October 25, 2016
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Latest News from National Low Income Housing Coalition

Memo to Members, Vol. 14, No. 18

National Low Income Housing Coalition

May 8, 2009



*** Details of Proposed FY10 HUD Budget Released; National Housing Trust Fund Included

***Budget Briefing Planned for Hill Staff


***Senate and House Pass Protections for Tenant in Foreclosed Properties

***McKinney Reauthorization Passes Senate

***SEVRA Hearing Rescheduled

***Housing Advocates Weigh in on Draft Energy Bill


***HUD, Treasury Issue Recovery Act Implementation Guidance and NOFAs

***HUD Webcasts Pertaining to Recovery Act Programs

***HUD and DOE Agree to Coordinate Federal Weatherization Assistance


***NLIHC Submits Comments on Capital Magnet Fund


***HUD Ruling Provides Hope for GO Zone Credits; Advocates Push for Relief from Treasury


***VT Report Shows Continued Gap Between Wages and Housing Costs


***Report Finds Federal Fair Housing Enforcement Lagging


***Private Fair Housing Agencies Handle Sate and Local Protected Class Complaints


***NLIHC Welcomes New Members

***NLIHC Seeking Job Applicants



***Details of Proposed FY10 HUD Budget Released; National Housing Trust Fund Included

President Barack Obama rolled out his detailed FY10 funding request for federal programs on May 7, revealing an almost 11% increase for HUD’s programs over the current year. The President had provided Congress with a broad overview of his FY10 requests in February (see Memo, 2/27).


As expected, the budget includes inaugural funding for the National Housing Trust Fund.

 “For the first time, the Budget provides $1 billion to capitalize a Housing Trust Fund that will help make significant advances in providing affordable housing options for targeted low income families, thus addressing one of the most serious social and economic problems facing our society,” HUD’s budget request states. Also as expected, the $1 billion for the NHTF is subject to PAYGO, which means it must be accompanied by an offset elsewhere in the federal budget.


At a budget briefing for advocates on May 7, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said the budget marked “a renewed commitment to the core programs of the agency” and called the requests for HUD’s rental housing programs a “rock-solid commitment to preserving public and assisted housing.”


“It sends a very strong signal that we have entered a new era of housing and community development,” Secretary Donovan said of the FY10 HUD request. “We know that HUD has to be a different kind of partner, a different kind of agency in the years to come. You’ll see the beginnings of this transformation in this budget.”


Public Housing. The President is requesting a slight increase in public housing operating funds. HUD projects that this increase, along with a projected increase in tenant rental income, will provide public housing agencies with 100% of their operating subsidy funding. “We have a commitment to ensuring full funding,” the Secretary said and vowed to work with Congress to adjust the operating funding level if needed to account for such factors as decreases in tenant income due to the recession and decreases in energy costs as the cost of fuel as gone down.


The FY10 budget would provide a slight decrease for public housing capital funds, a cut that Secretary Donovan noted is tempered by the $4 billion in public housing capital funds included in February’s $787 billion economic recovery bill.


The public housing request would zero-out funding for the HOPE VI and Resident Opportunity and Supportive Services programs. These functions would be taken up, instead, by a new Choice Neighborhoods Initiative funded at $250 million in the request. This program would reach beyond public housing and “will primarily fund the preservation, rehabilitation and transformation of public and HUD-assisted housing.”


This new competitive grant initiative would be to “transform neighborhoods of extreme poverty into functioning, sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods with appropriate services, schools, public assets, transportation and access to jobs.” Public housing agencies, local governments, nonprofits and for-profit developers could apply for these funds, to be used for resident and community services, community development and affordable housing activities.


Housing Choice Vouchers. HUD asserts that the FY10 request seeks enough funding to renew all existing Housing Choice Vouchers, including the new vouchers funded in FY08 and FY09.  Further, no rescissions of agencies’ reserves as was done in FY09 are proposed. And the Administration also proposed lifting of the unit cap on the number of vouchers each agency can use. The HUD request predicts that its FY10 budget will, by the end of 2010, provide vouchers for 2.1 million families, “the largest number of families ever assisted by this program.”


HUD, according to its budget documents, will: propose legislation to reform the voucher program to be less administratively burdensome; revise voucher program regulations, including improving Housing Quality Standards and develop a new methodology for evaluating the public housing agency inspection process for voucher units; implement a new Section 8 Management Assessment Program focused on strengthened oversight, quality control and performance; improve HUD’s information technology systems to better manage and administer the voucher program; continue its study to develop a formula to allocate voucher administrative fees based on the cost of an efficiently managed voucher program; and eliminate the unit cap imposed by past appropriations bills on the number of families that each public housing agency may serve.


Project-based Section 8. For project-based Section 8 contracts, Secretary Donovan says the FY10 request will provide for 12 months of funding for every contract as it is renewed. It also requests the authority for the HUD Secretary to spend up to $10 million for tenant resources, information and outreach grants. “These grants will provide financial assistance to tenant groups, nonprofit organizations, and public entities for building the capacity of tenant organizations for furthering the purpose of the Mark-to-Market program,” according to HUD budget documents. HUD’s mark-to-market program allowed for the restructuring of project-based Section 8 contracts and had, until the mid-2000s, provided resources so that tenants could effectively engage in the future of their homes. This initiative would restart that outreach and organizing program.


Community Development Block Grants. The President’s FY10 budget would increase funding for Community Development Block Grants while also creating new set-asides within CDBG: a Sustainable Communities Initiative (see details below), a Rural Innovation Fund, and a University Community Fund. For CDBG, the President will also seek reforms to modernize the CDBG formula “to better target funds to communities with the greatest economic need.” “It has been very hard to demonstrate the results that CDBG produces,” Secretary Donovan said during his agency’s budget briefing. “I understand very personally [as Housing Commissioner for New York City] what an important resource it is, but we must be able to demonstrate results very concretely,” he said. “Everyone agrees the CDBG formula is outdated.”


Homeless Assistance. The President’s request for HUD’s homeless assistance programs would increase to $1.8 billion. Secretary Donovan said HUD will continue to emphasize homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing in its homeless assistance programs.


Additional Program Highlights. The FY10 request would fund the HOME formula grants and the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities and Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) programs at FY09 levels.


The request would seek a significant increase for HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, from $32 billion in FY09 to $50 million in FY10. Of this amount, $35.8 million would be for the American Housing Survey, “the richest source of information about the nation’s housing stock and the characteristics of its occupants,” according to HUD’s budget documents. “Without the proposed funding, the AHS will be in a perilous state, as funding restrictions in recent years have reduced sample sizes and coverage of metropolitan areas to the point of violating Congressional mandates.”


The budget request would also create a new Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities at HUD, an Energy Innovation Fund, and a Sustainable Communities Initiative. The Energy Innovation Fund would partner with the Federal Housing Administration to identify ways to make investing in energy efficiency a part of the home buying or mortgage refinancing transaction.


The Sustainable Communities Initiative, which would be a $150 million set-aside under the CDBG program, would “integrate transportation and housing planning and decisions in a way that maximizes choices for residents and businesses, lowers transportation costs and drives more sustainable development patterns,” according to HUD’s budget materials. Of the $150 million, $100 million would be for a regional planning effort to be jointly administered by HUD and the Department of Transportation (DOT), $40 million would be for challenge grants to encourage changes to local planning and land use rules as well as building codes, and $10 million would be for a research and evaluation effort jointly administered by HUD and DOT.


Link to the Office of Management and Budget’s detailed “appendix” on the FY10 HUD budget request at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2010/assets/hud.pdf


Link to HUD’s budget request summary at http://www.hud.gov/budgetsummary2010/fy10budget.pdf


Link to NLIHC’s budget chart for selected HUD programs at



***Budget Briefing Planned for Hill Staff

On May 18, the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) will brief Capitol Hill staff on President Obama’s recently announced FY10 budget. 


CHCDF is a coalition of almost 80 organizations working to ensure maximum federal resources for housing and community development programs. The briefing will discuss the importance of affordable housing and community development programs, including programs in rural areas, and how the President’s budget would address outstanding needs. 


The briefing will take place on May 18 in the CapitalVisitorsCenter, room SVC 209/208, from 2:30 pm to 4 pm, and is open to both House and Senate staffers. Advocates are urged to contact their members of Congress and ask that the Congressional staff for appropriations and housing issues please attend the briefing. 



***Senate and House Pass Protections for Tenant in Foreclosed Properties

Both the Senate and the House have taken significant steps to provide protections for tenants in foreclosed properties. Enactment of federal tenant protections from displacement due to foreclosure has been a top priority of the National Low Income Housing Coalition for over a year.


On May 6, the Senate passed S. 896, the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.” This bill, a companion to H.R. 1106, which passed the House March 5 (see Memo, 3/6), makes permanent the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) deposit insurance limit of $250,000, protects servicers that modify mortgages from liability for violations of the servicing contract, and amends the Hope for Homeowners program in order to encourage more households to participate.


During Senate consideration of S. 896, several significant amendments were offered and adopted, including an amendment to protect renters in foreclosed properties.   


Senator John Kerry (D-MA), joined by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Harry Reid (D-NV), offered an amendment to S. 896 to provide important protections for tenants in foreclosed properties. The amendment, which was adopted by a vote of 59-37, would provide tenants in foreclosed properties with at least 90 days notice before eviction from a foreclosed property. Tenants with leases would be allowed to remain for the term of their leases unless the property was purchased by someone who intended to live in the home, in which case they would still be given 90 days notice. In addition, the amendment would provide tenants with Section 8 vouchers an opportunity to remain in their home after foreclosure for the term of lease with their rental assistance intact unless the property is sold to an owner-occupant.


In speaking for the amendment, Senator Kerry recounted the experience of one of his constituents who came home one day to find the home he rented locked with a foreclosure notice on the door. “It is well documented how foreclosure is already overpowering countless numbers of homeowners who are unable to pay their mortgages, but foreclosure is also causing a rampage of sudden evictions of renters. My amendment would stop that rampage and help unsuspecting renters from falling victim to foreclosure in which they played absolutely no part,” Senator Kerry said. 


In expressing his support for the amendment, Senator Dodd, chair of the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, also described the plight of renters in foreclosed properties. “People have asked whether this bill is going to make a real difference for real people. This amendment makes a real difference for real people, and is exactly what we ought to be doing. These were not the people who caused the problems they are in. These are the victims of what is occurring,” Senator Dodd said. Senator Gillibrand also spoke out in support of the amendment. She noted that a quick eviction following foreclosure was particularly hard on low income families, calling the effects of such an eviction “catastrophic” for these families.


The House also adopted strong protections for tenants in foreclosed properties when it passed H.R. 1728, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act, on May 7. H.R. 1728, which was sponsored by Representatives Brad Miller (D-NC), Mel Watt (D-NC), and Barney Frank (D-MA), chair of the Committee on Financial Services, passed the committee on April 30th (see Memo 5/1). Like S. 896, H.R. 1728 would require 90 days notice before eviction for all tenants in a foreclosed property and allow tenants with leases to remain in their home for the term of their lease unless the house is purchased by someone who wants to live in the house. In such cases, the tenant would still get 90 days notice before they would be required to vacate. Tenants with a housing choice voucher would be able to remain in the property with both their lease and rental assistance payments intact.


During House consideration of the bill, one amendment was adopted that would limit the tenant protections. Representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) offered an amendment to reduce the notice period to 30 days when the borrower had rented the home in violation of the mortgage contract and the purchaser intends to occupy the unit. The amendment would have required the new owner to provide the tenant with the mortgage documents that establish the violation. Representative Keith Ellison (D-MN) spoke out against the amendment, noting that tenants are the innocent victims of the foreclosure crisis and reducing the time for a “violation” of which they had no control or notice does not make sense.


Additional tenant protection amendments were included in the manager’s amendment for the House bill. Representative Bob Filner (D-CA) sponsored an amendment to require landlords to notify tenants or prospective tenants of a default or foreclosure associated with the rented property.


