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NEW YORK CITY-The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has approved the first round of residential grant applications and will begin distributing those funds this month. The $281-million Residential Grant Program, for which a draft was approved in February, has received 15,000 applications since August. This first approval applies to 313 applicants and will total $625,000, over one third of which will go to senior citizens in the lower East Side and Chinatown.

“Downtown residents form the foundation of all efforts to strengthen the community, and they have shown their commitment by making the choice to take part in the revitalization process,” says New York Governor George Pataki. The occupancy rate of Battery Park was 60% following the Sept. 11 attacks, 74% in late February, and is now more than 90%.

“This program will be greatly beneficial to the residents of Lower Manhattan,” says Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn. “We are committed to working with LMDC to ensure thatthese grants are distributed only to those individuals who are eligible.”

The amount of funding applicants may apply for is determined by the zone in which they reside.Zone 1-the area south of Chambers Street and west of Nassau and Broad Streets, including all buildings which face on those streets and all of Battery Park City

Zone 2-the area outside Zone 1 but south of Canal Street and southwest of Rutgers Street, including all buildings which face on those streets

Zone 3-the area north of Canal Street and Rutgers Street, south of Delancey or Kenmare Streets, and east of Lafayette Street in Manhattan, including all buildings which face on those streets with the exception of Canal Street and Rutgers Street

Both owners and renters living in these zones may be eligible for the following grants: September 11, 2001 Residents Grants-A $1,000 one-time grant per household for ongoing residents of Zone1, Zone 2, or Zone 3 who lived in lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001.

Family Grants-A one-time family grant for households with children under age 18 that make at least a one-year commitment to living in lower Manhattan.

1) Zone 1 is eligible for a $1,500 grant 2) Zone 2 is eligible for a $750 grant 3) Zone 3 is eligible for a $750 grant

Two-Year Commitment Based Grants-Grants for households that make at least a two-year commitment to living in lower Manhattan:

Zone 1 is eligible for 30% of the monthly rent (or mortgage payments, plus maintenance costs and real estate and related taxes for owner-occupied units), up to $12,000 over two years

Zone 2 is eligible for 30% of the monthly rent (or mortgage payments, plus maintenance costs and real estate and related taxes for owner-occupied units), up to $6,000 over two years

In order to be eligible for grants, renters must have leases commencing on or after June 1, 2001 and on or prior to May 31, 2003. Owners must purchase apartments on or prior to May 31, 2003.

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