WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded more than $51 million in housing assistance to nonprofit organizations across the country to finance more affordable housing construction, provide rental assistance, and facilitate supportive services delivery for very low-income seniors.
“Expanding affordable housing opportunities is a priority, especially for our nation’s most vulnerable populations,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a news release. “These awards will facilitate capital investment in senior housing developments and create roughly 1,100 new homes, the majority for very low-income seniors.”
The funding will create new housing opportunities, federal officials say.
“The combination of Capital Advance and Project Rental Assistance grants creates greater supply of new rental units and supports the viability of existing properties,” Federal Housing Commissioner Brian Montgomery said.
Requiring leverage with other sources of private capital, HUD has significantly reduced the reliance on federal investment for the development of these properties – $88,000 per unit today, compared to $156,000 per unit in 2012 – the last time HUD made Section 202 construction/rehabilitation grant awards.
Section 202 grants provide very low-income elderly persons 62 years of age or older with the opportunity to live independently in an environment that provides support services to meet their unique needs. HUD provides these funds to nonprofit organizations in two forms:
♦ Capital Advances. This is funding that covers the cost of developing, acquiring or rehabilitating the development. Repayment is not required as long as the housing remains available for occupancy by very low-income elderly persons for at least 40 years.
♦ Project Rental Assistance Contracts. This is project-based funding, which covers the difference between residents’ contributions toward rent and the cost of operating the project.
Program eligibility requires residents to be very low-income or earning less than 50 percent of the area median income. However, most households that receive Section 202 earn less than 30 percent of the median for their area.