Recovery Act Grants Boost Public Housing Improvement Projects
HUD is awarding $96 million in grants to 15 public housing authorities in 10 states to make substantial improvements to thousands of public housing units. Projects being funded with the grants are in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Washington.
The Public Housing Capital Funds, awarded in early September, are provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and are specifically designated for public housing transformation, to help redevelop public housing that is blighted and distressing to the surrounding community.
These grants are intended to address the factors creating blighted public housing through renovation of existing housing or demolition and redevelopment of new public housing or a mixture of public housing and non-public housing on the site. It also is hoped that the funding will encourage economic growth and development and help to create much-needed job opportunities, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in announcing the grants.
In February, eight days after President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law, HUD allocated nearly $3 billion in Recovery Act funding to more than 3,100 public housing authorities across the U.S. Distributed by formula, that funding is already being put to work to improve public housing and create safer, more livable environments for lower-income residents.
The September funding awards are part of an additional $1 billion in Public Housing Capital Funds designated by the Recovery Act to be awarded competitively. HUD accepted applications under this program from public housing authorities from June 22 until Aug. 18, 2009. HUD is reviewing applications and awarding grants to PHAs for the following four funding categories:
Public Housing Transformation: $100 million is available to transform obsolete public housing projects into newly built or renovated developments.
Financing Stalled Projects: $200 million is available to allow PHAs to develop or renovate public housing projects stalled due to lack of resources.
Housing for the Elderly/Persons with Disabilities: $95 million is available to improve public housing units and create community facilities for the delivery of medical and other services to this vulnerable population.
Energy Efficiency: $600 million is available for PHAs to create more energy-efficient public housing units. Applications were due for this category on July 21, 2009.
HUD's Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to public housing authorities to develop, finance, and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs and for the replacement of plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency.