Pilot Cities Chosen For Partnership To Build One Million New Homes Over Ten Years
WASHINGTON — Fulfilling phase one of a landmark partnership with The United States Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Homebuilders, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo yesterday announced 14 cities chosen as pilot program sites in a national initiative to build one million new homes in America's cities over the next ten years.
Each pilot city will initiate innovative approaches to reduce barriers to new construction and foster creative relationships with home builders and the home building industry, in an effort to increase the number, quality and affordability of new housing.
The pilot cities are:
Last February, the U.S. Conference of Mayors formalized a partnership with HUD and the National Association of Home Builders to make the initiative a reality, through a joint Memorandum of Understanding. The goal of the initiative is to produce 100,000 new housing units a year over the next decade in America's cities, including both single-family homes and apartments, though the focus of the effort will be on increasing homeownership.
Cuomo said the initiative would help narrow the homeownership gap dividing suburbs from cities, and whites from minorities. The Secretary announced last week that during the third quarter of 1999, 73.7 percent of suburban families owned their homes, compared with just 50.5 percent of families in central cities. At the same time, 73.5 percent of white families were homeowners, compared with just 45.5 percent of Hispanic families and 47 percent of African American families.
The pilot programs for the urban home initiative will develop models to use as part of the national effort. An advisory body, the Council on Building Homes in America's Cities—comprised of representatives from HUD, the National Association of Home Builders, community-based organizations, and USCM—determined the selection criteria for the pilot cities.
Now that the pilot cities have been selected, the Council will facilitate communication and interaction between HUD, participating cities, home builders and others in the housing industry, and other community-based organizations. The Council also will monitor the initiative's progress, develop models of successful approaches and compile and communicate best practices agreements.
HUD will provide specially trained staff, known as Community Builders, in participating cities to help Mayors and home builders identify new federal resources, such as the HOME Program, Homeownership Zones, Empowerment Zones, and technical assistance grants as well as to ensure coordination of existing federal resources and programs.
NAHB will work through its more than 800 state and local home builder associations to encourage home builders to pursue urban residential development opportunities, while working with local jurisdictions to identify and remove barriers to urban home construction.
The Conference of Mayors will promote the initiative among its membership, and will work with HUD and NAHB to help cities develop and implement strategies for removing barriers to new home production.
The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization representing cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are approximately 1,100 such cities in the United States. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.