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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs -March 2014

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Feb. 4 its intent to conduct the American Housing Survey (AHS) for 2015 and a solicitation of comments about the process. The survey will be conducted with a new national sample and up to 30 metropolitan area samples. The comments submitted should indicate which metropolitan areas should be sampled. HUD is seeking comments from all interested parties, but especially from government policymakers, academic researchers and AHS data users. HUD asks that commenters consider the following questions when submitting responses: which metropolitan areas are important from a housing policy perspective; which metropolitan areas are important from a housing program perspective, including, but not limited to, low-income and assisted housing programs; and which metropolitan areas are important for other demographic or socioeconomic reasons. Comments are due April 7. The notice is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research posted a report, “Analysis of Trends in Household Composition Using American Housing Survey Data,” on Jan. 14. The report analyzes household composition data between 2003 and 2009. HUD reports that the number of “doubled-up” households has increased, indicating the need for more affordable rental housing. A doubled-up household contains persons who are not the householder or their spouse, partner or minor children. The study also found that there was a steady decline between 2003 and 2009 in the number of new household formations and an increase in the number of adult children living at home. The authors linked these findings to the recession. The report is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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On Jan. 29, the National Council of State Housing Agencies and 21 organizations in the HOME Coalition sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and HUD requesting additional funding for the HOME Investment Partnership program. The letter asks that the fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget reserve $1.6 billion for HOME funding. The letter discusses the need for affordable housing and the importance of HOME funding. In addition to this letter, the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) sent a letter to OMB and HUD discussing the importance of affordable housing and community development and to increase funding for these programs. The Obama administration is expected to release its FY 2015 budget proposal March 4.

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On Jan. 16, HUD announced that The Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative expanded to include seven cities. The program is designed to help cities effectively invest in existing resources, coordinate federal investments and facilitate new partnerships in economically distressed areas. The new cities are Brownsville, Texas; Flint, Mich.; Macon, Ga.; Rockford, Ill.; St. Louis, Mo. and Rocky Mount, N.C. HUD says the program has already helped the pilot cities of Chester, Pa.; Cleveland, Ohio; Fresno, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; New Orleans, La. and Youngstown, Ohio, make progress towards goals related to economic development, housing, transportation, public safety and public health.

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HUD and the American Planning Association (APA) announced Jan. 28 that the Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) will receive the 2014 HUD Secretary’s Opportunity and Empowerment Award for its transformation of the Mountain View Village community in Anchorage, Alaska. The award recognizes excellence in community planning resulting in measurable benefits. Benefits include, but are not limited to, economic development, employment, education or affordable housing. CIHA invested $84 million in land acquisition, redevelopment and development of rental and for-sale units. CIHA also demolished 130 blighted structures and is building 277 affordable homes. CIHA has redeveloped 10 percent of all residential units in Mountain View Village to date. The award will be presented to CIHA April 29 at the APA’s National Planning Conference.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development

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