An amendment to provide protections for tenants of troubled multifamily properties, which was originally offered by Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), would require the Secretary of Treasury to establish a program to stabilize multifamily loans at risk of default or disinvestment. The program must ensure the protection of current and future tenants by creating sustainable financing based on the actual income and preservation needs of the property, maintain any federal, state and local subsidies and facilitate the transfer of such properties to responsible new owners. The Secretary of Treasury must coordinate with the Secretary of HUD, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and other federal agencies in carrying out these provisions.


H.R. 1728 will now be sent to the Senate and S. 896 to the House, and the next steps will be for the two houses to agree on the provisions of each bill.


Read NLIHC’s statement on the renter provisions at http://www.nlihc.org/detail/article.cfm?article_id=6033&id=48


***McKinney Reauthorization Passes Senate

The Senate on May 5 passed the HEARTH Act as an amendment to S. 896, the “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009” (see related story).  The HEARTH (“Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing”) Act was introduced in the Senate as S. 808 and the House as H.R. 1877 on April 2 (see, Memo 4/3). 


The Act would consolidate the separate McKinney-Vento homeless assistance programs (the Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care, and Moderate Rehabilitation/Single Room Occupancy) into a single Continuum of Care Program and codify the continuum of care planning process. The Act would also create an Emergency Solutions Grants from the former Emergency Shelter Grants program, with new emphasis on prevention and rehousing that would be similar to the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) enacted as part of the economic recovery package. In addition, the HEARTH Act would expand the definition of homelessness to include people who are losing their housing in the next 14 days and who lack resources or support networks to obtain housing, as well as families and youth who are persistently unstable and lack independent housing and will continue to do so.


The HEARTH Act was attached to S. 896 on an amendment offered by Senators Jack Reed, (D-RI) and Christopher S. Bond (R-MO) and supported by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Richard Durbin (D-IL), John Kerry (D-MA) Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sheldon White House (D-RI). Senator Reed described the HEARTH act as “[G]ood, sensible reform legislation that will make our programs more effective and, hopefully, prevent people from losing their homes and keep them away from these tent cities that are sprouting up.” The amendment was adopted by voice vote.


S. 896 will now be sent to the House, and action is expected soon.


NLIHC’s statement on the HEARTH Act is at http://www.nlihc.org/detail/article.cfm?article_id=6032&id=48 


***SEVRA Hearing Rescheduled

The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity will hold a hearing on May 21 to review the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act (SEVRA) discussion draft (see Memo, 5/1). The legislation is being introduced by Subcommittee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA).


This hearing was originally scheduled for May 13. Hearing witnesses have not yet been announced but are expected to include housing authorities, housing authority industry groups, resident and low income housing advocates, and homelessness advocates.


***Housing Advocates Weigh in on Draft Energy Bill

Housing advocates have stepped up their efforts to have the needs of low income households, including those living in federally assisted housing, addressed in energy legislation being considered on Capitol Hill.


On March 31, Representatives Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Edward J. Markey (D-CO), Chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, released a discussion draft of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES).  Though a bill has not yet been formally introduced, Mr. Waxman continues to say he intends to pass a bill out of committee by Memorial Day.


The draft bill, which includes a plan to reduce emissions through a “cap and trade” system, has the potential to increase utility bills for many consumers. Such a system would also generate new revenue through a system allowing the sale of permits to pollute.  Since the discussion draft was released, low income housing advocates have urging the committee members to maximize the benefits from new revenues and minimize the impact of increased utility bills on low income households.


To minimize the impact of the potential utility bill increases, NLIHC, as a member of the Climate Equity Alliance (CEA) with longtime partners such as the Coalition for Human Needs and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, has been advocating a system of consumer rebates to offset cost increases, with priority given to the lowest income Americans.


Such benefits would be distributed through electronic benefit transfer systems, a mechanism similar to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and other direct means.  Not only is this considered likely the most efficient means to reach low income households but it also retains the price signal of higher utility bills, which should serve to encourage increased energy conservation and investment in weatherization. 


