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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - June 2015

On April 28, the Obama administration announced eight additional Promise Zones across the United States. They include six cities, one rural area and one tribal community. The areas are Camden, N.J.; Hartford, Conn.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Minneapolis; Sacramento, Calif.; St. Louis/St. Louis County, Mo.; Pine Ridge Indian reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, S.D.; and South Carolina Low Country. Promise Zones are high-poverty communities where the federal government partners with local leaders to increase economic activity, improve educational opportunities, leverage private investment, reduce violent crime, enhance public health and address other priorities identified by the community.

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a report April 8, “Housing Choice Voucher Program Administrative Fee Study.” HUD said the purpose of the study is to measure the costs of operating a high-performing and efficient HCV program and to develop a new administrative fee formula for public housing agencies (PHAs). The study researched five areas, including how much it costs to run a high-performing and efficient HCV program, what accounts for variation in HCV administrative costs, whether there is a minimum size below which an HCV program cannot successfully operate on administrative fees alone, what would be an appropriate formula for allocating administrative fees to PHAs operating HCV programs on an ongoing basis, and how much it costs to administer the HCV Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. Data was collected from 2012 and 2014 from 60 PHAs across the United States. The report is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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Hunt Mortgage Group and Freddie Mac announced April 17 a $59.6 million loan under the Freddie Mac Direct Purchase of Tax-Exempt Loan offering for the rehabilitation of 13 development sites in El Paso, Texas. This project is phase one of HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, representing $250 million in initial public/private investment. As part of the RAD program, each of the 13 properties will receive a 20-year, project-based HAP contract for 100 percent of the units. There will be garden-style apartments and groups of duplexes and single-family homes, each containing five or more units. Rehabilitation costs will total $85.8 million. Planned renovations include improved energy efficiency, heating/cooling systems, electrical and mechanical systems, roofs, unit floors, wall coverings and bathroom and kitchen remodeling.

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HUD and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced April 20 nearly $65 million in rental assistance for more than 9,300 homeless veterans. Funding is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supporting Housing (HUD-VASH) program. The program combines rental assistance and works to reduce veteran homelessness.

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Rush Home announced the opening April 22 of Armstrong Place in Lynchburg, Va. It is an affordable apartment complex that was once Armstrong Elementary School and will now provide units to residents with permanent disabilities. Financing included 9 percent non-competitive low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and the combination of a Virginia Community Capital loan with an affordable housing program grant, which totaled $195,477. Total development cost was more than $6.2 million. The adaptive reuse and new construction of Armstrong Place will provide 18 one- and two-bedroom units. Of the 18 units, 50 percent will be fully accessible to Section 504 standards and the remainder will be adaptable for people with disabilities. Half of the tenants must earn no more than 40 percent of the area median income (AMI) and the remaining units will be reserved for households earning up to 60 percent of the AMI. The apartment complex is slowly opening this spring and has faced a three-year renovation process. Rush Homes is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable and accessible rental housing opportunities to people with disabilities and low incomes in the greater Lynchburg region.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

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