New Orleans’ C.J. Peete public housing development will be rehabilitated in fine style as the centerpiece of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $1.8 billion plan to revitalize public housing in that city, HUD said Wednesday.

HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson Wednesday announced HUD’s plan to revitalize public housing in New Orleans, beginning with the C.J. Peete development that was damaged in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

This development will become a model of mixed-income, mixed-use development that will breathe new life into the city’s Uptown neighborhood, Jackson said.

HUD’s actions follow President Bush’s request for an additional $17.1 billion for the long-term recovery effort in the Gulf Region, including more than $1.8 billion in HUD assistance.

The funding would redevelop public housing, mold remediation and to help local leaders with the strategic planning necessary to revitalize devastated areas, the department said.

During his third trip to New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina, Jackson met with members of the New Orleans City Council and said the eventual return of residents to public housing communities, such as C.J. Peete, will happen when health and safety inspectors determine it is safe.

“There should be no doubt that we are committed to making certain that New Orleans’ public housing residents will have a place to call home,” said Jackson in a statement. “Working closely with our local partners, we will put hammer-to-nail and restore this great city.”

Jackson said redevelopment of damaged public housing must involve local officials and citizens in the planning process.

As for the development of C.J. Peete, the Housing Authority of New Orleans will be the developer and HUD funding will be provided through HANO’s capital fund, Jackson said. Over the past several years, HUD has invested more than $133 million to revitalize public housing throughout the city.

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