Custom Search


Vist Our Newly Updated Website and Blog

Visit our newly updated site at:

Housing Research. ORG

Don't forget to register for our
Technical Assistance Consultant Directory


A Decade of HOPE VI

Research Findings and Policy Challenges

Source: The urban Institute

The nonpartisan Urban Institute publishes studies, reports, and books on timely topics worthy of public consideration. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).


Launched in 1992, the $5 billion HOPE VI program1 represents a dramatic turnaround in public housing policy and one of the most ambitious urban redevelopment efforts in the nation's history. It replaces severely distressed public housing projects, occupied exclusively by poor families, with redesigned mixed-income housing and provides housing vouchers to enable some of the original residents to rent apartments in the private market. And it has helped transform the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) approach to housing assistance for the poor. This report provides a comprehensive summary of existing research on the HOPE VI program. Its central purpose is to help inform the ongoing debate about the program's achievements and impacts, and to highlight the lessons it offers for continuing reforms in public housing policy.

HOPE VI grew out of the work of the National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing, which was established by Congress in 1989. Congress charged the Commission with identifying "severely distressed" public housing developments, assessing strategies to improve conditions at these developments, and preparing a national action plan for dealing with the problem. Based on its investigation, the Commission concluded that roughly 86,000 of the 1.3 million public housing units nationwide qualified as severely distressed and that a new and comprehensive approach would be required to address the range of problems existing at these developments.

In response to these findings, Congress enacted the HOPE VI program, which combined grants for physical revitalization with funding for management improvements and supportive services to promote resident self-sufficiency. Initially, housing authorities were allowed to propose plans covering up to 500 units with grant awards of up to $50 million. The program's stated objectives were as follows:

  • to improve the living environment for residents of severely distressed public housing through the demolition, rehabilitation, reconfiguration, or replacement of obsolete projects (or portions thereof);
  • to revitalize sites on which such public housing projects are located and contribute to the improvement of the surrounding neighborhood;
  • to provide housing that will avoid or decrease the concentration of very low-income families; and
  • to build sustainable communities.2

Since 1992, HUD has awarded 446 HOPE VI grants in 166 cities. To date, 63,100 severely distressed units have been demolished and another 20,300 units are slated for redevelopment (Holin et al. 2003). As of the end of 2002, 15 of 165 funded HOPE VI programs were fully complete (U.S. GAO 2003b). The billions of federal dollars allocated for HOPE VI have leveraged billions more in other public, private, and philanthropic investments.

Evaluating HOPE VI

After a decade of HOPE VI, a wide range of constituencies—Congress, the administration, housing groups, local elected officials, resident advocates, and the media—are asking challenging questions about what all of the investment has accomplished:

  • To what extent has HOPE VI achieved its intended benefits?
  • What impact has HOPE VI had on the original residents, public housing sites, the neighborhoods in which developments are located, and the surrounding cities and metropolitan areas?
  • What impact has HOPE VI had on approaches to public housing development, management, and design?
  • On a more forward-looking note, what lessons does HOPE VI offer for public housing or for affordable housing policy more generally?

The nature of the HOPE VI program makes responding to these fundamental questions especially challenging. HOPE VI has not been "one program" with a clear set of consistent and unwavering goals. Rather, the program has evolved considerably during the past decade—in legislation, regulation, implementation, and practice. To an unusual extent, the program has been shaped more through implementation than by enactment. What was initially conceived as a redevelopment and community-building program evolved over time into a more ambitious effort to build economically integrated communities and give existing residents more choice in the private housing market. Because of the flexible nature of the program, local housing authorities have had tremendous latitude in how they chose to design and implement their local HOPE VI initiatives. It is impossible, therefore, to provide simple answers to general questions about programmatic effectiveness and "lessons learned." The response to such questions is usually another question: "Which HOPE VI program are you asking about?"

Owing to the unusual nature of the HOPE VI program, HUD has not—and probably could not have—carried out a single, comprehensive evaluation that would have examined all aspects of the program. In 1994, HUD initiated a "Baseline Assessment" of HOPE VI (Fosburg, Popkin, and Locke 1996) that was intended as the first step in an incremental evaluation process. This baseline analysis was followed by an "Interim Assessment" report (Holin et al. 2003). But these reports consist of case studies focusing primarily on HOPE VI sites and redevelopment plans; there was only a very minimal attempt to gather information about the original residents and no plan for tracking resident outcomes. As the program expanded, HUD added a requirement to the HOPE VI selection process that sites had to hire local evaluators, but the criteria for these evaluations were vague and there were no requirements that housing authorities collect specific types of performance measures. As a result, a lack of consistent data across sites has hindered national research on the program.

