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HUD # 06-WA-10
Pamela Negri
(206) 220-5356
For Release
January 25, 2006


At-Risk Youth To Get A New Start In Life While Building Affordable Housing

Editor's Note: For additional information, contact Sherry Hamilton, King County Communications Director, (206) 205-1324 or Sherry.Hamilton@metrokc.gov

SEATTLE - Approximately 50 low-income young people in King County will return to school and begin new careers in the homebuilding trades because of a $700,000 YouthBuild grant announced by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development. The grant will enable King County to continue its successful program that helps at-risk young people graduate high school and train for a future in the construction trades while building two affordable homes for lower income families.

The grant is part of more than $58 million in funding awarded nationwide through HUD's YouthBuild Program. Tacoma Goodwill Industries, receiving a $400,000 grant to create a new YouthBuild program, was the only other recipient in Washington.

"This is a win-win program since these young people learn high-demand job skills while producing affordable homes in their own communities," said John W. Meyers, HUD Regional Director.

King County YouthBuild partners with Habitat for Humanity, Highline public schools, and several King County agencies. The program expects to build at least two homes.

Young people who enroll in local YouthBuild programs lack high school diplomas and the job skills necessary to find meaningful employment. The funding announced today will help young men and women, ages 16-to-24, to receive their high school equivalency diplomas and provide them training in homebuilding skills that will qualify them for careers in the building industry.

Program participants will receive on-the-job training in the building trades and help build and renovate homes that are then sold at affordable prices to low- and very low-income persons as well as to homeless individuals and families.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.



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