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HUD SE Regional Administrator Jennings presents the HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award to Cook Inlet Housing Authority

[Pictured in the group photo L-R: William Anderson, FAICP President of APA Carol Gore, President & CEO, Cook Inlet Housing Authority Tyler Robinson, AICP Senior Manager, Development Finance Cook Inlet Housing Authority Ed Jennings, Regional Administrator, Region IV,  US Department of Housing and Urban Development Ann C Bagley, FAICP Director at large APA]
Pictured in the group photo L-R: William Anderson, FAICP President of APA Carol Gore, President & CEO, Cook Inlet Housing Authority Tyler Robinson, AICP Senior Manager, Development Finance Cook Inlet Housing Authority Ed Jennings, Regional Administrator, Region IV, US Department of Housing and Urban Development Ann C Bagley, FAICP Director at large APA
[HUD SE Regional Administrator Jennings Speaking]
HUD SE Regional Administrator Jennings Speaking.

Recently, HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr presented on behalf of HUD Secretary Shawn Donovan, the HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award, to the Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) during the American Planning Association's National Conference before nearly 4,000 members and honorees at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta.

"Today we are here to recognize and present the HUD Secretary's Opportunity & Empowerment 2014 Award to the Cook Inlet Housing Authority of Anchorage, Alaska for its dramatic turnaround of the historic Mountain View Village community," said Jennings. Since 2003, CIHA has also coordinated development efforts along Mountain View's commercial corridor with the Anchorage Community Land Trust (ACLT). CIHA and ACLT deployed complementary strategic funding which resulted in Anchorage's first successful mixed-use commercial corridor, which provides residents with nearby goods and services while simultaneously stimulating the local economy.

Once suffering from blight and high concentrations of poverty, one of Anchorage, Alaska's oldest neighborhoods with the highest Alaska Native population living in Mountain View Village is now a thriving mixed-use commercial corridor, providing residents with affordable housing and jobs while stimulating the surrounding local economy. They collaborated with the Mountain View Community Council (MVCC) to align the two organizations' redevelopment preferences, and offer citizens an active role in the planning process. MVCC's goals included decreased absentee landlordism, increased homeownership, and demolition of blighted, deteriorated, or vacant structures, all of which have been accomplished under CIHA.

CIHA purchased blighted structures throughout the neighborhood and is building attractive, affordable homes in their place. This has allowed the "entire" neighborhood to benefit from revitalization as opposed to one street or one block.

They also invested over $84 million in Mountain View in land acquisition, redevelopment, and development of rentals and immediate homeownership homes for sale and low interest loan financing for homeowners.

Efforts so far have seen the demolition of 130 blighted structures, new construction of 277 affordable homes, and 51 new single family homes built for immediate homeowners (50 have been sold).

Earlier in the day Jennings participated in an American Planning Association Conference HUD, DOT and EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities plenary session, discussing how federal funding and technical assistance have made significant strides in identifying and addressing local and regional planning needs. Close to two hundred attendees learned how the partnership in the southeast engaged a host of agencies to support community goals and quality of life, while including diverse community voices in the process.