Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - October 2015

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Aug. 13 the launch of its new Resource Locator app. The mobile app and mobile website includes but is not limited to information about commonly requested housing-related resources from HUD field and regional offices; location data and contact information for HUD field and regional offices, as well as PHAs, multifamily housing and low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) apartments, among others; maps; browser location detection; and the ability to export search results to Excel and to generate a custom PDF resource guide. The Resource Locator will offer real-time HUD housing information and allows user to connect with building managers, public housing authority representatives and property management companies to inquire about housing availability and other housing-related questions. The locator uses housing data from HUD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More information is available at www.resources.hud.gov.

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On Aug. 13, HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH) released Notice PIH-2015-012, “Administering the Community Service Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR).” The notice was provided to assist public housing authorities (PHAs) in the understanding and administration of the Community Service and Self-Sufficiency Requirement (CSSR). Notice PIH-2015-12 discusses statutory/regulation requirements for CSSR, data collection and reporting requirements, action to take against noncompliant tenants, and penalties/sanctions against PHAs housing ineligible households. The notice was released in response to an audit report issued by the Office of Inspector General on Feb. 13 regarding how the CSSR was implemented. The notice is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.

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On July 13, HUD released Notice H 2015-06. The notice defines the guidelines of HUD’s final rule, “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” which was released in 2012. HUD says the rule was intended to ensure that housing across HUD programs is open to all eligible individuals and families regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. The rule applies to all HUD-assisted and HUD-insured housing. The notice also clarifies no owner or administrator of HUD-assisted housing, approved lender in an FHA mortgage insurance program or any recipients or sub-recipient of HUD funds may ask about the sexual orientation and gender identity of applicants for such housing. Notice H 2015-06 is available at www.hud.gov.

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On Aug. 19, HUD announced a $24 million allocation via the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Section 108 Loan Guarantee program to help the 27 communities impacted by tornadoes and severe storms in 2013. An additional $2.4 million was awarded under the Declared Disaster Recovery Fund. The awards will establish a loan pool for community development projects and will fund transit-oriented development; mixed-use commercial, retail and multifamily rental development; business development loans; and public infrastructure and facilities, including collaborative projects that cross municipal borders.

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HUD announced Aug. 25 more than $48 million in Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration grants to 14 local and state government agencies. The funding, directed to cities, counties and states, will eliminate dangerous lead paint and other housing-related health hazards in nearly 3,200 privately owned, low-income housing units. HUD stated in a press release that housing improvements help prevent injuries and illnesses, reduce associated health care and social services costs, reduce absentee rates for children in school and adults at work and reduce stress. HUD is also providing Lead Hazard Reduction Demonstration program grantees more than $3.5 million in Healthy Homes supplemental funding to help communities offset multiple health hazards in high-risk housing.