Further complicating the challenge of evaluating HOPE VI is the fact that the program was initiated at a time of enormous change in the broader public housing system. In many respects, HOPE VI has served as a laboratory to test new and often contentious ideas about public housing finance, management, and design. People's thinking about the performance and impact of HOPE VI is intertwined with their views on the evolution of federal housing policy more broadly, and their concerns about the future role of public housing in helping to address the needs of the poor.

In part because of the absence of definitive data and evaluation results, perceptions about the impacts of HOPE VI vary widely. Some people characterize it as a dramatic success, while others view it as a profound failure. There is no question that the program has had some notable accomplishments. Hundreds of profoundly distressed developments have been targeted for demolition, and many of them are now replaced with well-designed, high-quality housing serving a mix of income levels. HOPE VI has been an incubator for innovations in project financing, management, and service delivery. Some projects have helped turn around conditions in the surrounding neighborhoods and have contributed to the revitalization of whole inner-city communities. However, HOPE VI implementation has also encountered significant challenges. Some HOPE VI projects have been stalled by ineffective implementation on the part of the housing authority or conflict with city government. In others, developments were simply rehabilitated or rebuilt in the same distressed communities, with little thought to innovative design, effective services, or neighborhood revitalization.

Most seriously, there is substantial evidence that the original residents of HOPE VI projects have not always benefited from redevelopment, even in some sites that were otherwise successful. This can be partly attributed to a lack of meaningful resident participation in planning and insufficient attention to relocation strategies and services. As a consequence, some of the original residents of these developments may live in equally or even more precarious circumstances today.

Purpose of This Report

This report reviews the existing research literature on both the achievements and the challenges of the HOPE VI program. In addition, it draws upon a day-long symposium on the program's strengths and weaknesses, held in the fall of 2003, involving a diverse group of practitioners, policymakers, advocates, and researchers. This assessment comes at a critical time in the evolution of HOPE VI—and of public housing policy in general. In its FY 2004 and FY 2005 budget submissions, the Bush administration proposed eliminating funding for the program altogether, citing long delays between grant awards and the completion of the revitalization projects at many sites. Congress ultimately restored the program for FY 2004, but at a substantially lower level of funding.3

There is no doubt that housing authorities, cities, and industry advocates would prefer to continue the program. HOPE VI is currently the only major source of redevelopment funding, and many localities are pleased with their successes in replacing older projects that were blighting their communities with new, mixed-income developments. In contrast, advocates for low-income housing have been outspokenly critical of the program, pointing to sites where much money has been spent and little accomplished, and emphasizing the small numbers of original residents who have thus far been able to return to the revitalized HOPE VI sites. Yet, these advocates are now pushing to continue HOPE VI funding, though they are also pressing for extensive reforms such as greatly expanding the rights of original residents and formalizing their role in the redevelopment process (cf. Center for Community Change 2003, National Housing Law Project 2002).

This debate is not likely to be easily resolved, as it involves a number of highly contentious issues:

  • the appropriate targeting of limited resources for affordable housing;
  • the impact of HOPE VI on the larger affordable housing supply and the appropriate roles of the public and private sector in providing this housing;
  • the needs of residents who are being displaced, and the extent to which HUD and local housing authorities are responsible for addressing these needs;
  • how race and ethnicity limit choices and opportunities for public housing residents; and
  • what to do about "hard-to-house" public housing residents, including families with special needs (multigenerational households, large families, disabled residents), "lease violators" (with back rent payments, criminal histories, illegal residents on the lease), and residents with substance abuse or mental illness who are at risk of becoming homeless.

