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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - June 2011

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requested public comments on a proposed assessment of Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian housing needs. HUD said this congressionally mandated study will produce national level estimates of housing needs in tribal areas in the United States. Surveys covered by the data collection will include, among others, a household survey of tribal members, surveys of tribes and/or tribally designated housing entities, an interview guide for tribal leaders, and a survey of lenders working in tribal areas. The agency has not published a study on this population's housing needs since 1996. Comments on the proposed information collection are due July 5. Download a copy of the notice at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD announced the availability of $65 million in competitive grants through its Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) program, which seeks to address housing, infrastructure and employment challenges faced by tribal communities. Communities may use the grants to improve or create housing and economic development opportunities for low- to moderate-income families. In a separate announcement, HUD said that under the ICDBG program it had awarded $61 million in fiscal year 2010 competitive grants to tribal communities in 20 states. This year's application deadline is June 15. More information about the program and a list of FY 2010 grant recipients is available at www.hud.gov.

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HUD offered federal disaster assistance to residents of Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Oklahoma who were forced from their homes due to the recent severe storms. Among other measures, the agency is allowing the affected states and other entitlement communities to reallocate existing federal resources toward disaster relief. HOME and Community Development Block Grant funds can be redirected to address critical needs, including housing and services for disaster victims. HUD said it has contacted state and local officials to explore streamlining these programs to expedite the repair and replacement of damaged housing. The agency has also shared information with the federal emergency management agency and the affected states on housing providers including public housing agencies and multifamily property owners that may have available units in the impacted counties. Read more about HUD's efforts to assist the disaster victims at www.hud.gov.

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Miami Jewish Health Systems (MJHS) broke ground on an expansion of Douglas Gardens North, an affordable senior community in Pembroke Pines, Fla. When operational in 2012, the 75-unit building will offer its residents access to healthcare and social services. Its development is being financed with a $10.5 million HUD grant; MJHS said the Section 202 grant was one of the last to be issued in Florida before HUD phases out the program. MJHS plans to implement environmentally sustainable features to achieve LEED Silver certification, and will include a generator and other amenities to enable the building to serve as an emergency shelter.

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HUD selected the Residences at Eastport as a Region IV Signature Project under the agency's Sustainable Communities Initiative. Developed by Knoxville Community Development Corporation, the Residences at Eastport is a 60-unit senior development in Knoxville, Tenn. Sustainability measures include energy and water efficiency upgrades and improved indoor air quality. Boston Capital provided the low-income housing tax credit equity for the property's substantial rehabilitation. HUD's Sustainable Communities Initiative seeks to create livable and sustainable communities by linking energy-efficient housing with job opportunities, quality schools and public transportation.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

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