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Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - November 2010

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published final fiscal year 2011 fair market rents (FMRs) in October. Calculated at 40th and 50th percentile rent levels, FMRs are used to determine payment standard amounts for the Housing Choice Voucher program to determine initial renewal rents for some expiring project-based Section 8 contracts and to determine initial rents for housing assistance payments (HAP) contracts in the Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy (SRO) program. The Federal Register announcement also contains small area FMRs for Dallas, Texas as part of HUD’s small area FMR demonstration project. In addition to a complete list of FMRs, the notice includes the agency’s FMR development procedures, FMR methodology and a summary of public comments on the proposed FMRs. Download a copy of the notice from www.taxcredithousing.com.

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The U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS), a collection of population characteristics that complements the 2010 Census population data. The ACS data are based on a sample survey of the nation and provide estimates of key social, economic and housing characteristics. Between 2008 and 2009, real median household income in the United States decreased in 34 states and increased in one – North Dakota. Also among the highlights, nearly two in five renter households nationwide experienced housing costs that consumed 35 percent or more of their incomes, and the San-Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. metro area was the most expensive rental market among the 50 most populous metro areas. Data is available from the U.S. Census Bureau Data site.

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HUD posted a report, “Quality Control for Rental Assistance Subsidies Determinations: Final Report for FY 2008,” to its web site in September. The annual report provides national estimates of the extent, severity, costs and sources of rent errors in tenant subsidies for Public Housing Agency-administered housing, Section 8, Section 202 and Section 811 programs. The 2008 report found a decrease in the average dollars in subsidy overpayment error associated with the Section 8 voucher program; and an increase in the average dollars in subsidy underpayment associated with the public housing program. HUD designed this study to measure the extent of administrator income and rent determination error by housing providers. It focuses on identifying households for which an error was made when calculating the amount of the household’s rent and providing nationally representative findings related to those errors. Download a copy of the report from HUD User.

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HUD and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico signed an agreement to develop and implement for the island a market-based housing plan that will address low- and moderate-income households’ needs. HUD will provide training and technical assistance while the Commonwealth designs and carries out a comprehensive housing strategy. Gov. Luis Fortuño said the agreement creates a Puerto Rico Housing Task Force and will focus on the HOME Investments Partnerships program, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance programs and the Community Development Block Grant program. HUD’s technical assistance will include conducting a housing needs assessment, indentifying gaps in capacity to execute the housing plan, improving financial management of HUD’s programs, assisting the development of a multi-year plan and training to leverage HUD funding. Puerto Rico agreed to implement within two years a long-term plan to use CDBG administrative funds to improve local capacity to manage HUD programs. The full text of the technical assistance agreement is available at HUD's website.

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HUD announced the availability of $19.6 million in grants to prevent and address housing-related health and safety hazards in low-income housing and to support resident asthma control programs in HUD-assisted multifamily housing. The Healthy Homes Production program offers $10 million to correct multiple housing-related hazards; the Asthma Interventions in Public and Assisted Multifamily Housing program provides $2.6 million for programs for asthma control among residents; the Lead Technical Studies program has $1 million available and $6 million is available under the Healthy Homes Technical Studies program. HUD says it will award grants ranging from $250,000 to $1,000,000 to approximately 33 recipients. Applications are due by November 8, except for the asthma interventions program, which has a November 16 deadline. Download applications from HUD’s web site at portal.hud.gov.

Journal Category:

Department of Housing and Urban Development

Authors:

Novogradac

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