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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - April 2016

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Feb. 16 more than $660 million in grant allocations to 587 Native American tribes. The grants are available through the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) program. An additional $20 million in Indian Community Development Block Grant funding is requested for projects to improve outcomes for Native youth, such as the construction or renovation of community centers, health clinics, transitional housing, pre-school/Head Start facilities and teacher housing. There is also funding through Jobs-Plus, up to $5 million of which will be used to implement a demonstration of the program in Indian Country to boost employment and earnings. HUD’s proposed Fiscal Year 2017 (FY 17) budget request seeks $700 million for Native American Housing Block Grants to address severe overcrowding and substandard housing conditions in Indian Country. The awarded tribes are located in 35 states. In addition, HUD announced Feb. 12 more than $55.5 million for affordable housing and overall community development in Native American communities. The 75 communities awarded will use the Indian Community Development Block Grant funds for the construction or rehabilitation of homes, a health clinic, a language and cultural learning center and a veterans’ affairs department.

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HUD released a proposed rule March 8 entitled, “Section 542(c) Housing Finance Agencies Risk-Sharing Program: Revisions to Regulations.” The proposed rule would amend existing regulations for the program so that they better align with policies for other HUD programs, reflect current industry and HUD practices and conform to statutory amendments. The proposed rule would also provide HUD with greater flexibility in operating the Section 542(c) HFA Risk-Sharing program over time, and would provide more flexibility for certain HFAs accepting a greater share of the risk of loss on mortgages insured under the program. Comments are due by April 7 and the federal register notice is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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Julián Castro, HUD secretary, announced Feb. 12 the allocation of $1.8 billion to public housing authorities (PHAs) in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The funding will enable capital improvements in the PHAs’ properties. This includes replacing roofs or making energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems. The grants are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund program.

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HUD announced Feb. 23 the finalists for the 2016 student affordable housing design and planning competition. HUD selected four student teams from universities throughout the country as the finalists in the Innovation in Affordable Housing Student Design and Planning Competition. The competition is designed to encourage research and innovation in the areas of affordable housing design and planning, as well as improve capacity for industry professionals and future designers and planners. The winner will be selected April 19 in a final presentation at HUD’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., and that team will have the opportunity to redevelop the Monteria Village public housing development in Santa Barbara, Calif. The four finalist teams are from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Kansas, Harvard University and the University of Maryland at College Park.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

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