Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs – February 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020

HUD Briefs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a report Dec. 20, 2019, with certified data regarding homelessness in the United States. According to the report, homelessness numbers increased in 2019, even though many areas experienced a combined decrease. There was an overall increase in homelessness of 2.7 percent nationwide and it is estimated that the increase was caused by California’s increase of 16.4 percent. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia reported declines in homelessness between 2018 and 2019, while 21 states reported increases in homeless persons. HUD’s national estimate is based upon data reported by approximately 3,000 cities and counties across the nation.

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HUD published a proposal Dec. 26, 2019, for the expansion of information it collects on project-based vouchers (PBVs)–which have been more widespread with the expansion of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. HUD proposes to collect data include the number of PBV units, the number of bedrooms, structure type, the number of RAD PBVs, expiration systematically collect information on the development or project level for PBVs. Comments on the proposal are due Feb. 24.

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HUD awarded $5 million to public housing authorities in six states Dec. 27, 2019, to provide tenant protection vouchers to residents of public housing. The vouchers assist families with relocation or replacement housing due to demolition or mandatory conversion of their public housing units, as well as providing assistance for families in Section 8 properties for which the owner is opting out of the housing assistant payment contract. The awardees were PHAs in Lowell, Mass.; Stamford, Conn.; Austin, Texas; Brenham, Texas; Oakland, Calif.; Shreveport, La.; and Murphysboro, Ill.

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HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the award of $29.3 million to 216 local public housing agencies across the country Dec. 18, 2019, to provide a permanent home to veterans experiencing homelessness. This supportive housing assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by VA. The HUD-VASH vouchers being awarded enable homeless veterans to obtain affordable, decent housing in the private market and are critical tools in helping communities effectively end homelessness among veterans.

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HUD announced Jan. 7 its proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule. The AFFH rule is intended to offer guidance to states and local governments to meet their obligation to promote fair housing. HUD previously published a final AFFH rule in 2015, which has now been deemed “ineffective, highly prescriptive and discouraging to the production of affordable housing,” by HUD. The new proposed rule revise the definition of AFFH, develops metrics to compare jurisdictions and requires jurisdictions to identify steps they will take over five years to comply with AFFH requirements. The proposed rule was published Jan. 14 in the Federal Register, and comments will be due 60 days after the date of publication.

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Hunt Capital Partners announced the closing of $13.9 million in federal low-income housing tax credit equity financing Dec. 12, 2019, for the acquisition and rehabilitation of Cocoa Sunrise Terrace in Cocoa, Fla. The 183-apartment public housing development will be converted into project-based Section 8 housing through HUD’s RAD program. The rehabilitation is expected to be completed in June 2021 and will provide affordable apartments for those who earn up to 35, 50, 60 and 80 percent of the area median income. Thirty-seven apartments will be set aside for homeless residents and 10 extremely low-income apartments will be reserved for households with special needs, families considered homeless or when a family member is a survivor of domestic violence, has a disability or is a youth aging out of foster care.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development
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