HUD awards $2.7 billion to preserve and modernize housing for families and seniors

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded more than $2.7 billion to public housing authorities (PHA) in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Funding will allow agencies to make needed capital improvements to their properties. View all local grants announced.

A long list of Illinois agencies will share more than $138 million, including $64.8 for the Chicago Housing Authority.

The grants  are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which offers annual funding to approximately 2,900 public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate, and/or modernize the public housing in their communities.

Housing authorities use the funding to complete large-scale improvements such as replacing roofs or making energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.

“This federal funding gives local agencies in the Chicagoland region the ability to offer safe and affordable housing to those who need it most,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said in a joint news release with U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth.

“In addition, the local economy stands to benefit from this investment in infrastructure projects that will bring safety and modernization to the area’s public housing.”

To help provide residents with decent, safe and sanitary housing and respond to the growing demand for affordable rental housing, HUD uses the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), a comprehensive strategy that complements the Capital Fund Program. RAD offers a long-term solution to preserve and enhance the country’s affordable housing stock, including leveraging public and private funding to make critically needed improvements.

For more than 75 years, the federal government has been investing billions of dollars in developing and maintaining public housing, including providing critical support through the Capital Fund grants announced today.

In 2011, HUD released Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, a third-party independent study that estimated the capital needs in the public housing stock in the U.S. The study found the nation’s then-1.1 million public housing units were facing an estimated $25.6 billion.

Since Congress authorized the RAD demonstration in November of 2011, early results show it is generating significant additional capital for distressed public housing. As a result, 130,000 public housing units have converted to a more sustainable Section 8 financing platform, all without any additional costs to taxpayers. Public housing authorities and their partners have generated over $8.6 billion to preserve or replace distressed units and support local jobs in their communities – all without additional federal resources.

The bulk of the funding, nearly $65 million, will go to the Chicago Housing Authority. Other recipients including housing authorities in Joliet, Aurora, North Chicago, Waukegan, Kankakee and Oak Park.

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