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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - July 2016

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a proposed rule May 17 that would require installation of broadband infrastructure at the time of new construction or substantial rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing that is funded or supported by HUD. The rule, titled, “Narrowing the Digital Divide Through Installation of Broadband Infrastructure in HUD-Funded New Construction and Substantial Rehabilitation of Multifamily Rental Housing,” also recognizes that installation of broadband infrastructure may not be feasible for all new construction or substantial rehabilitation, so the proposed rule allows limited exceptions to the installation requirements. The rule builds on ConnectHome, HUD’s initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families in HUD-assisted housing. Comments are due July 18. The proposed rule is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., introduced May 11 the Preserving HUD’s Multifamily Field Offices Act of 2016 (H.R. 5202). The bill would reserve asset management staff in each of HUD’s 54 multifamily field offices. Fourteen California Democrats in the House who represent Los Angeles County joined the ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services introduced the bill to address concerns with HUD’s Multifamily Transformation initiative. HUD is consolidating its multifamily field offices as part of a larger initiative to streamline its operations. If enacted, the bill would prohibit HUD from relocating asset management field office staff to a core office. The bill would also require HUD to backfill all asset management positions in every field office in the event of any vacancies. At press time, the bill was referred to the House committee on Financial Services. H.R. 5202 is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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On May 17, HUD released the notice, “Retrospective Review–Improving the Previous Participation Reviews of Prospective Multifamily Housing and Healthcare Programs Participants; Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” in the Federal Register, inviting comment on a proposed rule that would revise how HUD conducts previous-participation reviews of applicants to HUD’s multifamily and health care programs. The current rule requires all principals applying for HUD’s multifamily housing and health care programs to certify that they have acted responsibly in previous participation in HUD programs. HUD proposed to issue with its final regulations a processing guide for previous participation reviews. The proposed rule would clarify the process and avoid a one-size fits all approach. The notice is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com. Comments were due to HUD by June 16.

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HUD announced May 16 that Julián Castro, HUD secretary, named Jim Reed to serve as HUD’s New England regional administrator. Reed will manage HUD’s operations for the six-state region that includes Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. He will also be HUD’s chief liaison to state and local elected officials, congressional delegations and other stakeholders throughout the New England area. Reed is the former executive director for the Housing Authority of the City of Newport, R.I., where he served more than 10 years. Before that, he served as a senior administrator at the Boston Housing Authority.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

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