|October 2011, Volume II, Issue X||Published By Novogradac & Company LLP|
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies approved a fiscal year (FY) 2012 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations bill. The measure would provide more than $38 billion for HUD programs in FY 2012, approximately $3 billion less than the FY 2011 enacted funding level and almost $4 billion lower than the President's requested funding. Draft text of the appropriations bill and a table comparing the legislation with the President's request and the fiscal year 2011 levels are available at http://appropriations.house.gov.
HUD officials announced that the Project Based Contract Administrator (PBCA) award process will be reevaluated and revised in states where HUD received more than one PBCA application in its recent competition. The agency said it is concerned that many protests filed with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) could take months to resolve and could potentially delay Section 8 payments, bringing possible harm to residents and properties. HUD said it will solicit new proposals in 42 states where more than one applicant submitted bids, even if no complaints were filed, and hold a new competition for PBCA work through a notice of funding availability. In the 11 states and territories where there was no competition under the recent bidding process, the agency said it will proceed with executing new PBCA contracts. HUD also offered incumbent PBCAs a six-month contract extension to continue their PBCA work; in areas where the incumbent PBCA declines to continue serving beyond its contract expiration date, the agency will administer the program itself. Along with the announcement, the agency notified the GAO that it had withdrawn the PBCA competition and therefore considered all protests related to the matter moot.
Five cities will receive a combined $122 million in grants to redevelop distressed housing and revitalize blighted neighborhoods under HUD's Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle have been selected to receive the first Choice Neighborhoods implementation grants. The program aims to build sustainable mixed-use communities by linking housing upgrades with a wide variety of public services and neighborhood improvements. The grantees have completed comprehensive local planning processes and are now implementing plans to redevelop their neighborhoods. Boston, Mass. will receive $20.5 million; Chicago, Ill., New Orleans, La. and San Francisco, Calif. will each receive $30.5 million; and Seattle, Wash. will receive $10.27 million. A summary of awards is available at www.hud.gov.
HUD awarded more than $28 million to 46 rural and tribal communities to address distressed housing conditions and concentrated poverty through the Rural Innovation Fund. The grants are designed to promote an entrepreneurial approach to affordable housing and economic development in rural areas. The Rural Innovation Fund offers grants of as much as $2 million to support innovative housing and economic development activities in 19 states. Funds are awarded in three categories: comprehensive grants, single purpose grants, and Indian economic development and entrepreneurship grants. HUD said it received 307 applications from 48 states requesting more than $236 million, nearly 10 times the amount available. View a list of grantees at www.hud.gov.
HUD released a new version of the Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) Guidebook. The agency added new market study requirements and incorporated a portion of the language from the National Council of Affordable Housing Market Analysts' (NCAHMA's) Model Content standards. Other significant changes include the addition of low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) streamlined processing instructions, new instructions for site value for subsidized and/or LIHTC applications, and the addition of two chapters for LIHTC guidance and master lease to facilitate the use of tax credits, respectively. The guidebook is available for download at www.hud.gov.