Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - August 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

On July 16, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced the implementation of the, “Small Building Risk Sharing Initiative.” The initiative will expand the financing of small multifamily properties through partnerships with experienced private lenders. Under the initiative, applicants qualified as qualified participating entities (QPEs) will rely on a 50 percent risk-sharing arrangement with HUD to underwrite, originate and service loans that are secured with properties of five or more rental dwelling units; and do not exceed the amount of $3 million or, in the case of projects located in high-cost areas annually designated by HUD, $5 million. HUD invited applications for the initiative from community development finance institutions (CDFIs) and for-profit lenders approved as FHA Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) lenders, among others, to participate in HUD’s Risk Sharing program as QPEs. The rule is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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On June 15, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released guidance to help public housing authorities (PHAs) and private owners and managers of multifamily housing developments wishing to participate in HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. The guidance provides clarifications and changes made in response to operating experience and stakeholder feedback. Key changes include increasing the cap on public housing conversions from 60,000 to 185,000 units. HUD anticipates that establishing a public housing waiting list beyond the current conversion authority of 185,000 units will allow HUD to prioritize the conversion of public housing units with higher levels of investment and rehabilitation. The notice is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD published several resources June 22 for the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) program. The resources included a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document, a summary of the interim rule and a video on HUD’s YouTube channel providing an overview of the HTF. The FAQ addresses questions about the HTF annual action plan, including how and when states can submit HTF allocation plans to HUD. The overview video is the first in a series of videos HUD plans to produce on HTF. More information is available at www.hudexchange.info.

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Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., announced June 30 that HUD provided a $3.7 million loan to the city of Birmingham, Ala., for the acquisition and revitalization of the former Powell schoolhouse building. Revitalization plans will convert the 127-year-old property into 24 apartments through HUD’s Section 108 Loan Guarantee Assistance program. The rooms will be studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.

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Treetop Development, a subsidiary The Aspen Companies, announced the acquisition of 10 HUD-sponsored properties located throughout the United States. Treetop acquired 929 units, bringing the total number of homes it purchased from HUD in the past two years to more than 4,500 apartments. Rehabilitation efforts will include upgrading building systems, modernizing grounds and common spaces, renovating homes and adding amenities and social service programs. The properties are located in North Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, South Carolina and Pennsylvania.

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On July 7, HUD published, “Family Option Study: Short-Term Impacts of Housing Services Interventions for Homeless Families.” The report presents the short-term outcomes of the families enrolled in the Family Options Study, a program that observes how homeless families in a multisite random assignment experiment are affected by the impact of various housing and services interventions. The report provides the results of how families are faring 20 months after random assignment to either community-based rapid rehousing, project-based transitional housing, permanent housing subsidy or usual care. HUD stated that families offered a housing voucher experienced significantly better outcomes than those families randomly assigned to any of the three other options and were less likely to re-enter homelessness or experience housing instability. They also experienced reduced school mobility for their children. The study is available at www.hud.gov.