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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - July 2011

HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims announced that he will retire from public service at the end of this month to return to his Seattle, Wash. home. During his time in office, Sims managed HUD's daily operations, a nearly $39 billion operating budget and 8,500 agency employees. He served for 12 years as King County (Wash.) Executive before President Barack Obama appointed him to deputy secretary in 2009. Prior to his tenure as county executive, he was a member of the county council.

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Owners of Section 8 properties with low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) may now include the cost of annual LIHTC compliance reports in their budgets for budget-based rent increase requests, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In a memo to field offices, HUD acknowledged the previously inconsistent handling of compliance fees and instituted a new policy that allows the inclusion of compliance fees in Section 8 property budgets. The LIHTC industry has advocated this policy change for some time, according to Nixon Peabody LLP. Access a copy of the memo online at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD announced that it will award $3.6 million in fiscal year (FY) 2011 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants to help communities transform and preserve public housing and HUD-assisted housing. Public housing authorities, local governments and not-for-profits can apply for the grants, which enable recipients to create comprehensive plans for rehabilitating distressed housing, providing mixed-income housing that is linked to key services. HUD anticipates awarding approximately 12 grants with a maximum award of $300,000. Applications will be accepted until August 8. Find more information at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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Sherwood Village Senior Apartments in Salinas, Calif. received the 2011 HUD Secretary's Opportunity and Empowerment Award. The award, presented by HUD and the American Planning Association recognizes results of creative housing design, economic development and public-private partnerships. Not-for-profit developer Community Housing Improvement Systems and Planning Association Inc. and the Salinas City Council transformed the once-abandoned motel into an affordable housing development for seniors. Sherwood Village apartments are wheelchair accessible and feature appliances that can be adjusted to meet resident needs. On-site services include a community room, a library, a lounge area, a health clinic, counseling, job training and resident activities. The development was financed with LIHTC equity, community development block grant funds and a developer loan.

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HUD awarded nearly $153 million in HOPE VI Revitalization program grants to eight public housing authorities (PHAs). HUD said the funds, which will come from HOPE VI fiscal year (FY) 2010 and FY 2011 appropriations, will help the cities transform severely distressed federally subsidized housing developments into mixed-income communities. The agency selected the recipients from among 36 PHAs that applied for FY 2010 HOPE VI funding. Grantees are the Boston (Mass.) Housing Authority, which will receive $22 million to revitalize Old Colony phase two; the Housing Authority of Denver, Colo., which will receive $22 million for South Lincoln Homes; the Louisville (Ky.) Metropolitan Housing Authority, which will receive $22 million for Sheppard Square; the Housing Authority of Paterson, N.J., which will receive $18.4 million for the Alexander Hamilton community; the St. Louis (Mo.) Housing Authority, which will receive more than $7.8 million to demolish and rebuild a public housing development; the Taunton (Mass.) Housing Authority, which will receive $22 million for Fairfax Gardens; the Phoenix (Ariz.) Housing Department, which will receive $20 million for Frank Luke Addition; and the Housing Authority of Portland, Ore., which will receive $18.5 million to revitalize Hillsdale Terrace. Find a summary of the grants and the projects they will support at www.hud.gov.

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HUD announced that $9.1 million is available to address the housing needs of low-income persons and families living with HIV/AIDS. The funding is offered through the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program. The agency said it is deploying the funds to new community partnerships as part of an Integrated HIV/AIDS Housing Plan (IHHP), a collaborative process to improve the delivery of housing and services to affected low-income persons. Applications must be submitted by August 2. See more details on the program and download an application at www.grants.gov.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development

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