REVITALIZATION HUD regional director visits city with fat check



A HUD official sees a rebirth in Youngstown.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The U.S. Department of Urban Development's Midwest regional director says Youngstown is making significant strides in its effort to revitalize the city.
Joseph Galvan came today to Youngstown to deliver a check for $5,975,945 to Mayor George M. McKelvey. He then visited several sites in the city funded, in part, by HUD grants; most notably the downtown arena project currently under construction.
"We see the rebirth, the Phoenix, of this community rising from the ashes," Galvan said. "You are taking back your community to make it viable, and a place for your children and your children's children to live and thrive."
The money is divided into three parts.
U$4,897,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds. This is an entitlement program for the city, and is primarily used to improve housing. The formula to obtain this grant is largely based on population, a problem for a city like Youngstown that is steadily losing population each year.
Youngstown received $5.4 million in CDBG funds last year, said Jay Williams, the city's community development agency director.
But with the Youngstown 2010 initiative, the city can more effectively use the CDBG funds because it is developing long-range plans to spend the money, he said.
U$896,487 in Home Investment Partnerships funding. Also an entitlement program, the grant is used to assist low-income families with housing purchases.
U$182,458 for an Emergency Shelter grant. This is a competitive grant to help communities meet the basic shelter needs of the homeless.
McKelvey said Galvan's visit to the city "is a reflection of HUD's effort to grow and improve Youngstown. ... HUD mails most of their checks. There's a loud statement that Mr. Galvan is sitting next to me to deliver the check. Youngstown, Ohio, is high on HUD's priority list."

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