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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - February 2016

The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) announced Dec. 17 the launch of its Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Risk Share program. The program, which is made possible through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Treasury and and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides competitive fixed-rate, permanent financing with up to 40-year terms. This financing method is available to affordable housing developers for acquisition, moderate rehabilitation and refinancing of existing multifamily properties throughout Colorado. Developers are also permitted to equity takeout for properties involving refinancing of existing debt. CHFA estimates more than 1,100 affordable rental homes will be supported through the new program.

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The groundbreaking for Kulamalu, a 64-unit affordable housing property in Pukalanim, Hawaii, was Dec. 10. Financing for the $13.4 million development is being provided by the Maui County Affordable Housing Fund, with grants provided through HUD’s HOME Investment Partnerships program, distributed by the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation. There will be six, two-story residential buildings with 16 one-bedroom, one-bath and 40 two-bedroom, one-bath units for a total of 56 units. There will also be a multipurpose, community center building that will include laundry facilities and an office and meeting space. This is all located on 4 acres. Construction is scheduled to be completed by early to mid-2016.

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On Dec. 4, HUD published the final rule, “Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing: Defining ‘Chronically Homeless.’ ” This final rule establishes the definition of “chronically homeless” that will be used in HUD’s Continuum of Care program and in the Consolidated Submissions for Community Planning and Development programs. To be considered chronically homeless, a person must have a disability and have been living in a place not meant for human habitation, in an emergency shelter or a safe haven for the past 12 months continuously or on at least four occasions in the past three years where those occasions cumulatively total at least 12 months. The final rule also establishes the necessary record keeping requirements that correspond to the definition of “chronically homeless” for the Continuum of Care program. The final rule was effective Jan. 4. Continuum of Care recipients had to comply with the regulations as of Jan. 15. The final rule is available at www.hudexchange.info.

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HUD announced Dec. 18 that applications are being accepted for the third round of Promise Zone selection. The notice provides information on the selection process, criteria and application submission. The Promise Zones Initiative is a program designed to revitalize low-income communities with the goal of transforming high-poverty communities throughout the country. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 23. Announcement of the designees is expected this spring.

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HUD Secretary Julián Castro and James P. Steyer, chief executive officer of Common Sense, a digital resource provider, announced Dec. 8 that Common Sense has become a national participant in HUD’s ConnectHome initiative. The initiative is a public-private collaboration to provide families living in HUD-assisted housing with affordable high-speed Internet. Common Sense will provide free training for digital citizenship resources available to families and children. The content is available in English and Spanish, and includes videos, tip sheets, case studies, facilitator guides and video games. The resources will be provided to all 28 ConnectHome communities.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

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