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Local News in Brief : HUD Quake Relief Grant

Whittier will receive $500,000 in federal money to help revitalize the earthquake-shattered Uptown business district, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced.

City officials flew to Washington in December to lobby for the money, which came from the $3 million discretionary account of HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce.

HUD has to approve the city’s plan for spending the money before the funds can be received. That plan probably will include land acquisition for redevelopment, improvements to streets and public areas, and loans for merchants ordered to make their buildings seismically safe, Assistant City Manager Robert Griego said.

Earthquake damage has forced the demolition of 26 Uptown buildings. Whittier sustained $70 million in damage from the 5.9 earthquake Oct. 1 and its aftershocks.

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