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HUD awards universities $5 million for Katrina rebuilding

Taps 'young, bright minds' to help rebuild

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said today that 16 universities will receive over $5 million through an innovative program using the expertise of these centers for higher learning to help rebuild communities throughout the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast. The funding is provided through HUD's new Universities Rebuilding America Partnership, known as URAP, HUD said. Jackson announced the funding in New Orleans while touring Xavier University and said the funding is designed to tap into "young, bright minds" to help devastated Gulf Coast communities to rebuild. "I want to inspire and empower students and faculty to get involved in one of the most important rebuilding efforts in our country's history," said Jackson in a statement. HUD's URAP initiative was created through an existing design program that benefited schools of architecture and planning, and a grant program that assists Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the agency said. Nine URAP g...