Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - June 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

In April, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued, “Notice on Service Animals and Assistance Animals for People with Disabilities in Housing and HUD-Funded Programs.” The notice states that the housing provider is obligated to ensure reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities who require assistance animals, and pet restrictions cannot be used to deny or limit housing in this situation. The notice discusses the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as they address the use of service or assistance animals. The notice also gives the Department of Justice’s revised definition of “service animal.” The notice is available at http://portal.hud.gov.

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HUD released a report in April on Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) activity. HUD stated that the second part of RAD is proceeding, and invited property owners with program assistance to use RAD to convert their expiring rental assistance contracts to 15-year Project Based Voucher (PBV) contracts. HUD received a total of 39 applications for conversion assistance. Eleven of the projects, which included a total of 1,207 units, were converted. Another 18 projects, with 1,862 units, were approved for conversion. HUD anticipates another 18 projects will undergo RAD conversion before the second part of the program ends on Sept. 30.

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HUD issued a notice of funding availability in April. “Announcement of Funding Awards; Energy Innovation Fund – Multifamily Pilot Program Fiscal Year 2010” announces the funding decisions for the Energy Innovation Fund – Multifamily Pilot Program (EIF) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. It also lists goals of for the Energy Innovation fund, which include to demonstrate solutions to the primary challenges to implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements in existing affordable multifamily properties, to leverage private capital and additional public funding to demonstrate “proof of concept” of specific models and to conduct applied research to document approaches to retrofitting affordable multifamily properties. The 12 applications selected for funding were scored based on the FY 2010 notice of funding availability criteria.

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In April, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., a ranking member of the House of Financial Services Committee, alongside Rep. Michael E. Capuano, D-Mass., and 65 fellow House Democrats sent a letter to the House Committee on Appropriations. The letter calls for sufficient funding for community development and housing programs in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill. In the letter, the representatives advocate for support for federal affordable housing programs. The letter also calls for full funding of the administration’s FY 2014 requests for the Public Housing Operating fund and the Public Housing Capital fund.

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HUD in April sent a letter to the Office of Public and Indian Housing concerning the 2013 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) funding shortfalls and use of the renewal set-aside to prevent terminations due to insufficient funding. The letter is meant to inform public housing agencies (PHAs) of cost-saving measures that they must assume in order to be eligible for funding under the insufficient funding category, as well as the progress of the set-aside fund. The 2013 continuing resolution (CR) expanded the use of the housing assistance payments (HAP) renewal set-aside funding for PHAs. HUD is currently calculating PHAs Calendar Year 2013 funding.

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Centerline Capital Group announced in May that it provided Lago de Plata Apartments in Corsicana, Texas with a $4.5 million FHA 223(a)7 loan. Lago de Plata is an affordable community with 150 rental units housed in 14 garden style buildings. Originally built in 1970 and renovated in 2003 and 2004, the property includes 30 one-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom units, 22 two-bedroom townhomes, 60 three-bedroom apartments and eight four-bedroom townhomes.