U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan joined Chicago Mayor Richard Daley to announce the official launch of HUD's "Recovery Act in Action" Week, along with $143 million in Recovery Act funds going to improve Chicago public housing, create jobs and jumpstart the local economy. The announcement officially marked the first day of HUD's "Recovery Act in Action" Week, which is dedicated to communication with HUD's stakeholders, grantees, staff and partners about the funds that are available for competition and Recovery Act program implementation. The week will include three days of webcasts that will provide education and technical assistance. Sixteen HUD Field Offices will host "Housing Parties" throughout the country for stakeholders and grantees to view the webcasts. "We are launching our 'Recovery Act in Action' Week, anchored by today's event in Chicago and our nationwide webinars, to ensure the American taxpayer's investment is well spent," Donovan said. "Using innovative new media outreach strategies helps us to reach our stakeholders in a way that HUD has not done before. The President and I are convinced that if the Recovery Act is going to have a meaningful impact in growing our economy, we must get 'bang for the buck' so we are providing implementation guidance through interactive webinars to make sure we are getting the most out of our investment." The announcement came during a visit to Kenmore Apartments, a senior housing development operated by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) in uptown Chicago. Of the $143 million dollars CHA received in Recovery Act Public Housing Capital Funds, CHA is using $19 million to upgrade the Kenmore Apartments, including energy efficiency upgrades which will lead to significant operating and utility cost reductions. This Recovery Act funded project will also lead to the creation of 150 quality jobs for Chicago residents. In addition to the specific Recovery Act funds going to Chicago, Secretary Donovan also announced that, as a result of the Recovery Act, HUD currently has $3.57 billion available in competitive grants, including funds for public and Native American housing, neighborhood stabilization, and green retrofits for Federally assisted housing. This is the largest amount of competitive funds available for application at one time ever in HUD's history. The highest amount of funding out for competition in the past was about $2.75 billion in FY 2001. "The renovation project underway at Kenmore Apartments right here in Chicago is a perfect example of how Recovery Act funds are being used swiftly and efficiently to put Americans back to work, improve housing and local economies, while at the same time, reducing our carbon footprint," said Secretary Donovan. "I am very proud of the progress HUD and this administration have made in the just over 100 days since President Obama signed the Recovery Act was signed into law." Secretary Donovan and the Department are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are spent quickly and efficiently. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD's Recovery Act Web site. The full text of HUD's funding notices and tracking future performance of these grants is also available at HUD's Recovery Act Web site. For more information, visit www.hud.gov.