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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - February 2013

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) published a guidebook on the HOME and low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) programs. The 161-page book provides guidance on how to assess projects for HOME and LIHTC purposes. It provides overviews of the programs’ technical considerations, financial feasibility, construction standards and compliance concerns. The guidebook is available at


HUD published a Federal Register notice on Jan. 8 seeking public comments on its planned implementation of the Senior Preservation Rental Assistance Contracts (SPRAC) program. SPRAC provides assistance for non-subsidized units in section 202 projects built before 1974, with interest rates below 6 percent. HUD plans to implement $16 million in SPRAC, which would fund up to 2,000 units. HUD will divide applications into two pools: one for developments with residents at 50 percent or less of the area median income (AMI) and the other for developments with residents at 80 percent or less of the AMI. Priority is given to the 50 percent AMI pool and properties will be ranked by mortgage maturity date. HUD seeks comments on eligibility criteria and the award process. Comments are due March 11.


According to a HUD report, the national homelessness rate for 2012 fell 0.4 percent overall and declined 7 percent among veterans and those experiencing chronic homelessness compared to the previous year. The statistics are based on a one-night count conducted in January 2012 by local planners across the nation of sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. More than 633,000 people were homeless that night, with 62 percent of them individuals and 38 percent families. HUD attributed the decline in homelessness largely to its joint program with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA). The HUD-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program has provided more than 42,000 homeless veterans with permanent supportive housing to-date through rental vouchers. The report found that five states accounted for almost half of the country’s homeless population in 2012: California with 20.7 percent, New York with 11 percent, Florida with 8.7 percent, Texas with 5.4 percent and Georgia with 3.2 percent. The report can be found at HUD's website.


Four public housing agencies have been selected to participate in HUD’s Moving to Work (MTW) program. Agencies in Columbus, Ga.; Fairfax, Va.; Holyoke, Mass.; and Reno, Nev. will join 35 other agencies in the program to help families ‘move to work’ by offering job training and educational programs geared toward employment and self-sufficiency for residents. Congress authorized MTW in 1996 to help families who live in public housing or who participate in HUD’s housing voucher program become more independent.


HUD announced it will award $108.9 million in grants to redevelop and revitalize four communities through its Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. The federal grants have generated $393 million in private investments and commitments from local jurisdictions and partners. The four community recipients are The Community Builders Inc. in Cincinnati, the Housing Authority of the City of Seattle, the Housing Authority of the City of Tampa in Tampa, Fla. and the San Antonio Housing Authority in San Antonio, Texas. The four communities were selected from a list of nine finalists that HUD based on how well their plans addressed Choice Neighborhoods’ three core goals: transforming housing, supporting positive outcomes for families and transforming neighborhoods. More information is available at HUD's website.


HUD awarded $26 million in grants to convert apartments in nine states into assisted living or service-enriched environments for seniors. Top recipients included The Lesley Foundation in Half Moon Bay, Calif. with $4 million, National Church Residences of Baltimore, Ohio with nearly $3.3 million and Ken-Ton Presbyterian Village in Buffalo, N.Y. with nearly $2.6 million. HUD provided funding through its Assisted Living Conversion program, which provides resources to eligible private, nonprofit owners of developments to convert some or all units into a certified assisted living facility or service-enriched housing for seniors.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development



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