Department of Housing and Urban Development News Briefs - September 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ben Carson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary, announced $178.5 million in 2015 and 2016 disaster recovery funds Aug. 1. The funding will support recovery in Florida, West Virginia, Texas and the Carolinas after severe flooding. The funding is provided through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant–Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. Combined with CDBG-DR grants already allocated, HUD’s investment to these areas totals approximately $947 million. Grants ranged from $978,000 to $57.5 million.

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HUD announced Aug. 2 the reservation of $38 million to fight housing discrimination through the Department’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP). The grants will support fair housing testing, education and enforcement activities. Applications for the grants are due Sept. 18. HUD made available $7.5 million in Education and Outreach Initiative grants, $500,000 in Fair Housing Organizations Initiative grants and $30.4 million in Private Enforcement Initiative grants. 

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HUD awarded more than $127 million June 27 to 48 state and local government agencies in order to make low-income housing safer and healthier in a continuous effort to keep families and their children safe from lead-based paint and other home health and safety hazards. The funding was provided via HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes’ Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant program. The funding will help reduce the number of children with elevated blood lead levels and protect nearly 7,600 families living in homes with significant lead and other home health and safety hazards. Grant amounts ranged from $1.36 million to $3.4 million.

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HUD and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation announced July 21 the East Baltimore Historic II project as the winner of the 2017 ACHP/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. The award recognizes the project’s success in advancing the goals of historic preservation, while providing affordable housing and expanded economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income families and residents. TRF Development Partners renovated the East Baltimore Historic II. The $9.3 million redevelopment rehabilitated 32 vacant row houses in two buildings into affordable homes. There is also a coffee shop and a workforce development center. Homes are available to residents earning 50 to 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). The East Baltimore Historic II project was also developed with federal historic tax credits (HTCs). 

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HUD and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) announced July 12 the winners of the 2017 HUD Secretary’s Award for Healthy Homes. Model programs in Colorado, Vermont, Washington and New Jersey earned the award, which recognizes excellence in making indoor environments healthier through healthy homes. The winners were the Denver Housing Authority’s South Lincoln Neighborhood Redevelopment Mariposa, Vermont Weatherization’s One Touch Program, Tribal Healthy Homes Network’s Partnership for Air Matters in Alaska and Rutgers University, Bed Bug Monitoring Protocol and Model Integrated Pest Management Program. Awards were presented at NEHA’s 2017 Annual Educational Conference and Exhibition in Grand Rapids, Mich.