July 13, 2011 (Shirley Allen)
The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Shaun Donavan, announced more than $1.9 billion in funds to public housing authorities in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As part of HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which provides annual funding to public housing authorities, the funds may be used to repair, renovate, and/or modernize public housing with such improvements as new roofs and energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.
The funding comes on the heels of a recent report released by HUD that estimates that nearly $26 billion was needed to address large scale repair and renovation costs in the nation’s public housing stock.
“While this funding will certainly help housing authorities address long-standing capital improvements, it only scratches the surface in addressing the deep backlog we’re seeing across the country,” said Donovan. “Housing Authorities need nearly $26 billion to keep these homes safe and decent for families, but given our budget realities, we must find other, innovative ways to confront the decline of our public housing stock.”
The study is an update to a previous report from 1998 which had been prepared to address the costs of overdue repairs and improvements at that time.
The new study also found that the total capital needs estimate was approximately $23,365 per unit and that with normal use and aging, each year the units accrue an additional $3,144 per unit in needed repairs and replacements.
The Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided $4 billion to help renovate and develop nearly 380,000 units, but the need for a solution to preserve the housing stock remains great.
Tags: HUD, public housing, capital needs, large scale improvements