Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs – July 2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Housing and Insurance Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy, R-Wis., and Ranking Member Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., introduced May 15 the Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018. H.R. 5793 would encourage Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher recipients to move to lower-poverty neighborhoods in order to expand access to opportunity areas. At press time, H.R. 5793 was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services and has no additional sponsors. The bill is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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Congressional Democrats proposed May 7 a $70 billion investment in public housing. The proposal, “A Better Deal for Public Housing & Ladders of Opportunity for American Families,” is a reinvestment in America’s public housing to empower residents, create economic opportunities and foster safe and healthy neighborhoods. The plan would provide more than $70 billion in investment over the next five years by repairing aging public housing, encouraging residents to participate in the revitalization process, ensure public housing agencies have the tools to connect residents to opportunity and provide comprehensive solutions for the communities surrounding public housing. The announcement was made by House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Co-Chair Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, D-Mass., and Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, and was part of the Our Homes, Our Voices National Housing Week of Action. The proposal factsheet is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and co-developers BRIDGE Housing and Mission Economic Development Agency celebrated May 10 the renewal of 255 Woodside in San Francisco. The affordable rental community for seniors and residents with disabilities was revitalized under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. The 109 apartments underwent life-safety upgrades and modernization efforts. Updated amenities include two elevators, a community room and laundry room.

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HUD announced May 11 the launch of the HUD Strong Families initiative. The initiative is aimed at helping to strengthen family ties while promoting economic empowerment, educational opportunities and health resources. HUD Strong Families is a coordinated effort with public housing authorities, federal partners and service organizations to support families living in HUD-assisted housing by connecting them with resources that expand economic opportunity and promote engagement with their children. 

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HUD announced May 22 $2.6 billion in annual funding to housing authorities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands through the Capital Fund program. The funds are meant to help public housing authorities make large-scale improvements to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize their properties. The complete list is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD awarded $5 million May 18 for rural community development. Four organizations, the Housing Assistance Council, the Minnesota Housing Partnership, the Rural Community Assistance Corporation and Rebuilding Together Inc., received either $1 million or $2 million awards. The funding is provided through HUD’s Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing program. The program awards grants to national nonprofit organizations with expertise in rural housing and community development.

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The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MassHousing) announced May 23 the closing of $14.5 million in affordable housing financing to Beacon Communities LLC. Funding will help the rehabilitation and preservation of affordability of Chatham West I, with 300 apartments, and Chatham West II, with 270 apartments, in Brockton, Mass. Chatham West I has 176 one-, and 124 two-bedroom apartments. Chatham West II has 112 one-, 102 two-, 48 three- and eight four-bedroom apartments. Beacon will replace windows, doors, roofs and boilers, upgrade apartment units, and make accessibility improvements across both properties. MassHousing is providing Beacon with $1.5 million from the agency’s $100 million Workforce Housing Initiative and a $3 million RAD affordability loan for Chatham West I. MassHousing is providing Beacon with a $10 million 13A Tenant Protection Loan for Chatham West II. The $10 million MassHousing loan will be used to support the continued tenancy of current 13A legacy households. 

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WinnCompanies and Omni Development Corporation began renovations on Prospect Heights in Pawtucket, R.I., May 15. The projected $42 million renovation of the 1942 historic building will include upgrades to the 292 apartments spread across 35 two-story buildings, as well as the creation of 20 low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) apartments. Renovations will also include an updated community room and laundry room and a new playground. WinnDevelopment and Omni Development acquired a ground lease for the Prospect Heights that was coordinated under HUD’s RAD program. Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation provided tax-exempt bond financing and LIHTCS. WNC served as the equity investor and provided federal historic tax credits and LIHTCs. The city of Pawtucket provided Community Development Block Grant and HOME funds. Phased construction is expected to be complete by April 2020.

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The Minneapolis office of Dougherty Mortgage LLC announced May 25 the recent closing of a $16.1 million HUD 221(d)(4) loan for the new construction of Eastgate Apartments. The Rochester, Minn., property will provide 135 multifamily apartments to residents earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, with 27 of those 135 apartments restricted to fair market rents. Funding also includes LIHTC equity and tax-exempt bonds. Eastgate Apartments is expected to open summer 2019.

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HUD published a notice in the Federal Register May 30 establishing renewal funding inflation factors (RFIFs) to adjust fiscal year (FY) 2018 renewal funding for the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. RFIFs adjust the allocation of HCV funds for local changes in rents, utility costs and tenant incomes. HUD determined the FY 2018 RFIFs by allocating the 3.47 percent national per-unit cost for the HCV program to each public housing agency based on the fair market rents in their area. The notice is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.