May 16 2005

SHELBY ANNOUNCES $20 MILLION FOR McKENZIE COURT IN TUSCALOOSA

WASHINGTON, D. C.--- U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, announced today that $20 million will be awarded from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the revitalization of McKenzie Court in Tuscaloosa. These funds were approved through HUD’s HOPE VI Revitalization Grant Program.

McKenzie Court is the largest and second oldest public housing development in Tuscaloosa, owned and operated by the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority (THA). It has been a cornerstone of history and culture in this area for over fifty years. McKenzie Court is located in an economically depressed area of western Tuscaloosa, which is in great need of improved infrastructure.

Senator Shelby said, “I am pleased that HUD has approved these funds for the revitalization of McKenzie Court. These funds will allow THA to make the necessary improvements to this severely distressed property in order to create a safer and more resident-friendly housing community. The revitalization of this area will truly transform the lives of the residents and boost the economy of western Tuscaloosa,” Shelby concluded.

An important component of the revitalization project will be an emphasis on creating homeownership opportunities to current residents of McKenzie Court. This includes construction of new housing units, single-family residences in the surrounding neighborhood, and homeownership counseling to residents.

“Homeownership is an important tool in lifting low-income and minority families out of poverty. Providing homeownership opportunities for low-income families not only provides them with an opportunity for wealth building, it also increases community pride and has a stabilizing effect on children,” Shelby added.

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