SUPPORT FOR HOPE VI PROGRAM REAUTHORIZATION AND FUNDING
WHEREAS, many of this nation's 3, 100 public housing authorities operate obsolete, dilapidated and even unsafe public housing units that are in immediate need of replacement; and
WHEREAS, the Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE VI) Program has been an important catalyst for transforming distressed and disinvested neighborhoods into viable mixed income residential communities; and
WHEREAS, the HOPE VI Program has become a model for cities nationwide working to replace obsolete public housing with a range of affordable housing opportunities; and
WHEREAS, the HOPE VI Program has been credited with increasing employment opportunities and incomes for residents of public housing and improving the social fabric of neighborhoods; and
WHEREAS, the HOPE VI Program has attracted a wide range of private investment resources to reinforce public housing resources to fund the cost of public housing assisted units; and
WHEREAS, a study prepared for the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities in 2007 has shown that for every dollar spent on public housing capital and maintenance projects generates $2.12 in regional spending; and
WHEREAS, the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing originally recommended the HOPE IV Program be funded at$750 million annually for 10 years and it was funded at that level for only its first year; and
WHEREAS, the Urban Institute estimates that there are up to 80,000 units in need of HOPE VI funding, the public housing inventory has an accumulated capital needs backlog of approximately $18 billion, with an estimated $2 billion accruing each year.
WHEREAS, the Bush Administration has zeroed out HOPE IV in the federal budget in each of the previous five years, only to have the Congress restore funding but at significantly lower amounts;and
WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the "HOPE VI Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2007",
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors urges the U.S. Senate to promptly consider and pass the HOPE VI reauthorization; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress to provide FY 2009 appropriations for the HOPE VI program of $575 million.