Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - July 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced May 11 that its Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program officially surpassed $4 billion in capital investment in the nation’s affordable housing stock. The funds are used to make critical repairs and improvements to affordable housing. The RAD program doubled capital in one year, with the program leveraging $19 in capital for every $1 of public housing funds. Ben Carson, HUD secretary, said in a press release that through the innovative RAD program, housing authorities can begin to address the backlog of capital repairs needed in their public housing stock and that reaching this $4 billion milestone means expanding opportunity for more families and ensuring they have access to quality, healthy, affordable housing. HUD has made awards to public housing agencies throughout the country for all the 185,000 units currently authorized to participate in RAD and estimates an additional $6 billion in new, largely privately funded construction investments will be made in the public housing units authorized to participate in RAD. In response to high demand from housing authorities to use RAD, the fiscal year 2017 omnibus budget signed by the president raises the RAD cap to 225,000 units from 185,000 units. 

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HUD and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) announced May 11 three model housing developments in California, Missouri and Washington as recipients of the 2017 HUD Secretary’s Housing and Community Design Award. Monteverde Senior Apartments in Hayward, Calif., received the Excellence in Affordable Housing Design Award. The award recognizes architecture that demonstrates overall excellence in terms of design in response to both the needs and constraints of affordable housing. Plaza Roberto Maestas in Seattle received the Creating Community Connection Award. The award recognizes projects that incorporate housing within other community amenities for the purpose of either revitalization or planned growth. Flance Early Learning Center in St. Louis received the Community-Informed Design Award. The award recognizes design that supports physical communities as they rebuild inner city social structures and relationships that may have been weakened by outmigration, disinvestment, and the isolation of inner city areas. The developments are recognized for excellence in affordable or accessible housing design.

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HUD published May 26 a proposal for three changes to methodology used to compute fair market rents (FMRs). FMRs are used to determine payment standards for federal rental assistant programs, including project-based Section 8 contracts. Comments on the proposals are due by June 26. See more information at 
www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MassHousing) announced $15.8 million in financing May 11 to Redwood Housing for the renovation and preservation of Clark House in Amherst, Mass. MassHousing provided a $15.8 million permanent loan through the HUD/HFA 50/50 Risk Share program. Redwood Housing recently acquired Clark House and extended the federal Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract on all 100 apartments. Of the 100 units at Clark House, 81 are designated affordable for elderly residents and 19 are affordable apartments for families and disabled residents. There are 76 one-, 18 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom apartments. Renovation plans include replacing all domestic hot- and cold-water piping, improving accessibility, upgrading the community room, modernizing elevators and replacing sliding glass doors and windows. Clark House was built in 1980 and is managed by WinnCompanies.