Federal low-income housing grant doubles in size this year – Press Enterprise

Ashraf Karil Associated Press

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic-fueled mortgage boom, the state receives nearly $ 700 million in federal grants from a special program of low-income housing. That’s more than double last year’s distribution.

It’s a boost that the Department of Housing and Urban Development says it should make a concrete leap in government housing planning for low-income earners across the country.

The Ministry’s Housing Trust Fund will fund the state government to build, maintain, and restore low-income housing. The HUD said in a statement that this year’s allocation was $ 689,565,492, more than double the $ 322,564,267 paid the previous year.

The increase in grants has nothing to do with President Joe Biden’s large COVID-19 bailout package and his similarly large infrastructure proposal. But it is in line with the general tone of Biden’s young president, who is responding to a pandemic by distributing funds nationwide in ways that could reform the social safety net.

“This year has reminded us how important it is to have access to safe and stable homes, but too many Americans maintain or find affordable homes. I’m having a hard time doing that, “HUD Secretary of State Mercia Fudge said in a statement.

Founded in 2008, the Housing Trust Fund began paying state governments in 2016 and is backed by fragments of revenue from parallel federal mortgage programs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. HUD officials said the original idea was to link strong performance in parts of the housing market with increased support for people in vulnerable housing conditions.

Last year, interest rates fell to record lows, and a wave of mortgage refinancing rushed in the midst of a pandemic.

Grants are sent directly to the state government. Each state must spend 80% of its annual grant on rental housing, up to 10% on its own home, and the rest on administrative and planning costs. This fund can be used for property acquisition, new construction, reconstruction, or rehabilitation.

HUD officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity before the program was officially announced, said many state housing agencies are tracking a surge in mortgage activity and have already raised funds before the actual numbers are announced. He said he was planning to raise the mortgage.

The overall impact will allow state housing authorities to expand existing plans or pull up projects that have been waiting for funding, officials said.

Diane Jenter, chairman of the National Low-income Housing Coalition, spotlighted the number of Americans who missed a few salaries away from the pandemic’s economic turmoil. Said that.

“The pandemic has revealed that housing is healthcare,” she said. “These are very necessary resources to build and store homes for our most vulnerable people.”

According to Jenter, the housing trust fund is off to a good start in the first few years. However, she and other home advocates are pushing for a major expansion of the program, urging Congress to pour up to $ 40 billion annually into the fund.

Federal low-income housing grant doubles in size this year – Press Enterprise Source link Federal low-income housing grant doubles in size this year – Press Enterprise

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