Research alone cannot resolve these issues, but this report seeks to help inform the ongoing debate by pulling together a wide array of research to address the critical questions about the program's achievements, impacts, and the lessons it offers for public housing policy. This is, by necessity, an early and limited assessment. Most projects are still undergoing redevelopment, and many new developments are not "seasoned enough" to allow for a definitive examination. For now, in the absence of a comprehensive evaluation, we draw on the considerable evidence available from targeted efforts to examine different aspects of the HOPE VI program. This evidence includes large-scale studies carried out by the Urban Institute on resident outcomes, Abt Associates' baseline and interim assessments, the recent attempts to assess neighborhood impacts by the Brookings Institution and the Housing Research Foundation, as well as the many smaller studies by local evaluators and related research on mobility and scattered-site housing.

In our view, this evidence strongly supports continuation of the HOPE VI approach as a way to improve outcomes for distressed developments, residents, and neighborhoods. The program has achieved substantial success; it has demolished some of the most distressed and destructive housing environments, replaced them with much higher-quality housing and, in many cases, with mixed-income communities. Many residents who relocated with vouchers are living in higher-quality housing in safer neighborhoods. Therefore, HUD should continue to operate a targeted redevelopment program that provides funds for both physical revitalization and supportive services. However, the evidence also points to the urgent need for reforms in the HOPE VI program if it is to realize its full potential to improve the circumstances of very low-income families and communities. In particular, assistance with relocation and supportive services should be strengthened, and new attention should be given to innovations such as "enhanced vouchers" that would provide long-term counseling and support to vulnerable families in conjunction with housing assistance.

Chapter 2 provides essential background for understanding the performance of HOPE VI, by describing the dreadful conditions in many central city public housing developments that led to the call for a radical new approach to public housing. Next, we offer a brief overview of fundamental changes in public housing policy that began in the 1990s and that influenced the evolution of the HOPE VI program. Chapters 4 through 7 discuss the outcomes of HOPE VI, focusing in turn on the public housing sites themselves, the original residents, services and supports for today's residents, and improvements in the surrounding neighborhoods. The report concludes with a review of key lessons learned, priorities for ongoing research, and implications for the future of HOPE VI and public and assisted housing policy more broadly.

Note: This report is available in its entirety in the Portable Document Format (PDF).

NY City Housing Crisis

As City Adds Housing for Poor, Market Subtracts It

According to The NY times, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is closing in on a milestone: building or preserving 165,000 city-financed apartments and houses for low-, moderate- and middle-income families, the goal of a $7.5 billion housing plan he announced in 2002 and expanded in 2005.

It has already financed the creation or preservation of 94,000 units, including 72,000 for low-income households, city officials say.

But those efforts have been overwhelmed by a far larger number — the 200,000 apartments affordable to low-income renters that New York City has lost over all, because of market forces, during the mayor’s tenure.

The shrinking supply of these apartments, highlighted by researchers at New York University, illustrates not only the increasing strain that housing costs have had on this city of renters, but also the limits of the mayor’s success in providing the city’s poor with reasonable places to live. While the mayor’s plan has put thousands of low-income families in new or rehabilitated buildings and helped stabilize neighborhoods, it has been nearly drowned out by the twin waves of gentrification and rent deregulation.

“We’re losing units even with additions to the stock under the mayor’s housing plan,” said Victor Bach, a senior housing policy analyst for the Community Service Society, a nonprofit antipoverty group, and a member of a panel that advised the Bloomberg administration on housing in 2002. “I’m not knocking the plan. I’m just saying it hasn’t done much to stop the hemorrhaging of lower-rent units across the city.”

Including public housing, the number of apartments considered affordable to low-income households — those earning less than 80 percent of the city’s median income, or less than $37,000 — decreased to 991,592 from 1,189,962, a drop of nearly 17 percent, from 2002 to 2008. About 42 percent of the city’s households fit in that income category in 2008.

The data were supplied by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University, which analyzed the city’s Housing and Vacancy Survey from 2002, 2005 and 2008. The center and other housing experts consider an apartment affordable if it costs no more than 30 percent of a family’s income, or about $925 a month for a family earning $37,000.



New Grant Opportunity- Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP)

HUD has informed public housing authorities about an important grant opportunity to help provide broadband (high-speed Internet) to communities in need, including residents served by Public Housing Authorities (PHAs).

Ms. Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary Public and Indian Housing said, "As more services related to government, employment, health, job training, and education are delivered online, access to broadband is becoming increasingly necessary." In response, she said, the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) is making funding available to connect unserved and underserved populations to this important infrastructure.

