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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - May 2016

Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., introduced the Small Public Housing Agency Opportunity Act of 2016 (H.R. 4816) March 21. H.R. 4816 would reform laws relating to small public housing agencies (PHAs). The bill allows for greater flexibility and some changes in oversight requirements for small PHAs, defined as those that administer 550 or fewer public housing units and Housing Choice Vouchers combined. The bill would limit U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) inspections of housing and voucher units to once every three years, unless the PHA has been classified as “troubled.” H.R. 4816 would also allow up to 50 percent of the PHA’s voucher allocation to be project-based, up from 20 percent. A tiered rent system would also be implemented, in which an initial rent is set and adjusted annually based on changes in area median incomes (AMI). For extremely low-income households, there would be a fixed amount equal to 30 percent of 10 percent of AMI. For very-low income households, there would be an amount equal to 30 percent of 30 percent of AMI. For low-income households, there would be an amount equal to 30 percent of 50 percent of AMI. H.R. 4816 was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. The bill is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD published a Federal Register notice March 11 inviting comments on the proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) assessment tool for state and insular areas. States and insular areas that participate in HUD programs must use the tool to evaluate fair housing choice and access to opportunity in their jurisdictions. The tool is designed to identify housing barriers and opportunities and to set fair housing goals to overcome such barriers. Comments are due May 10. The notice is available at www.historictaxcredits.com. In addition, HUD released two notices March 23 inviting comments on two assessment tools that HUD program participants must use to evaluate fair housing choice and access to opportunity in their jurisdictions under the AFFH rule. Comments for both assessment tools are due May 23. Both notices are available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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HUD Secretary Julián Castro announced March 8 $1.6 billion in grants to support 6,400 local homeless housing and supportive services. This portion of funding was provided by the Tier 1 Continuum of Care (CoC) grants, supporting the Obama administration’s efforts to end homelessness by providing critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. HUD expects to award approximately $300 million in Tier 2 grants this spring. Grants ranged from $39,177 to $274.93 million.

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Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the Committee on Financial Services, introduced legislation March 23 that would provide significant resources to end homelessness in America. The “End Homelessness Act of 2016” provides $13.27 billion in new funding over five years to several programs and initiatives that will help the nearly 600,000 Americans who are homeless. It is designed as an emergency relief bill that would provide immediate funding to address homelessness in America, targeting those areas where homelessness has reached crisis proportions. The measure was referred to the House Financial Services Committee. The bill, executive summary and section-by-section is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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Love Funding announced March 16 that it secured a $15.3 million loan for the refinance of Christian Care Home, an assisted living and skilled nursing senior community in Ferguson, Mo. Financing was secured through HUD’s 232/223(a)(7) LEAN loan insurance program. Christian Care Home provides 178 beds in 92 rooms. The facility is owned by Christian Woman’s Benevolent Association, a nonprofit corporation that care for impoverished mothers and their babies.

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Department of Housing and Urban Development

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