Prepared Remarks for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan at the Benedict Park Place Press Conference

Denver, Colorado
Friday, May 14th, 2010

Thank you. Its good to be back in Denver today to see firsthand the incredible economic progress being made possible by the Recovery Act here at Benedict Park. And its great to be with Congressman Perlmutter.

Before I begin, let me just say a few words about Senator Bennet, who has been a real voice for Colorado families as a member of the Senate Banking Committee -- and one of the strongest voices for reforming Wall Street, but wasnt able to join us today.

But Senator Bennet also brings a very special talent and experience to our nations capital when it comes to helping strengthen our economy.

As the former Superintendent of Denver Public Schools, Senator Bennet understands, in a very real way, what it takes to help children from some of our poorest neighborhoods overcome the obstacles and barriers they face to acquire the very different set of skills they will need to compete in todays 21st century economy -- and apply them in the workforce.

Indeed, with the innovative green jobs program thats putting Denver youth to work here at Benedict Park, this Recovery Act-funded project is just one example of how Senator Bennets leadership in Washington is making a real difference for Colorado families.

And he has a terrific partner in Congressman Perlmutter, who joined with us to help pass the Recovery Act last year.

For states like Colorado, the Recovery Act has had a tremendous impact -- providing $4.8 billion in funding, creating or saving 46,000 Colorado jobs and helping communities avoid having to lay off almost 6,400 teachers.

Its extended and increased unemployment insurance for nearly 300,000 Colorado families and made COBRA available at a cheaper rate for people who lost their jobs.

Indeed, you only need look at our most recent employment numbers to understand that America is creating jobs again.

As you can see on this chart, thanks to the Recovery Act, America created 290,000 jobs last month -- thats the fourth consecutive month of job growth and the most in four years.

Here at Benedict Park nearly 200 people are at work because of the Recovery Act -- ensuring families have a roof over their heads and building the clean energy economy our nation needs to compete.

Indeed, when President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law, it was designed to do three things: create jobs, help those harmed by the economic crisis, and lay a new foundation to make America competitive in the 21st century economy.

Thanks to $5.6 million in Recovery Act Capital funds, the Denver Housing Authority is creating an additional 30 units of public housing here at Benedict Park -- leveraging over $9 million in tax credits, energy tax credits, and energy grants.

With these funds, the Denver Housing Authority is creating a sustainable, mixed-use, mixed-income development in downtown Denver -- featuring a solar rooftop, an urban garden, geothermal heating and cooling systems, and extensive green building and energy efficient design.

These clean energy features are expected to cut electricity use in half -- and reduce HUDs own utility subsidies by approximately $18,000 per year, every year.

Most important of all, with access to local transportation options--both light rail and bus--a local grocery store, a charter school, and a job center, Benedict Park will connect residents with opportunities in the surrounding neighborhood.

President Obama is committed to making green building an engine of economic growth, jobs and opportunity in communities across the country -- lowering greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs and reducing our dangerous dependence on foreign oil.

Making that possible will require a new generation of professionals, not simply ready to build these technologies, but to install, repair and maintain them -- mechanics, electricians, plumbers, and construction workers who will pioneer the first wave of green technologies.

Ensuring Denver is a leader in that effort--and that every family can benefit--is what drives Senator Bennet and Congressman Perlmutter.

So, thank you for this opportunity to glimpse our clean energy future at work here in Denver -- and for your leadership in making the Clean Energy Economy a reality for Colorado families.


Content Archived: February 23, 2017