The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced the award of $13.7 million in grants to provide public housing residents with greater access to computer technology.

The Public Housing Neighborhood Network grants will be given to 53 housing authorities across the country. Housing authorities are directed to use the money to “establish, expand or update community technology centers,” according to the report. Neighborhood Networks centers provide access to computers, computer training and the Internet.

Public housing authorities can also use the grant money to hire staff to manage center activities, purchase equipment, and provide computer, literacy and job training.

“These grants help the young and the old become computer savvy,” said Alphonso Jackson, HUD secretary. “They give parents and children greater access to resources found on the Internet — everything from employment information to homework help.”

Housing authorities in New York will receive a total of $1.8 million in grants — the highest amount for any state. Housing authorities in the state of Virginia will receive $900,000, as will authorities in Pennsylvania. Other states that are also big recipients for the grant money include North Carolina at $813,950 and Washington at $797,825.

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