05/18/2010
IN THIS ISSUE:

HUD Moving Forward with Stakeholders, Legislators on Bill to Transform Rental Assistance

HUD launched its ambitious plan to transform rental assistance with the unveiling of the Preservation, Enhancement, and Transformation of Rental Assistance Act (PETRA) at a stakeholders briefing and town hall meeting this week.  HUD Secretary Donovan opened the town hall meeting on May 19 with an overview of HUD’s priorities in the legislation:

  • Preserve HUD-funded public and assisted housing and put the nation’s inventory of deeply affordable rental housing on a sustainable financial footing.
  • Enhance housing choice for residents and increase the share of HUD-assisted households living in lower-poverty communities.
  • Streamline the administration of HUD's rental assistance programs.
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Senator Cantwell Introduces Tax-Credit Bill

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) along with co-sponsors by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), have introduced the Job Creation and Affordable Housing Act.

The bill is designed to jump-start private investment in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), which finances 90 percent of affordable housing projects in the United States. The program is suffering from the financial crisis that has drastically reduced the demand for the credits. Read More >

Federal Court Lifts 23-Year Receivership from CHA

In a historic development, U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen today ended 23 years of the Chicago Housing Authority's court-ordered receivership.  According to the order, "The Court finds that substantial progress has been made to ameliorate the conditions that warranted the Receivership and that a responsible transition should occur to restore to the CHA the powers and functions that had been transferred to the Receiver by the Receivership."
 
Effective June 1, 2010, responsibility for all acquisition, development of and redevelopment of public housing in Chicago will transition back to the Chicago Housing Authority from the current court-appointed receiver Daniel Levin and The Habitat Company. 

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HUD Secretary Tours DHA's Benedict Park Place

Denver Housing Authority Executive Director Ismael Guerrero took HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and Rep. Ed Perlmutter on a tour of the authority's Benedict Park Place last week. Secretary Donovan described it as “a poster child” for what the department wants to do in public housing across the country.

A unique aspect of the development is its geothermal heating and cooling units. These will replace rooftop heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, freeing up room for more solar panels. DHA Executive Ismael Guerrero says this is a central part of how the development will achieve the 60 percent reduction in utility costs.

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NYCHA Home to First New Credit Union in Queens in 30 Years

The ERDA Federal Credit Union, the first new credit union to open in Queens in 30 years, will primarily serve NYCHA residents from Western Queens, including residents of Astoria, Queensbridge, Ravenswood and Woodside Houses. Queensbridge Houses is the largest public housing development in the country, with 3,147 apartments.

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King County Hits 10,000 Voucher Mark

The King County Housing Authority’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program  now supports approximately 23,000 people – more than double the number at the start of the decade.

 “I’m pleased that we’ve been able to rise to the challenge,” said KCHA Executive Director Stephen Norman. “Despite the fact that the Housing Choice Voucher Program has suffered from varying degrees of underfunding by Congress over the past decade, KCHA has made it a point to go after every available housing voucher in order to serve as many King County residents in need of safe, affordable shelter as possible. Even with this level of growth, unfortunately, we’re not able to keep up with the level of need in the community. Read More >