley, Sims praised OHA's plan to add solar panels to a 100-unit senior complex that will provide 95 percent of the electricity for lighting in all common areas of the complex. Other "green" improvements to Palo Vista, funded through the Recovery Act, include establishing a system for solar heating for apartments, new roofs on all the units and energy efficient windows. Palo Vista residents Julie Hall, Shirley Robins and Geraldine Bell led the Deputy Secretary and Mayor on a tour of a completed upgraded apartment and an existing, not-yet-upgraded unit to show the difference and how residents will benefit.
"Palo Vista Garden Community is another example of the investments we are making to improve public housing in America, create jobs and grow local economies," said Sims. "The Oakland Housing Authority, and this project, should be seen as a model of the effective use of Recovery Act funds, creating as many as 50 jobs for local residents while increasing energy efficiency and reducing utility costs for both public housing residents and the government."
In March, HUD allocated nearly $3 billion in Recovery Act funding to more than 3,100 public housing authorities across the U.S. Distributed by formula to improve public housing and create safer, more livable environments for lower income residents. OHA's $10.6 million grant was part of that formula distribution. An additional $1 billion in Public Housing Capital Funds is being awarded competitively.
HUD is committed to implementing Recovery Act investments swiftly and effectively as they generate tens of thousands of jobs, modernize homes to make them energy efficient, and help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis. The Recovery Act includes $13.61 billion for projects and programs administered by HUD, nearly 75 percent of which was allocated to state and local recipients immediately after President Obama signed the Act into law. The remaining 25 percent of HUD Recovery Act funds, including the $1 billion in PHCF, is being awarded through a competitive process.
In addition, Secretary Donovan and the Department are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are administered. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD's Recovery Act website. The full text of HUD's funding notices and tracking of future performance of these grants is also available at HUD's Recovery Act website.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.