Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mayor Parker Announces New Partnership with HUD

Houston Mayor Annise Parker and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary Mercedes Márquez announced a
collaborative partnership to enhance the City’s housing and community
development activities.  This joint technical assistance and capacity-building
engagement combines knowledge and resources to maximize the use of federal
funds to revitalize neighborhoods, help the homeless, and produce more
affordable housing.

“We are honored that HUD not only recognizes the great progress the Department
has made, but is also eager to assist the Department in achieving its ultimate goal
of becoming one of the nation’s leading housing departments,” said Mayor Parker. 

“This vital partnership is unprecedented for the City and represents a new positive
working relationship with HUD. We are both on the same team working together
for Houston’s communities and families.”

Upon taking office in early 2010, Mayor Parker concentrated on repairing the City’s
previously strained relationship with HUD and appointed new leadership at the
City’s Housing and Community Development Department (HCDD) to transform the

Under the engagement, the City and HUD will work with local and national
non-profits to build the management systems and capacity necessary to successfully
carry out comprehensive and sustainable development and revitalization strategies
that target an area’s specific needs.  The City and HUD will work on a variety of
capacity enhancement activities, such as:
  • Establishing a first-of-its-kind equity fund in Houston to leverage private 
  • investment in community development efforts;
  • Developing an extensive community development funding strategy, including 
  • the development of a market-based “revitalization plan” that will prioritize 
  • targeted areas for reinvestment; 
  • and Designing a thorough organizational plan to enhance operations
  • and strategically integrate the City’s community development programs 
  • together.    
Besides streamlining and furthering the City’s community development endeavors,
the partnership gives the City the tools it needs to tell “its story” of accomplishments
by not only measuring the amount of assistance provided, but the impact such
assistance has on local communities.

“These difficult times for our cities require all of us to work smarter and more
efficiently to address the critical needs of our citizens,” said Assistant Secretary
Márquez.  “HUD is breaking down silos to offer more training and technical assistance. 
In the end, we’re working harder to help communities work better.”

The engagement is part of the One CPD initiative of HUD’s Office of Community
Planning and Development.  HUD and Enterprise Community Partners will work with
HCDD on providing technical assistance and capacity-building that meets the specific
needs of the City.

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