Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs – October 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced $1.5 billion in disaster recovery funding for Puerto Rico July 30. The funding will go to housing, infrastructure and economic development after the destruction caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The funding is available through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery program. 

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HUD announced Aug. 20 the new Landlord Task Force, created to encourage property owners to participate in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. The decision came after the release of two studies indicating that most landlords do not accept voucher-holders and those who do are not in favor of the program’s administrative requirements. To encourage more landlords and property managers to participate in the HCV program, HUD’s new task force is hosting forums throughout the country to engage directly with housing providers. HUD was scheduled to launch its ongoing landlord engagement campaign Sept. 20 in Washington, D.C. 

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HUD announced Aug. 27 that it awarded $5 million to 22 public housing authorities in an effort to improve public housing safety and security. Funding is available through HUD’s Capital Fund Emergency Safety and Security program, and grants may be used to install, repair or replace capital needs items. Awards ranged from $151,500 to $250,000.

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HUD’s Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) announced Aug. 29 $23 million to support 22 local programs. HOPWA funding offers stable housing for individuals and families at risk of homelessness. This award will assist more than 1,700 low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families annually over a three-year period. Awards ranged from $382,494 to $1.45 million.

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Hunt Capital Partners announced Aug. 29 its $22.8 million low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) and historic tax credit (HTC) equity investment in Blue Flame Apartments in El Paso, Texas. Hunt Capital Partners facilitated the investment of federal LIHTC and HTC equity by Citi through its proprietary investor fund, Hunt Capital Partners Tax Credit Fund 19. Also contributed was an additional $11 million in state HTC equity. The development is the adaptive reuse of the historic Blue Flame Building. The 18-story high-rise will provide 120 affordable housing apartments, as well as 39,672 square feet of commercial space. Apartments will be available to residents earning 30, 50 and 60 percent of the area median income. Five percent of apartments will be reserved for persons with special needs. Floors 14-18 of the building will be reserved as commercial space. Citibank provided a $31 million construction loan as well as a $3.8 million permanent loan. Paisano Housing Redevelopment Corporation (PHRC) contributed a $17 million loan. PHRC and Franklin Development Properties Ltd. are the co-developers. The property will also benefit from a 20-year project-based rental agreement contract through the Rental Assistance Demonstration program. Development costs for the Blue Flame are expected to be $55.3 million and construction will be completed by January 2020.

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HUD awarded $98.5 million to 285 local public housing authorities across the country Sept. 4 to provide permanent affordable housing to nearly 12,000 non-elderly persons with disabilities under its Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program. The program provides funding to housing agencies to assist non-elderly persons with disabilities who are transitioning out of institutional or other separated settings, at serious risk of institutionalization, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. HUD also released the 2018 list of Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher awards, which is available at www.hudresourcecenter.com.