WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan has awarded more than $2.3 billion to 3,131 public housing authorities across the U.S, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The funds will allow these agencies to make major capital improvements to their public housing units. To view the full list of grantees, visit HUD's website.
"Housing authorities will add this funding to the $4 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 they received last year to continue addressing long-standing capital improvements that public housing communities need," said Donovan. "This funding will also stimulate the economy and create jobs in these communities."
The funding announced today is allocated through HUD's Capital Fund Program that 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 to make energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.
While these grants have provided important funding to housing authorities for the past 75 years, HUD is proposing in its 2011 budget a new initiative - Preservation, Enhancement and Transforming Rental Assistance (PETRA) - that, will offer housing authorities options to enable them to leverage public and private financing to address capital needs and make public housing units affordable for the long term. HUD estimates that unfunded capital needs of the nation's 1.2 million public housing units range from $20 to $30 billion.
PETRA would enable federal housing programs to leverage $7 billion in other capital in the first year - and as much as $25 billion in the years to come - giving owners of affordable housing access to the resources they need to preserve this housing into the future. In its 2011 budget proposal before Congress, HUD is requesting $350 million to fund the first phase of the PETRA initiative, which will preserve 300,000 units of public and assisted housing; streamline and increase program administrative efficiency; and enhance housing choice for residents.
HUD Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez said, "This funding is a great resource for housing authorities, but we believe this new approach will give housing authorities a better way to address their capital needs over the long haul."