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Schumer Pushes Feds To Fund Center Court In Niagara Falls

NFHA seeks to revitalize neighborhood by building new housing Units and Expanding Social Services ProgramsSchumer: Federal Assistance Would Lead to Better Homes, Economic Investment in Niagara

US Senator Charles E. Schumer today sent a letter today to US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Alphonso Jackson, urging him to accept the Niagara Falls Housing Authoritys application to the Hope VI grant program, which seeks to revitalize severely distressed public housing. Schumer, who serves on the Senate Banking Committee, which oversees HUD, said that federal assistance could lead to commercial interest, jobs, and better homes in Niagara Falls.

"The development could mean a big boost for the Center Court area, attracting new jobs and new commerce, Schumer said. An increase in housing and enhancement of the neighborhood will lead to greater investment by developers and entrepreneurs. I am proud to support this grant application and hope that it receives quick approval.

NFHAs Hope VI grant application was rejected last year, but it has recently reapplied for the new fiscal year. Built in 1942, Center Court consists of 134 public housing units and is surrounded by a neighborhood that is severely distressed and in need of a comprehensive revitalization effort. Currently units are underinsulated and experience significant drainage problems. The unit designs are too small and are functionally obsolete, and the site needs to significantly upgrade its infrastructure. The NFHA seeks to revitalize Center Court by constructing approximately 280 new housing units on and around Center Court. In addition, NFHA wants to extend comprehensive social services programs and case management services to Center Court residents who will have the opportunity to achieve selfsufficiency by moving from welfare to work and purchase new homes.

In a letter today to HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, Schumer said that a federal Hope VI grant would help NFHA transform and revitalize the neighborhood surrounding Center Court, attracting working class families and creating new economic opportunities in the area. The HOPE VI Program of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development exists to eradicate severely distressed public housing. The program seeks to support revitalization through physical improvements, management improvements, and social and community services to address resident needs. HUD awards grants to organizations and groups through a competitive process.