HUD Awards $5.4 Million in Recovery Funds to Portland, Vancouver & King County Housing Authorities

WASHINGTON, DC – September 23, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today competitively awarded a total of $5,397,130 in Recovery Act funds to permit the Portland, Vancouver and King County housing authorities to make improvements that address the needs of seniors and persons with disabilities.

The Vancouver authority was awarded $530,000 for a project at one of its complexes, the Portland authority was awarded $187,200 for one project and the King County authority was awarded $4,679,930 for projects at 13 of its complexes.

The $95 million in Public Housing Capital Funds awarded today are the last round of competitive funding available to public housing authorities through The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). Including today’s grants, public housing authorities across the U.S. have received nearly $4 billion in funding through the Recovery Act to modernize public housing, enhance energy efficiency and create jobs, among other activities.

These awards give 44 housing authorities funds to modify existing public housing units to make them fully accessible or to convert them to be used as space for service provision for seniors and persons with disabilities, thereby helping them to live independently. They can also use this funding to improve community facilities to make such spaces accessible and to provide additional space for supportive services targeted to these groups.

“So often it’s only the little things that can make a world of a difference to the elderly or someone in a wheelchair,” said Donovan. “Now housing authorities can help many maintain independent lifestyles by lowering the kitchen cabinets and counters for the injured veteran or offering meals for the grandmother who has cooked many meals. At the same time, this funding will help to create jobs and continue to jumpstart the economy.”

In February, just 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 funding being announced today is the final round of the 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 between June 22 and August 18.

Grants under the program are now being awarded to public housing authorities that effectively addressed the requirements in the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) under the following four funding categories:

Category 1 – Improvements Addressing the Needs of the Elderly and/or Persons with Disabilities: $95 million is being awarded today to make public housing units accessible and community facilities accessible and to create more space for the delivery of supportive services to this vulnerable population.

Category 2 – Public Housing Transformation: $96 million out of $100 million was awarded on September 3 to transform public housing developments that are distressed and a blighting influence on the surrounding community into newly built or renovated developments.

Category 3 – Gap Financing for Projects that are Stalled Due to Financing Issues: $200 million was awarded on September 23 to allow PHAs to develop or renovate public housing projects stalled due to lack of resources.

Category 4 – Creation of Energy Efficient, Green Communities: $600 million has been awarded for public housing authorities to create more energy efficient public housing units. Within this category, applicants could apply under Option 1 for substantial rehabilitation or new construction or Option 2 for moderate rehabilitation. Option 1 grants under this category were awarded on September 18 and Option 2 grants were awarded on September 23.

Secretary Donovan and the Department are committed to providing the highest level of transparency possible as Recovery Act funds are administered. It is vitally important that the American people are fully aware of how their tax dollars are being spent and can hold their federal leaders accountable. Every dollar of Recovery Act funds HUD spends can be reviewed and tracked at HUD’s Recovery Act website. The full text of HUD’s funding notices and tracking of future performance of these grants is also available at www.hud.gov/recovery

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HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development ad enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.

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