BTOP’s funding is made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help advance the Administration’s goal of providing broadband access to all Americans. Most importantly to us in the public housing business, BTOP expressly recognizes that HUD and PHAs are already working with the communities, infrastructure (including Neighborhood Networks centers), and populations that the Administration is targeting. Applicants are encouraged to leverage other Recovery Act funding towards this Broadband project.

Accordingly, the NOFA encourages PHAs to apply in partnership with other public, private and not-for-profit programs that can help efficiently and effectively achieve program objectives.BTOP is being administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) at the Department of Commerce. The Program’s Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) announces three types of grants, two of which are directly applicable to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs.)

These are:Grants for Sustainable Broadband Projects:Sustainable Broadband Adoption grants are intended to fund innovative projects that promote broadband demand, such as projects focused on broadband education, awareness, training, access, equipment or support, particularly among vulnerable populations. (See NOFA p. 33006-33007) The first of three Sustainable Broadband Adoption grant rounds will award $150 million in project support. (p. 33110) Grants for Public Computer Centers:Public Computer Center grants are intended to fund projects that provide broadband access to the general public or a specific vulnerable population, such as low-income, unemployed, seniors, children, minorities and people with disabilities.

The NOFA includes “Neighborhood Networks centers in public housing developments” as part of its definition of a public computer center. (See NOFA p. 33109) Projects must create or expand a public computer center meeting a specific public need for broadband service, including but not limited to education, employment, economic development, and enhanced service for health-care delivery, children, and vulnerable populations. (p. 33114) The first of three Public Computer Center grant rounds will award $50 million in project support. (p. 33110)

PHAs may wish to submit applications in partnership with organizations that possess expertise in information technology provision and training. This may include public, private and/or not-for-profit partners, all of which are eligible to apply.

Applications will be scored in part on whether they include organizations already receiving ARRA funds. This includes all PHAs that receive a HUD Capital Fund Recovery Grant. Application Information:Applications are being accepted from July 14-August 14. Electronic applications will be available on or about July 31.

Paper applications for grant requests of less than $1 million will be accepted. The NOFA and required application can be found at: Workshops providing information about the application process are being offered through July only. To find a workshop in your area and to register, please go to: Finally, applicants may wish to contact their state’s Governor’s office which NTIA will consult as part of the grant review process to determine each state’s priority areas. (See NOFA, p. 33107)

For additional information please contact:The Broadband Technology Opportunities Program1401 Constitution Ave, NW Washington, DC 20230 Tel. 202-482-2048 Email:

She said she encourages PHAs to apply for BTOP support.

Publishers note: If your housing authority is in need of assistance writing for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, contact two of the most successful public housing community technology and Neighborhood Networks grant writers, Mr. Erol Shorter at: or Mr. Rock at:


More than 1,000 people would be relocated in Charlotte, NC Housing Plan

According to the Charlotte Observer, More than 1,000 people would be relocated if the city gets federal funding to raze Boulevard Homes.

The city has applied for a Hope VI grant – the same type of grant used to raze and rebuild what used to be Piedmont Courts – that would tear down the nearly 40-year-old Boulevard Homes complex and erect a mixed-income neighborhood in one of Charlotte's biggest trouble spots.

But for those who currently live in Boulevard Homes, it means moving vans and adjusting to new neighborhoods.

The Charlotte Housing Authority and a faith-based community group hosted a festival Saturday at Boulevard Homes to let people know that there are organizations willing to help the more than 300 families who might have to relocate.

Organizers say it gives everyone a chance to learn more about what the new homes and apartments will look like, and learn what opportunities are available to the people who live there now.

Hundreds showed up Saturday for hamburgers, hot dogs, entertainment and information despite temperatures that topped 90 degrees.

But late Saturday, some residents were still reserved about the possibility of demolishing Boulevard Homes. Benjamin Harris said he was glad the event brought his neighbors together, but worries that authorities or civic groups won't do enough to educate people on how to thrive without assistance from the government.

“They need more education in what you're getting involved in,” he said. “If you been raised here 20-something years, this is all you know. You don't know how to branch out.”

Jennifer Gallman with the Charlotte Housing Authority told WCNC-TV, the Observer's news partner, that Saturday's event was an important step in getting the community's support moving forward. “It breaks the ice, it starts to tear down the wall of fear and uncertainty and helps people hang out together, find their commonality and form a bond,” she said.



Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP)

Program Purpose

The Recovery Act includes a $1.5 billion appropriation for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP). The purpose of the HPRP is to provide homelessness prevention assistance for households who would otherwise become homeless and rapid re-housing assistance for persons who are homeless. The overall goal of HPRP is for participants to achieve housing stability.

Public Benefits

The expected benefit of HPRP is to prevent homelessness and to facilitate the rapid re-housing of individuals and families. In addition, we will meet HUD’s overriding goal of creating and preserving jobs. HPRP is focused on housing and will provide temporary financial assistance and housing relocation and stabilization services to individuals and families who are homeless or would be homeless but for this assistance. Many individuals and families who benefit from this program will be able to concentrate efforts on re-entering the workforce and attaining self-sufficiency, thereby producing economic activity and enhancing the number of jobs created/saved.

Kinds and Scope of Program Activities
The eligible activities allowed under HPRP are clear and intentionally focused on housing—either direct financial assistance to help pay for housing, or services designed to help participants obtain, maintain and remain in housing. Funds are also available to track assistance through HMIS for local program or policy use and reporting to HUD. Grantees and sub-grantees may use HPRP funds to administer the following categories of eligible activities: (1) financial assistance; (2) housing relocation and stabilization services; (3) data collection and evaluation; and (4) administrative costs.

The HPRP Notice (FR-5307-N-01), which outlines the eligible activities, also includes a section that clearly states activities that are ineligible, including services that are eligible under other Recovery Act programs, mortgage costs, and credit card bills. In an effort to further avoid mismanagement of grant funds, the Notice stipulates that HPRP funds must not be used to make payments directly to program participants, but only to third parties, such as landlords or utility companies. The Notice can be found at PDF


Public Housing Capital Fund Stimulus - Competitive

Program Description

To provide funds for the capital and management activities of Public Housing Agencies as authorized under section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437g) (the "Act"), with the exception that funds cannot be used for operations or rental assistance. The funds shall be awarded by competition for priority investments, including investments that leverage private sector funding or financing for renovations and energy conservation. Funds shall be obligated through competitive funding by September 30, 2009.

Public housing authorities shall give priority to capital projects that can award contracts based on bids within 120 days from the date the funds are made available to the public housing authorities. Public housing agencies shall prioritize capital projects that are already underway or included in the 5-year capital fund plans required by the Act (42 U.S.C. 1437c-1(a)). Funds provided under this heading shall serve to supplement and not supplant expenditures from other Federal, State, or local sources or funds independently generated by the grantees. Notwithstanding section 9(j), public housing agencies shall obligate 100 percent of the funds within 1 year of the date on which funds become available to the agency for obligation, shall expend at least 60 percent of funds within 2 years of the date on which funds become available to the agency for obligation, and shall expend 100 percent of the funds within 3 years of such date.

Milestones in the award process include the publication of the competitive Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA), the approval by HUD of applications, the signing by the public housing authority of a Capital Fund Program Amendment to the Consolidated Annual Contributions Contract (ACC) for selected applicants, the execution by of the ACC by the HUD Field Office, and the spreading of funds awarded in HUD's Line of Credit Control System (LOCCS).

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for this program is 14.884.
For more detailed information related to Capital Fund Formula or Competition Recovery Act information, please refer to the
Office of Capital Improvements Recovery Act Information web site.

HUD Publishes NOFA Making $995 million in Recovery Act Funding Available to PHAs

The Department is pleased to announce that it has published a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) making $995 million of Capital Fund Recovery Act funding available to PHAs. The Department is excited about the benefits that will be realized by providing this funding. In addition to providing a powerful stimulus to the economy through job creation, this funding has the potential of transforming the public housing program in a number of ways. First it will direct a significant amount of funding to address the needs of the elderly and persons with disabilities. Second, it will provide a substantial amount of funding to transform distressed public housing. Third, it will provide gap financing. Finally, it will make a large investment in improving the energy efficiency and environmental performance of public housing. To view a .pdf version of the NOFA, click on the heading above. The Department also issued an email to all PHAs announcing publication of the NOFA. You can read the email here.
Eligible Applicants

Public Housing Agencies that own or operate Low Income Public Housing and are eligible to receive capital funding under section 9 of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437g) (the "Act").

