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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - May 2010

Boston Capital will invest in a to-be-built Section 202 affordable housing development for seniors in Staten Island, N.Y. Lafayette Manor will feature 24 studios, 35 one-bedroom units and one two-bedroom manager’s unit in a five-story building. Equipped with emergency call systems, units will be affordable to residents ages 62 or older with an income at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI). Amenities will include an outdoor seating area, a fitness room, a computer lab, a potter’s wheel and kiln, storage, and a community room with a kitchen. The development will also feature daily manned security and an on-site social services coordinator.

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A new affordable housing development built to replace one destroyed by Hurricane Katrina opened its doors to 46 low-income seniors in March. Terraces on Tulane in New Orleans, La. will eventually house 200 families through HUD’s Section 318 program; HUD reports the program has been used less than a dozen times since its creation in 2006. Volunteers of America (VOA) and HUD employees used Section 318 to transfer the HUD Section 202 subsidy the residents received at the former facility to the new $43 million development.

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HUD published Mortgagee Letter 2010-10 on March 16 to revise HUD Form 92264-A, used to determine the maximum mortgage amount the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) may insure. The letter states that the wording of the previous version inadvertently precluded multifamily rental housing development in cities with high land costs, such as New York, N.Y., San Francisco, Calif., Boston, Mass., and Philadelphia, Pa. Prior to the revision, the form required the calculation of per unit mortgage limits to include land costs. The revision reflects FHA’s determination that the cost of land does not have to be included in the calculations, and is effective on the date of the letter, March 16. The revised form is available on HUD’s web site. If HUD has already issued a firm commitment, the mortgagee must request that the commitment be amended to benefit from the adjusted calculation criteria. Read a copy of Mortgagee Letter 2010-10 at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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In a letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Sen. Charles Schumer urged the Obama Administration to increase fiscal year 2011 funding for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly Program. Last year, Congress appropriated $825 million in program funding, whereas the Administration included approximately $274 million for the program in its fiscal year 2011 budget request. Schumer noted that although the funds would be enough to preserve the existing Section 202 housing stock, sponsors of new housing developments would be forced to seek additional funding sources to cover project shortfalls. The program allows seniors to live as independently as possible by increasing the supply of affordable rental housing and providing supportive, community-based services. Track the progress of the appropriations process for this and other HUD programs online at www.hudresourcecenter.com by clicking on HUD Budget in the HUD menu.

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Boston Housing Authority (BHA) developments will receive $63 million in energy efficiency improvements – the largest public housing energy efficiency project in the nation’s history, according to Mayor Thomas Menino’s office. With partner Ameresco, BHA will install water and energy conservation measures in 4,300 apartments in 13 developments. Ameresco will engineer, design, implement and finance the efficiency measures under a 20-year energy performance contract with BHA that allows Ameresco to recoup its upfront costs by sharing a portion of the long-term savings. Improvements will include new water fixtures, energy efficient lighting, converting electric heat to gas, installing photovoltaic systems and high reflective “cool” roof membranes. The project is projected to save the BHA $56 million in energy costs over the next 20 years. In the short-term, the initiative will create 600 jobs and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 13,000 tons annually.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

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