2000-02-19 / Front Page

$ For Far Rock

Meeks, Cuomo Make The Pledge

United States Congressman Gregory Meeks and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary Andrew Cuomo announced this week $600,000 in HUD assistance to stimulate business investment and job creation in Far Rockaway.

Although it was expected that Cuomo and Meeks would meet with local community and business leaders at Peninsula Hospital this week, inclement weather prohibited the meeting.

Cuomo said through a press release this week, "A combination of HUD Community Development Block Grant and HOPE VI technical assistance will be used to develop a blueprint for downtown commercial area redevelopment boosting retail and private investment in the economically depressed area of Far Rockaway."

As part of the assistance, HUD is creating a HUD/Columbia University Economic Development partnership to engage Far Rockaway residents in a concentrated economic development strategic planning process. The partnership with Columbia University will encourage residents to act as community advisers to the economic development team.

The economic revitalization plan will include land use plans for specific, strategic vacant lots, as well as other initiatives to attract private investment and spark the creation of businesses and jobs in the area surrounding the Arverne-Edgemere HOPE VI public housing redevelopment project.

"Today, many communities are reaping the benefits of our booming economy," said Secretary Cuomo. "Now we must turn our attention to places left behind and give them the key to unlock their economic potential."

"These funds are purely based on HUD’s commitment to residents of the 6th Congressional District," Congressman Meeks said. "HUD has laid the foundation for the creation of jobs and economic revitalization which will help the overall general welfare of residents of Far Rockaway. It is a market that has been underserved for many years."

HUD will also educate a community builder on HUD’s staff to coordinate all HUD services to Far Rockaway. The Far Rockaway community builder will act as the HUD liaison to the community, ensuring smooth coordination of all development activities as well as efficient service delivery.

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