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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - July 2010

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan released details of HUD’s Strategic Plan to guide the agency through fiscal years 2010 to 2015. The plan’s five goals are to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. Specifically, HUD plans to increase the Federal Housing Administration’s capital reserves to above 2 percent, assist three million homeowners who are at risk of foreclosure, and make efforts to simplify its programs, rules and regulations.

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HUD and the Obama Administration will provide additional funding in a third round of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) as part of an effort to combat the ongoing effects of the housing crisis. HUD will also recapture funds from the first round of NSP that have not yet been committed to specific projects and reallocate them to city and county governments with very high foreclosure and vacancy rates, based on more recent data. To date, HUD has awarded $6 billion in NSP grants to help state and local governments respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values by purchasing and rehabilitating vacant homes.

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The Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) has approximately $2 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funding available for the redevelopment of foreclosed multifamily rental housing properties. NSP funds are available for redevelopment of foreclosed properties that are vacant and/or blighted and serve residents with incomes at or below 50 percent of the area median income. Applications must be mailed or hand-delivered to ADOH no later than 4 p.m. on July 16. Late applications will not be accepted. The application guide and forms can be downloaded from the ADOH web site, www.azhousing.gov. Questions should be forwarded to Randy Archuleta, rental programs administrator, by emailing [email protected] or calling (602) 771-1000.

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C. Donald Babers was selected to serve as HUD’s acting Southwest regional director for a five-state region including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma. He is the deputy regional director at the HUD regional office in Fort Worth, Texas. In his new position, Babers will serve as HUD’s liaison to elected officials, congressional delegations and other stakeholders. He will also oversee the delivery of HUD’s programs and services to communities and evaluate their effectiveness.

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Berkadia Commercial Mortgage originated more than $40.6 million in financing through its HUD/FHA program for the acquisition and redevelopment of The Hotel John Marshall in Richmond, Va. The property, which opened in 1929, will be converted to 238 apartments and approximately 31,000 square feet of retail space known as Residences at The John Marshall. Insured through HUD’s Section 220 Urban Renewal Program, the project was the first master-lease historic tax credit transaction in the state to be financed through HUD.

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Nearly 13 million low-income persons paid more than half their monthly income for rent or lived in substandard housing in 2007, according to HUD’s report to Congress. The report, “Worst Case Housing Needs 2007: A Report to Congress,” also found that 5.91 million households had worst case housing needs compared to 5.01 million in 2001, and that the primary cause of worst case needs is severe rent burden. The report is the 12th in a series of reports designed to measure the scale of housing problems facing low-income American renting households. HUD expects that its next report to Congress will address the effects of the current housing crisis on this population.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

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