Lisa A. Wolfe
August 9, 2012
HUD APPROVES $1.5 MILLION LOAN GUARANTEE TO READING
Financing to Support Downtown Arts District
READING, PA – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator Jane C.W. Vincent today announced that the Department is approving a $1.5 million loan guarantee to the City of Reading to assist with converting several properties within the Downtown Arts District into mixed-use developments consisting of retail space and housing for low- and moderate-income persons.
HUD's loan guarantee, along with the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) grant in the amount of $750,000, will assist in the creation of 25 low-and moderate-income rental units; seven (7) low- and moderate-income homeownership units, and 20,000 square feet of commercial/retail space. In addition, the project will result in the creation of 28 full-time equivalent jobs.
"Today, we take another step forward in a new vision for this neighborhood," said Vincent. "The City of Reading will not only cultivate the revitalization of the arts district, but will add much needed affordable housing as well as new jobs in the process."
HUD's Section 108 Loan Guarantee Assistance Program enables local governments to borrow money from private investors at reduced interest rates to promote economic development, stimulate job growth and improve public facilities. Such public investment is often needed to inspire private contributions, to provide seed money, or to simply boost confidence that many private firms and individuals need to invest in distressed areas.
The BEDI is a key competitive grant program that HUD administers to stimulate and promote economic and community development. BEDI is designed to assist cities with the redevelopment of abandoned, idled and underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion and redevelopment is burdened by real or potential environmental contamination.
The City of Reading requested HUD's loan guarantee to revitalize the distressed areas surrounding GoggleWorks I and GoggleWorks II, which are multi-purpose arts centers that were financed in part with previous Section 108 funds and BEDI grant funds.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.