The Alliance for Neighborhood Commerce, Home Ownership, and Revitalization, or the ANCHOR program, means a lot to me personally, because it reflects very directly the way in which I believe we should work to rebuild communities.
We call it the ANCHOR initiative because each owned home, each new business and each new employment opportunity acts as an anchor that will provide long-term help to stabilize and improve our inner-city neighborhoods.
This is a program that is built around the individuals who live and work in their communities. Instead of valuing the ideal of some intangible social program, this initiative values human beings.
It provides for the needs of real people who want a stake in their community, a decent place to raise their families, shopping and entertainment in their neighborhood, and a vital, growing local economy.
I've seen communities, like on Broadway between Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant, where retail activity has been depressed for the last twenty years.
And yet, that area was once the thriving, bustling core of that community -- a place where residents would gather to work, to shop and to socialize.
We think the best way to revitalize communities is to re-create those thriving commercial districts, and the ANCHOR program is specifically designed to do just that.
But instead of trying to accomplish this through City give-aways that can't be supported in the long term -- we are doing it by making opportunities available for businesses who want to come into those neighborhoods -- because it makes economic sense for them to invest in those communities.
I'm very pleased to be here on this exciting occasion -- as the Governor and the Empire State Development Corporation join the City and others in the ANCHOR initiative.
This has been a very successful program so far, and now, with the additional support from the State, we will be able to go even further.
With the help of the State, the ANCHOR initiative is projected to create 750 construction jobs, but more importantly 2,000 permanent jobs, in some of our city's most distressed areas.
The ANCHOR initiative represents the best kind of public-private partnership -- one which leverages support from both sectors to create successful economic growth.
Today's announcement marks a major step forward. Thanks to Governor Pataki and his support, funding from the State will ensure that the ANCHOR initiative is able to reach its full potential in turning around distressed neighborhoods.
The State funds, like the City funds, will help finance the construction of six ANCHOR/partnership plaza retail corridors.
These corridors will serve as the vital, growing economic and social centers that are at the core of successful community revitalization.
The other major component of ANCHOR is the creation of safe, affordable housing.
The New York City Housing Partnership and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) have facilitated the construction and sale of over 1,000 two- and three-family homes in the ANCHOR area.
Developers have been selected to create ultimately as many as 5,000 owner occupied homes.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this entire project has been the number of successful partnerships that have emerged.
As you know, Henry Kravis and his New York City Investment Fund have been critical partners in this initiative -- and without their help, we might not be here today.
And I would like to say that it is really terrific for a successful business leader to come forward and make a personal financial commitment to building a better city, the way Henry Kravis has for the ANCHOR initiative.
Today, we are very happy to welcome the Empire State Development Corporation as a partner in this exciting program. And I would also like to thank Cathy Wilde, Debbie Wright and Lilliam Paoli.
We look forward to moving ahead quickly in the coming months to implement the ANCHOR initiatives, and make real positive improvements in our city's distressed communities.