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$1.7B Released for Public Housing Work

Monday, August 12, 2013

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The United States’ 1.2 million public housing units will be getting some much-needed repairs and renovation with the 2013 release of $1.7 billion in capital improvement funds by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The funding, announced Thursday (Aug. 8), will be used to make "major large-scale improvements" to public housing in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Public housing - Washington DC
Photos: HUD

The Glencrest public housing development in Washington, D.C., was revitalized with HUD funding.

It is, however, a drop in the bucket compared to the $25.6 billion in large-scale repairs that those units need, according to a 2011 estimate by HUD.

The funding will be channeled through hundreds of public housing authorities nationwide. View funding by public housing authority here.   

Repair, Renovate, Modernize

The grants were provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which provides funding annually to all public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities.

Authorities use the funding for large-scale improvements like new roofs or to make energy-efficient upgrades to old plumbing and electrical systems.

Capital Fund grants are awarded annually to the nation’s approximately 3,100 public housing agencies through a formula that considers number, type and age of units in a community. Funds may be used for development, financing and modernizing the units or for management improvements at the housing authority.

Housing demolished after Katrina

New Orleans' B.W. Cooper public housing is demolished to make way for new mixed-income housing. The U.S. loses 10,000 public housing units each year to disrepair, according to HUD.

“This funding is critical for housing authorities to maintain and improve public housing conditions for their residents,” HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement.

Losing 10K Units a Year

Even as it released the funds, HUD acknowledged their limitations.

The U.S. "continues to lose approximately 10,000 public housing units annually, primarily due to disrepair," HUD reported.

A major 2011 HUD study, Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, found that the nation's public housing stock needed about $25.6 billion in large-scale repairs.

"Unlike routine maintenance, capital needs are extensive improvements required to make the housing decent and economically sustainable, such as replacing roofs or updating plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency," the agency noted.

Protecting Housing Stock

Complementing the Capital Fund Program is HUD's 2012 Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), also aimed at protecting public-housing stock. That program includes leveraging public and private funding to make improvements.

Shaun Donovan - RAD announcement

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announces the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, which the agency says "is already generating additional capital for public and assisted housing."

Since Congress approved the demonstration, "early results show it is already generating additional capital for public and assisted housing," according to HUD.

"After opening RAD application periods last summer, HUD has approved or given initial approval to nearly 20,000 public and assisted housing units in 180 different projects across the country," the agency reported last week.

New Investment, New Guidance

"Through these awards, housing authorities have proposed to generate close to $816 million in private debt and equity investments to reduce the capital backlog in public housing properties, which will preserve or replace distressed units and support local jobs in their communities—all without additional federal resources."

HUD also recently issued new RAD guidance to expand the program’s flexibility.

Donovan called the programs steps in the right direction, saying that despite "a significant repair backlog, I am encouraged by new, innovative long-term solutions HUD is exploring that can be combined with this funding to not only protect and preserve this housing for the next generation, but to also build the quality infrastructure necessary for families to thrive.”

FY2013 Public Housing Capital Funding

(by state)

State

Amount ($)

Alabama

52,519,473

Alaska

1,996,710

Arizona

7,463,449

Arkansas

16,801,739

California

69,368,607

Colorado

9,948,853

Connecticut

20,575,287

Delaware

3,580,287

District of Columbia

13,677,447

Florida

47,589,476

Georgia

62,681,434

Guam

1,089,579

Hawaii

9,066,970

Idaho

868,855

Illinois

119,818,353

Indiana

20,862,415

Iowa

4,530,750

Kansas

9,563,595

Kentucky

30,461,209

Louisiana

37,325,904

Maine

5,171,568

Maryland

25,773,863

Massachusetts

50,360,442

Michigan

30,044,397

Minnesota

27,386,413

Mississippi

19,248,499

Missouri

26,213,893

Montana

2,498,983

Nebraska

7,550,240

Nevada

5,191,721

New Hampshire

4,704,772

New Jersey

57,157,529

New Mexico

5,382,243

New York

307,029,645

North Carolina

48,626,554

North Dakota

2,000,584

Ohio

74,896,934

Oklahoma

14,420,904

Oregon

8,269,584

Pennsylvania

117,380,587

Puerto Rico

101,468,521

Rhode Island

11,724,298

South Carolina

19,177,868

South Dakota

1,565,032

Tennessee

49,540,429

Texas

71,408,057

Utah

2,245,973

Vermont

2,087,566

Virgin Islands

5,055,400

Virginia

27,695,820

Washington

26,083,288

West Virginia

7,838,109

Wisconsin

14,578,892

Wyoming

806,929

Total

1,720,375,929

 

   

Tagged categories: Energy efficiency; Government; Government contracts; Housing; Maintenance coating work; Maintenance programs; Rehabilitation/Repair; Renovation; Roofing materials

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