Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs – August 2019

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a notice June 12 announcing the monthly per-unit fee rates used to determine administrative fees for each public housing agency that administers certain HUD programs. The fees involve the Housing Choice Voucher and Moderate Rehabilitation programs for calendar year 2019 (CY 2019). HUD provided two charts: one for the first 7,200 voucher units leased in CY 2019, the second for the remainder of the units. The notice is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order June 25 to establish a White House Council on eliminating Barriers to Affordable Housing Development. The group will consist of members from eight federal agencies and the chairman will be Ben Carson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The council is tasked with measuring how federal, state and local regulations affect affordable housing, with the goal of reducing regulatory barriers.

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The percentage of cost-burdened renters dropped slightly, but there remains a significant gap in affordable housing, according to the State of the Nation’s Housing 2019 report issued June 27 by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. The annual report says that 1.5 million units of housing should be built each year, which is 260,000 units more than were built in 2018. According to the report, 31.5 percent of American households spend more than 30 percent of their income for housing, the standard for being cost-burdened. It was the seventh-straight year that figure declined, but the share of renters who are cost-burned is 47.4 percent. The report highlights that the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) remains the primary provider of assisted rental affordable housing in the United States, having produced 2.5 million homes since 1987. 

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HUD awarded $63 million to 85 Native American communities throughout the country June 18 to improve housing conditions and stimulate community development for residents. Funding was provided through HUD’s Indian Community Development Block Grant program to support a wide range of community development and affordable housing activities. Award amounts ranged from $400,000 to $2 million.

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Hunt Capital Partners announced $10.8 million in LIHTC equity financing June 25 for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the Texarkana RAD II. The property, in Texarkana, Texas, comprises five developments with 294 apartments. Through HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, Texarkana RAD II will use Section 8 project-based rental assistance for 274 apartments and Section 8-based vouchers for the remaining 20 apartments. Hunt Capital Partners facilitated the investment through its proprietary fund, Hunt Capital Partners Tax Credit Fund 30. Additional funding included a $17.8 million hard construction loan from Citibank, an $11 million permanent loan through Freddie Mac and a $3.4 million soft construction to permanent loan through the Texarkana Public Facility Corporation. Renovations began in June 2019 and are scheduled for completion by November 2020. The development cost for Texarkana RAD II is $34.7 million.

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HUD announced June 20 the confirmation of Hunter Kurtz as assistant secretary of HUD’s Public and Indian Housing, as well as Seth Appleton as assistant secretary of Policy Development and Research at HUD. Both were nominated by President Donald Trump. Kurtz most recently served as the principal deputy assistant secretary for Public and Indian Housing. He also he served in the White House as the deputy chief of staff at the Council of Economic Advisers. Appleton recently served as HUD’s associate deputy secretary. Before that, he served as acting assistant secretary for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations.

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Hunt Real Estate Capital announced June 7 the closing of two HUD 221 (d)(4) new-construction loans for development of two multifamily properties in South Florida. Hunt provided a $42 million HUD 221(d)(4) new construction loan to finance Boardwalk 280 Apartments in Miramar, Fla. The property will feature 280 apartment homes and a community common area in seven, four-story apartment buildings. In addition, the property will include a mega mall and shopping theme park that will be built in the near future. Boardwalk 280 is located on a 12.5-plus-acre site, and the shopping and entertainment complex will be located on a 200-acre site. Amenities will include two swimming pools, cabana beds, playground areas, a dog park, grilling areas and tennis tables. The luxury clubhouse has a lounge/social room, café bar, business center and fitness center. Hunt provided a $25 million HUD 221(d)(4) new construction loan to finance San Filippo Apartments in Palm Bay, Fla. The property will be located on a 10-acre site and will feature 197 apartments in three, four-story midrise buildings. There will also be a clubhouse. Amenities will include a resort-style swimming pool with cabanas, outdoor grilling areas, fitness center and a dog park.

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HUD announced July 2 that it will provide $150 million in grants for affordable housing for non-elderly people with disabilities. Funding for the Mainstream Housing Voucher Program will assist approximately 18,000 people gain affordable housing, according to a HUD news release. The grants will be awarded to eligible public housing agencies. Applications are due Sept. 5.

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