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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - March 2013

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) invited comments on its planned expansion of the Energy and Performance Information Center (EPIC), which tracks the amount and types of energy efficiency measures used in public housing. Revisions include expanding the data collected on the amount and type of public housing development, including low-income housing tax credit properties. Other information will include planning collections and performance reports that were only available previously in hard copy, the physical needs assessment tool and modernization by public housing authorities (PHAs) through energy performance contracts. Comments are due March 26.

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HUD issued temporary guidelines for PHAs to fulfill certain public housing and housing choice voucher (HCV) program requirements despite the decreased resources available to PHAs. The guidelines are designed to allow PHAs to continue operation without interruption and with minimal burden. Temporary provisions will allow PHAs to use a participant’s actual past income in verifying income, enable households to self-certify as to having assets less than $5,000, provide optional streamlined annual reexaminations for senior and special needs households on fixed incomes and authorize PHAs to establish a payment standard up to 120 percent of the fair market rent without HUD approval. Any PHA electing to adopt any of the provisions must notify HUD via email. The provisions will be in effect until March 31, 2014.

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HUD announced its intention to redesign the American Housing Survey (AHS) for 2015 and later, with the 2013 AHS being the final survey administered before the change. Currently, the biennial survey provides a periodic measure of the size and composition of the country’s housing inventory with data on the amount and types of changes in housing stock, the physical condition of housing, characteristics of occupants, housing costs, persons eligible for and beneficiaries of assisted housing and the number and characteristics of vacant units. HUD uses the data collected to monitor housing needs, supply, demand and effectiveness of programs. Redesign of the survey would include considerations on sample size, data collection modes and featured questions. Public comments on AHS redesign issues can be submitted until April 2. More information is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD requested comments on its information collection of compensation provided by PHAs to their five most highly compensated employees. Congress placed a specific cap on the use of Section 8 and Section 9 funds to pay PHA officials’ salaries. HUD collects information on base salary, bonus and incentive compensation. Proposed changes include collecting additional data on total cash compensation paid with Section 8 and Section 9 funds. Comments are due March 26.

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King Stone Townhomes in Sarasota, Fla. celebrated its grand opening on Jan. 23. The 28-unit affordable housing property features Energy Star appliances that makes units 20 to 30 percent more energy efficient than traditional homes. The Sarasota Office of Housing and Community Development and the Sarasota Housing Authority built King Stone on the site of a distressed housing complex. King Stone received a $2.5 million grant from HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

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HUD awarded New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) a $15.5 million HOPE VI grant for the development of Prospect Plaza in Ocean Hill-Brownsville in Brooklyn into new and affordable public housing units. The three-phase development will create 364 new housing units, including 80 units of NYCHA public housing and 284 affordable housing apartments. Plans include a new supermarket, community facility space with a rooftop greenhouse and a new recreation area. Partners include Blue Sea Development Company, Pennrose Properties, Duvernay + Brooks and Rosenberg Housing Group.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

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