Funding Amounts

Total Funding: $995,000,000
Total Funds Allocated: $995,000,000
Total Funds Obligated:Total Funds Expended:


NTIA delays stimulus award money

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is responsible for doling out some $4.7-billion of the $7.2 billion in total broadband stimulus money, has delayed its submission and grant schedule by about three months.

According to GigaOM, the NTIA has shifted the date it will begin to issue funds. In an announcement late last week, the agency said it would accept grant applications in September and begin awarding funds in December, contradicting a previous statement released two months ago that said the first funding distributions could come as early as June.

According to analyst Craig Settles, the delay will likely help many of the larger metro areas and municipal efforts around broadband because they'll have more time to put together a sustainable business plan. In fact, it could be good news for all parties vying for money.

For more:
- see GigaOM


Public Housing Capital Funding Available

Public Housing Capital Funding will be awarded competitively through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) that can be accessed on HUD’s Recovery Act website. HUD will accept applications from public housing authorities from June 1 until July 21, 2009 for the Energy Efficiency funding category and from June 1 until August 18, 2009 for the other three funding categories. HUD will review and award grants to PHAs that effectively address the requirements in the NOFA for the following four funding categories:

Energy Efficiency: $600 million is available for PHAs to create more energy efficient public housing units. Applications are due for this category on July 21, 2009.

Financing Stalled Projects: $200 million is available to allow PHAs to develop or renovate public housing projects stalled due to lack of resources.

Public Housing Transformation: $100 million is available to transform obsolete public housing projects into newly built or renovated developments.

Housing for the Elderly/Persons with Disabilities: $95 million is available to improve public housing units and create community facilities for the delivery of medical and other services to this vulnerable population.

HUD's Public Housing Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to public housing authorities to develop, finance, and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs and for the replacement of plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency.

HUD Secretary Announces Nearly $1 Billion To Improve Public Housing

Visit to Pennsylvania highlights grants that will help the elderly, boost energy efficiency and create jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Donovan today announced that HUD is offering nearly $1 billion to make substantial improvements to thousands of public housing units nationwide. The Public Housing Capital Funds being offered are provided through
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) and are designed to help public housing authorities improve the quality of their housing stock, promote energy efficiency and create jobs.

The announcement came during a visit to Marshall Lee Towers in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, which is home to 91 elderly and disabled residents. Marshall Lee Towers is one of seven residential properties managed by the Montgomery County Housing Authority (MCHA), which has already received $1,141,093 in HUD Recovery Act Capital Fund dollars. Projects planned for Marshall Lee Towers with these funds include upgrades to facilities that will create a significant reduction in water and energy use. The Secretary highlighted MCHA as an example of how Recovery Act dollars are being used, not only to create jobs and jump start the nation’s economy, but also to reduce energy costs among public housing facilities. Montgomery County Housing Authority houses 1100 residents in 615 homes throughout the County.

“I am pleased to be at Marshall Lee Towers in Pennsylvania today to announce another substantial investment we are making to improve public housing in America, create jobs and grow local economies,” said Secretary Donovan. “The funding in the Recovery Act, signed by President Obama, will give local housing agencies the resources they need to provide quality housing, especially for the elderly and persons living with disabilities. These funds will also help to transform distressed public housing projects, improve energy efficiency and lower the operating costs for housing authorities.”

In March, HUD allocated nearly $3 billion in Recovery Act funding to more than 3,100 public housing authorities across the U.S. Distributed by formula, that funding is already being put to work to improve public housing and create safer, more livable environments for lower income residents. The additional $1 billion announced today will be awarded competitively.




Recovery Act Funding to increase jobs, promote energy efficiency

WASHINGTON - Just over a month after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 into law, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban announced today that, subject to HUD approval, public housing authorities can begin spending nearly $3 billion to make significant improvements to tens of thousands of public housing units nationwide. HUD is informing 3,122 local housing authorities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands that spending can begin on a backlog of previously underfunded capital improvement projects.

"President Obama has given us the mandate to put this money to work quickly so it can make a real difference in the lives of Americans," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "HUD is working overtime to get this money to our housing authorities so they can repair and produce critically needed affordable housing, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for their residents."

