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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - January 2010

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to increase transparency through the Open Government Directive, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on December 9 two measures that will make information more accessible to the general public. HUD will begin publishing online a full historical view of detailed information on the physical condition of public housing and multifamily units across the United States and will offer citizens the opportunity to contribute to the agency’s long-term strategic plan. HUD’s Real Estate Assessment Center routinely conducts physical property inspections of a sampling of the nation’s 1.2 million public housing units and 1.4 million multifamily assisted housing units. HUD will supplement its point-in-time property scores with a full historical view of the data. HUD has also offered the general public the opportunity to provide input in the development of its Six-Year Strategic Plan, by creating a virtual suggestion box that allows the public to make suggestions and vote on others’ suggestions. The site can be accessed at www.hud.gov/ideasinaction.

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Public housing authorities (PHAs) are spending funds received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in a timely manner to meet the capital needs of public housing, according to the results of a survey released late last year by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). The summary of the survey results, entitled “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act & Public Housing: A Smart Investment in Our Economy,” analyzes the use of $3 billion of Recovery Act dollars awarded on March 19, 2009 for capital improvements of their public housing units. The group reports that as of September 16, 2009, survey respondents had on average obligated 53 percent of the Recovery Act funds and spent 18.6 percent of the funds. The Recovery Act legislation requires that all funds be expended by March 17, 2012. The survey results can be found online at www.nahro.org.

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In November, Greystone Servicing Corporation Inc. closed an $8.9 million acquisition loan for Westchester Park Realty enabling the company to purchase Sans Souci Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a skilled nursing facility in Westchester, NY. The loan was insured pursuant to Section 232/223(f) of the National Housing Act. Greystone assisted the borrower in obtaining accounts receivable financing that complied with HUD’s guidelines. The purchase transaction, acquisition financing and accounts receivable financing closed simultaneously.

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On December 8, the Council for Affordable and Rural Housing (CARH) issued a new position paper on the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Aging Multifamily Rural Housing Portfolio in an effort to draw attention to the problems of this often forgotten housing. In 2003, CARH prepared the first position paper on the Aging Multifamily Rural Housing Portfolio. The updated paper released last month substantially revises and updates previous findings to reflect successes, ongoing challenges with federal funding and urgent conditions exacerbated by the wider problems in the commercial debt and equity markets. The position paper outlines CARH’s concerns and repercussions of the changing low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) market, as well as continued lack of funding allocated to preservation both through the regular appropriations process, and from, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on November 20 announced the appointment of Douglas Guthrie as the new General Manager of the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD). Most recently, Guthrie served for six years as president of Kimball Hill Urban centers in Chicago, where he successfully built mixed-income, affordable housing and mixed-use communities in challenged urban areas. Prior to that, Guthrie dedicated five years to creating affordable housing opportunities as principal of the Davis Group and president of Urban Residential Group. In 1989, Guthrie became the inaugural president of the National Equity Fund. He served as deputy executive director and the chief operating officer for the Chicago Housing Authority from 1987 to 1989, deputy housing commissioner from 1984 to 1988, and with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1972 to 1984.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

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