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White House OKs NYC Housing Plan

June 7, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The Bush administration has approved $305 million in grants to draw housing-seekers to the World Trade Center area and keep current residents from moving, officials said Friday.

``We’re no longer in the phase of recovery and relief. We’re in the phase of rebuilding,″ Gov. George Pataki said.

The grant program has drawn criticism from some community groups for funneling money to residents of a neighborhood where nearly 90 percent of households earn more than $60,000 a year. Such housing grants usually are restricted to low- and more moderate-income brackets.

Eligible for assistance are apartment owners and renters who were living on Sept. 11 in three downtown zones. House- and apartment-hunters willing to move and sign at least a one-year commitment to live downtown also can receive aid. Aid generally is greater in zones closer to ground zero.

Eligible residents of Chinatown, Little Italy and parts of the Lower East Side can receive $1,000 one-time rent or mortgage subsidies, while people committing to two-year stays downtown can get more than $12,000.

Households with at least one child are eligible for a $1,500 family bonus.

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