Recovery Act funding provided through HUD's Public Housing Capital Fund Program is effectively more than doubling the Department's annual support of local housing authorities to improve their public housing stock. Allocated through an established formula, this funding will allow local housing agencies to address the long-standing capital needs of public housing, create jobs, and increase energy efficiency. HUD will shortly make an additional $1 billion available in capital funding that will be awarded to housing authorities through a competition.

HUD's Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to public housing authorities to develop, finance, and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs and for the replacement of plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency.

For detailed information about the funding and specific funding amounts to individual public housing agencies visit the website.


HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at and


Unprecedented interagency collaboration will help save energy cost, lower carbon footprint

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu today announced an important step forward in the partnership between HUD and DOE to streamline and better coordinate federal weatherization programs. These efforts will make it easier for low-income families to weatherize their homes, saving money for working families and creating tens of thousands of new green jobs.

Today, the Secretaries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to coordinate energy retrofit programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The signing of the MOU today represents the next step in a longer-term partnership between these agencies, as they continue to make it easier and more cost-effective for families to weatherize their homes. View the MOU.

This unprecedented interagency collaboration will help minimize administrative barriers and simplify the process for residents of HUD public and assisted housing that are seeking to weatherize their homes under the DOE Weatherization Assistance Program, which is targeted to low-income households. By eliminating unnecessary red tape and helping more families weatherize their homes, Secretary Chu and Secretary Donovan are helping to fulfill President Obama's goal of making government work better for all Americans.

Vice President Joe Biden, joined by Secretary Donovan and Secretary Chu, praised the interagency proposal during his remarks at a Recovery Act Implementation Cabinet Meeting in Washington, D.C.

"This agreement is the perfect example of government coming together in service of the greater good," said Vice President Biden. "Thanks to this new partnership, we're going to tear down the unnecessary barriers in making the homes of low-income and elderly citizens more energy-efficient and shred the red tape that too often stands between government assistance and the people it is meant to serve. In the process, we'll not only bring down energy costs, but also create new green jobs that will be the foundation of our economic recovery."

"The Recovery Act made a critical investment in home energy efficiency," said Secretary Chu. "But, to help as many families as possible, we need to cut the federal red tape that tangles up too many Americans trying to do the right thing. By making it as easy as possible for families to weatherize their homes, we can create new jobs that can't be shipped overseas, save families money on their energy bills, and take another step toward energy independence."

"HUD is committed to making public housing more green, while keeping it as affordable as possible for working families, particularly in these challenging economic times," said Secretary Donovan. "This partnership will ensure that HUD and DOE together can play a significant role in the Administration's goal to weatherize one million homes, while at this same time serving a population in need. I am proud of the work our agencies have done and look forward to a continued partnership with Secretary Chu and DOE to make all housing affordable and energy efficient."

This agreement will also impact tens of thousands of residents in rural communities -- mostly seniors and low-income individuals -- who are part of U.S. Department of Agriculture's Multi+Family Housing Direct Loan Program.

"This agreement will make a big difference in the lives of many rural residents providing much-needed heating and cooling, saving money and enhancing energy efficiency," said U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack added.

Currently, the income verification requirements under DOE's Weatherization Assistance Program duplicate the HUD system for verifying income before providing housing subsidies. Under this new agreement, the income verification process will be conducted only once, breaking down bureaucratic barriers to using weatherization funds in HUD-assisted housing. HUD is committing to rent stabilization and scope of work requirements consistent with weatherization requirements.

The Recovery Act provides $16 billion to the Department of Energy and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes. The partnership announced today between HUD and DOE will coordinate funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which received $5 billion under the Recovery Act. Other energy efficiency efforts include $4.5 billion in HUD funding to renovate and upgrade public and Native American housing, as well as $250 million to retrofit privately owned federally assisted housing. In addition to the weatherization funds, DOE received $3.2 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants for cities, counties, states and Indian Tribes, $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program, and other programs.

The Recovery Act funds provide an historic opportunity for the two agencies to work together to accelerate deployment of energy efficient and green building technologies in millions of homes, while helping to create a highly-qualified, highly-trained, and high-performing workforce. Today's announcement is only one step in a continued partnership between the two agencies. HUD and DOE will continue to work together to provide guidance to public and assisted housing on energy efficiency programs, develop a common baseline for measuring energy efficiency, and develop new home energy financing products.