To maximize the benefits of the increased revenue, CEA has proposed that Congress target a portion of climate revenues on energy efficiency improvements on public housing and privately owned HUD- and USDA-subsidized housing. Such a program would provide a much-needed ongoing funding stream dedicated to subsidized housing (unlike weatherization funds, which can be used in subsidized housing, but only if a state chooses to do so). Also, since the utilities in such properties are part of the cost to the government of operating the housing, increasing efficiency should provide an immediate payback to taxpayers. 


On April 28, a group of 32 housing organizations sent a letter to Mr. Waxman and Mr. Markey as well as Representatives Joe Barton (R-TX) and Fred Upton (R-MI), ranking members on the committee and sub committee respectively, making the argument that some climate revenues be used for these housing programs 


A similar request was also included in letters from Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) and Maxine Waters (D-CA)


Link to the letters at: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/climate-change-for-Affordable-Housing-4-29.pdf;

http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Rush-Letter-to-Chairman-Waxman-ACES.pdf; and http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Waters-Letter-to-Waxman-4-09.pdf              


Information on The Climate Equity Alliance can be found here www.greenforall.org/what-we-do/working-with-washington/climate-equity



***HUD, Treasury Issue Recovery Act Implementation Guidance and NOFAs

Program implementation guidance and Notices of Fund Availability (NOFAs) were issued the week of May 4 for five programs receiving funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).


Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2. ARRA provides $2 billion for NSP2, the second iteration of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program that incorporated several key changes to the original NSP program. NSP2 is a competitive program that will provide cities, states, and nonprofits with funds to buy foreclosed or abandoned homes to rehab, resell, or demolish in order to stabilize neighborhoods. At least 25% of the funds must be used for housing for those with incomes below 50% AMI. NSP2 has tenant protections and Section 8 antidiscrimination provisions.  The NOFA provides NSP2’s award competition criteria and program requirements. The NOFA gives the public only 10 days to submit comments regarding an applicant’s proposed uses and locations of NSP2 money. Public hearings are not required. Applications are due by July 17, 2009.  


ARRA allows HUD to use up to $200 million for technical assistance (TA); HUD chose to use only $50 million. A second NOFA describes the competitive basis for awarding TA grants to states, local governments, nonprofits, for-profits, and consortiums of organizations. Of the $50 million available, $11.5 million is for local TA activities and $38.5 million is for national and regional TA activities. Applications are due June 8, 2009. 


The two NOFAs, as well as other NSP2 implementation guidance, are at http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/neighborhoodspg/index.cfm.


Low Income Housing Tax Credit. ARRA created two programs to bolster the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, which was crippled as the economic downturn reduced both the number of investors who would benefit from buying tax credits and the amount of equity LIHTCs could bring in. The Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) is run by HUD, while the Grants In Lieu of Low Income Housing Credits Program (AKA Tax Credit Exchange Program or TCEP) is run by the Department of Treasury.


The Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP). ARRA provided $2.25 billion for a new program called the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP), which will provide grants to state tax credit allocating agencies (generally Housing Finance Agencies, or HFAs) for capital investments in LIHTC projects. HFAs must award funds competitively, based on their Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs). Only projects that have LIHTC awards from FY07, FY08, or FY09 are eligible. 


HUD issued on May 4 Notice CPD-09-03, which provides initial guidance for the implementation of TCAP. The notice requires HFAs to describe all project selection criteria and to make this information available to the public, on an agency website, for comment for at least five days. Applications are due June 4.


Notice CPD-09-03, along with other programmatic guidance, is available at www.hud.gov/recovery/tax-credit.cfm.


Tax Credit Exchange Program(TCEP)). Another ARRA program designed to help stalled LIHTC projects move toward construction is the Tax Credit Exchange Program. HFAs can exchange 2008 and 2009 "9% tax credits" for a grant that can then be used in the projects. One hundred percent of a state's unused and returned 2008 tax credits can be exchanged, and 40% of a state's new 2009 tax credits can be exchanged. The grant to a state will equal $0.85 for every $1.00 of tax credit, multiplied by 10. States will award funds to projects based on their QAPs.


On May 4, Treasury issued an application package for HFAs to use to request TCEP funds. Link to the application at: www.treas.gov/recovery/LIH-grants.shtml.


Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). ARRA provided an extra $1 billion for the CDBG program, to be allocated using the traditional formula. A May 4 notice implementing this extra funding gives entitlement jurisdictions until June 5, and states until June 29, to submit substantial amendments to their 2008 Consolidated Plans. The notice is on the Community Planning and Development (CPD) webpage, www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/index.cfm.


Public Housing Capital Grants. ARRA provided $1 billion for public housing capital improvements to be awarded to public housing agencies (PHAs) on a competitive basis. On May 5, HUD issued a NOFA detailing what this $1 billion can be used for and what is required of PHAs competing for an extra capital improvement grant.


There are four categories of grants: $600 million is available to create energy efficient, green communities; $200 million for gap financing for projects stalled due to financing issues; $95 million for improvements addressing the needs of elderly people and/or people with disabilities; and $100 million for public housing “transformation.” Transformation entails activities that help redevelop public housing that is distressed and a blighting influence on the surrounding community.


For “transformation” applications, the surrounding community must be either stable or one that lacks resources but has already been targeted by the jurisdiction for revitalization. The grant should address the blighting factors of the public housing through renovation or demolition and redevelopment of new public housing or a mixture of public housing and non-public housing. HUD has stated that there should be a reasonable amount of replacement housing for units that are demolished or disposed of. Applications under the transformation category must certify that they will build a number of public housing units that is equivalent to the total grant divided by the per-unit Total Development Cost limit.


HUD will accept applications between June 1 and July 21. For the last three categories there are two funding rounds. For the first funding round, applications arriving by June 15 will be considered first in line for consideration, while those arriving between June 16 and July 21 will be considered in order of their arrival date.  If funds remain for the last three categories, HUD will accept applications in a second round, beginning July 22 and lasting until August 18.


A PHA’s board must conduct a public hearing regarding its Capital Improvements Five-Year Action Plan and/or Annual Plan and invite the public to comment. HUD is shortening the public comment period to ten calendar days.


ARRA also provided $3 billion for public housing capital improvements that has already been distributed through the traditional formula.


The public housing NOFA is at www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/capfund/ocir.cfm


***HUD Webcasts Pertaining to Recovery Act Programs

HUD will host seven webcasts May 12 through May 14, each one detailing a program receiving American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds and providing information on the application process. Topics include the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2, the Homelessness Prevention Program, and the Public Housing Capital Fund. A description of each webcast and its date and time are at www.hud.gov/webcasts/recovery.cfm.


Two earlier webcasts, one about Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP) and the other about the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP), can be found on the webcast archive page, www.hud.gov/webcasts/archives.


***HUD and DOE Agree to Coordinate Federal Weatherization Assistance

On May 6, the secretaries of HUD and the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate use of DOE Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funding in public housing and privately owned, federally assisted housing properties.


The MOU between HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and DOE Secretary Steven Chu recognizes that these properties, which are designated as “HUD-Qualified Housing,” as well as those funded with the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) have sufficient income verification and rent controls to essentially prequalify them for the income and rent restrictions of the DOE’s WAP program. 


The WAP program requires that the households assisted have incomes no greater than two times the federal poverty level. In addition, when the funds are used in multifamily buildings, there must be sufficient controls to assure that WAP funded improvements are not used by owners to unduly raise rents and burden the low income people the program is intended to benefit.


Specifically, the MOU states that DOE will accept HUD's and the LIHTC program's beneficiary income eligibility determination and ongoing verification for the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). To facilitate this, HUD will give DOE a list of "HUD-Qualified Housing" and LIHTC projects, and within 60 days HUD and DOE will provide joint guidance to states for evaluating income eligibility in order to implement the MOU. The agencies will also organize joint forums to educate stakeholders.


The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) provided $16 billion to DOE and HUD to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes. The Weatherization Assistance Program, which has been funded in recent years at roughly $250 million, received an additional $5 billion in ARRA. Similarly, HUD received $4.5 billion in new funding to renovate and upgrade public housing and $250 million to retrofit the privately owned, federally assisted housing.


The MOU is at www.hud.gov/recovery/doemoucombined.pdf


The news release is at www.hud.gov/news/release.cfm?content=pr09-051.cfm


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