Washington, D.C. – March 23, 2010 -- Public housing authorities (PHAs) have obligated virtually 100% of the $3 billion they received in Recovery Act formula funds, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Out of the nation’s 3,100 PHAs, only 21 were unable to meet the deadline, returning $3 million to HUD; all CLPHA members obligated their funds.
Communities will also see increased economic activity, since every dollar in PHA spending generates an additional $2.17 in local spending.
Housing authorities faced significant obstacles in meeting the goal. The usual two-year timeline for obligation was cut to one year, and they were handling these additional capital funds along with annual capital fund appropriations.
“Public housing was included in the Recovery Act because the industry was able to clearly demonstrate the scope of critical, unfunded capital projects,” said Sunia Zaterman, CLPHA Executive Director. “Housing authorities have shown we can put significant resources to work in communities quickly, and effectively.”
“We said we could do it, and we did.”
She said that HUD headquarters and field staff worked with PHAs to move the process forward, including sharing information that helped the industry stay on track.
CLPHA also worked closely with HUD to remove early obstacles to spending the money. One example was helping clarify the initially vague requirements of the ‘Buy American’ provision.
PHAs are also well on their way to meeting the next deadlines for obligating the $1 billion in capital fund competitive grants awarded beginning in September 2009. (Examples of how that money will be spent are here.)
Sample Recovery Act Formula Fund Projects:
The Boston Housing Authority received $33.3 million and anticipates creating close to 700 jobs over the next few years. Among the work it will undertake:
The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles received $25 million; its projects include:
The Tacoma Housing Authority will use its $4 million for:
Full list of Recovery Act formula grants
More information: Pat Lewis, Communications Director, 202.638.1300