HUD awards $20 million to continue revitalization at Chicago’s Stateway Gardens public housing development

Funding to bring new rental and homeownership opportunities for former residents

CHICAGO, IL – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steven Preston today awarded a $20 million grant to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) to continue the revitalization of the former Stateway Gardens public housing development.  Secretary Preston joined Mayor Richard M. Daley and other officials to announce the grant at the new community renamed Park Boulevard.

“Chicago has become a hallmark of public housing transformation, said Preston. “This site has become a shining example of neighborhood revitalization and illustrates what can be done when there’s a commitment to make life better for the families who lived in these communities.

“One of our important partners here has been the federal government. HUD signed off on our transformation plan for public housing in the first place, without which we could not have begun, said Mayor Daley. “But most importantly, the department has shared and supported our vision of what public housing can be – one component of a vital new neighborhood whose residents can participate fully in the economic and social fabric of our great city.

“The first phase of the Stateway Gardens/Park Boulevard development is making a significant contribution to the revitalization of the community, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said.  “I am proud to support the Chicago Housing Authority’s competitive grant proposal for HOPE VI Revitalization Grant funding for phase two of the project.  The CHA’s ambitious and comprehensive efforts to transform public housing have attracted national attention and brought hope and opportunity to its residents.

HUD’s grant will allow CHA to fund the second phase of redevelopment at Park Boulevard.  Much of the former Stateway Gardens has been demolished to make way for a new mixed-income community.  The HOPE VI funding will support the planned development of 403 housing opportunities for families including 138 public housing units; 43 affordable rental units; and 40 affordable homeownership units.  In addition, CHA plans to construct five market-rate rental and 177 homeownership units. Plans are also underway to include a Stateway Park and a new state-of-art field house that will include two basketball courts, a swimming pool, and rooms for childcare services and community meetings.

CHA was selected among 24 public housing authorities across the country. Including this grant, CHA has been awarded nine HOPE VI Revitalization grants. Other recipients of 2008 HOPE VI Revitalization grants are three housing authorities in Washington State – Bremerton, King County and Seattle. The Housing Authority of the city of Milwaukee and the Housing Authority of the City of Texarkana, Texas also received grants this year.

CHA will pay relocation and re-occupancy costs for residents as needed. Affected residents can relocate to other public housing or receive a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) to subsidize their rent in privately owned housing.  Relocated residents are given the opportunity to move back to the newly constructed units.  Alternatively, if residents choose not to return to public housing, they may keep their voucher.  The HOPE VI grant will also give relocated families access to support services such as career training and employment programs for adults; educational programs for children and youth; and homeownership counseling programs.

The funding announced today comes from HUD’s HOPE VI Revitalization Program that awards funding to public housing authorities and encourages public, private partnerships to transform severely distressed public housing into mixed-income communities that empower former residents. The program was created in 1992 following a report by the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which concluded that approximately 86,000 public housing units in the U.S. needed revitalization. Since 1993, HUD has awarded 248 HOPE VI Revitalization grants totaling approximately $6 billion to 130 local housing authorities.

Housing authorities are competitively selected for HOPE VI grants based on many factors including the effectiveness and project readiness of their revitalization plans.  HUD gives recipients the flexibility to develop revitalization plans that meet their local needs.  Among other criteria, grantees are also awarded funds based on the capacity of the housing authority and its development teams to administer and manage completion of the revitalization effort; the severity of physical distress of the development; the ability of the housing authority to supplement the HOPE VI grant with funding from other sources, private, state or local government; and the ability to provide supportive services to displaced residents.  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 at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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