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ADVISORY

Not for publication

Sept. 3, 1997 -- No. 600

UNC-CH awarded $400,000 grant to help fight crime, poverty in Durham's hardest-hit neighborhoods

The Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to create a community outreach center in Durham.

The new center will work with six neighborhoods in south, west and central Durham, which have some of the highest rates of poverty, substandard housing and crime in the city. Almost 40 percent of the area's 4,000 residents live below the federal poverty level. The center will build on community assets and address community needs by targeting five issues: creating jobs, building community wealth, improving housing, empowering youth and preventing crime.

UNC-CH was one of 25 colleges and universities across the country to receive a total of $7.3 million in HUD funds to establish Community Outreach Partnership Centers in low-income areas in their communities. UNC-CH was the only university in North Carolina to receive one of the grants, although Carolina will work closely with Duke University to establish the new center in Durham.

Paul Leonard, acting secretary for policy development and research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will discuss details about the HUD grants during a conference call at 11:15 a.m. today (Sept. 3).

To participate in the conference call, reporters should call 904-779-4754 at 11:15 a.m. The password is "HUD." HUD officials ask that reporters confirm their participation in advance by calling the public-affairs office at 202-708-0685.

For more information about UNC-CH's plans for the project, contact Dr. William M. Rohe, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies and Dean E. Smith professor of city and regional planning, at 919-962-3077 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. today (Sept. 3).

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Contact: Karen Stinneford (email: kstinnef@email.unc.edu)