On February 12, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $54,561,426 to Alabama public housing authorities. State agencies will now be able to make major, large-scale improvements to those properties. The funding came through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which annually funds more than 3,100 public housing authorities nationwide for building, repairing, renovating, and modernizing public housing. These state and regional housing authorities use the funding to replace roofs, upgrade plumbing and electrical systems, and make energy-efficient upgrades. Interested contractors should submit bids and proposals through the HUD portal.
The United States federal government has been investing billions of dollars for developing and maintaining public multifamily housing for more than 75 years. An average of 10,000 public housing units are lost yearly through disrepair and dilapidation. The Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program study HUD released in 2011 found that the 1.1 million housing units managed by state housing agencies require $25.6 billion in large-scale repairs to keep the units safe for residents. Capital needs differ from routine maintenance needs in that they are extensive and intensive repairs that are needed to make the housing decent and economically viable.
To protect the federal government’s enormous investment in public housing and respond to the ever-increasing need for affordable housing, the Obama administration proposed the Rental Assistance Demonstration strategy to complement the Capital Fund program. The strategy offers a long-term solution to revitalize the nation’s stock of affordable housing, by leveraging private and public monies to make critical improvements. Much of the money allocated to Alabama by HUD last week was generated through RAD.
Of the recent awards, HUD Secretary Julian Castro says that, “Every American deserves a place to call home where they can successfully raise their kids, enhance their financial security and build a better life. Through this funding, HUD is committed to strengthening our nation’s affordable housing units and to providing folks with the springboard they need to succeed.”
HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. concurs, adding that “HUD continues to look for ways to improve the quality of life for public housing residents. This funding will help housing authorities address long-standing capital improvements and preserve and enhance America’s affordable housing.”