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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - August 2011

President Barack Obama appointed Carol Galante to serve as acting commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Galante was previously the deputy assistant secretary for multifamily housing at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which oversees the FHA. Galante replaces Robert C. Ryan, who has accepted the position of senior adviser to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

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Kimberly Wize, a HUD senior adviser for public housing programs, is the new administrative receiver and one-person board of commissioners for the Virgin Islands Housing Authority (VIHA). In her new role, Wize will provide oversight and ensure all rules, regulations and agreements are in line with the housing authority's mission. She will attend and conduct regular board meetings to provide direction as HUD continues its administrative receivership of the agency. Wize previously worked closely with troubled housing authorities and served as an expert on development activities while outstationed in HUD's Indianapolis, Ind. field office. She has more than 18 years of affordable housing experience, including direct public housing agency knowledge. She was the chief operations officer of the Indianapolis Housing Agency and was the executive director of the Indiana Housing Finance Agency after holding other key senior level positions with the agency.

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HUD's Office of Asset Management has issued a memo on its policy implementing the congressional extension of Rent Supplement and Rental Assistance Payment (RAP) contracts expiring in 2011, Nixon Peabody reported. Project-based rental assistance contracts on more than 1,200 units covered by either of those two programs are scheduled to expire next year, but the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 authorizes HUD to offer a one-year extension under the terms of the existing contract. Properties must meet certain criteria in order to be considered for an extension, including meeting a REAC score of 60 or greater, a Management and Occupancy Review (MOR) rating of satisfactory or higher, and having an existing contract expiration date between June 17 and September 30, 2011. HUD will not issue retroactive contract extensions. More details are available on www.hud.gov.

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As much as $25.6 billion could be required to address the capital needs of the nation's 1.2 million public housing units, according to a HUD study. The report, "Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program," is an update of a 1998 analysis that addresses the costs of accessibility improvements, water and energy conservation, and overdue repairs that would improve basic living conditions at public housing properties. HUD said the study includes the first extensive look at the estimated cost of energy and water conservation projects. HUD programs such as Choice Neighborhoods Initiative and the Rental Assistance Demonstration were introduced to address the capital needs backlog, which is growing by $3.4 billion each year, the agency said. Download a copy of the report at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD allocated nearly $210 million in Indian Housing Block Grants (IHBGs) to 146 tribes in 25 states. The agency distributes the funds to eligible tribes or their tribally designated housing entities based on a formula that accounts for local needs. The funds are eligible to be used for a range of affordable housing activities, including housing development, assistance to housing developed under the Indian Housing Program, housing services to eligible families and individuals, crime prevention and safety, and activities that model creative solutions to housing affordability problems. The funds are intended to benefit low-income families living on Indian reservations or in other American Indian communities. A list of this year's IHBG recipients is available at www.hud.gov.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

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