Housing
8:44 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

HUD Funding Assists Public Housing Maintenance

As part of a $1.8 billion assistance package from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Allegheny County Housing Authority and Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh will receive nearly $20 million to improve public housing units.

The awards, $4.1 million to the ACHA and $13.2 million to the HACP, are to be used to modernize, build, repair and renovate public housing developments.

Niki Edwards, HUD’s public affairs officer for the mid-Atlantic region, said the funding, awarded annually, should address capital needs that make housing “economically sustainable.”

“Those repairs would be large-scale improvements, such as replacing roofs or updating plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency,” Edwards said.

From the day the funding is awarded on May 31, organizations have four years to spend the money, and in two years, must have 90 percent of the funding allocated. HUD monitors the spending.

In total, Pennsylvania was awarded $117.4 million. Amounts were determined through a formula that considers condition and type of properties and the physical inspection scores of high-performing housing authorities in the region, according to Edwards.

HUD’s allocations are part of the Obama administration’s Rental Assistance Demonstration strategy, which aims to enhance affordable housing by allowing public housing authorities to leverage public and private financing to address capital needs.

Through the effort, HUD has awarded funding to 60,000 public and assisted housing units since Nov. 2011.

The ACHA manages 3,300 public housing units in Allegheny County, and the HACP oversees 4,000.