Patrick Administration Announces Nearly $11 Million in Capital Awards to Housing Authorities
Funds will assist in reducing utility costs, long-term unit vacancies, and risks to health and safety of residents
BOSTON – February 24, 2014 – Continuing the effort to preserve the state’s public housing authority portfolio and increase the number of affordable public housing units available, the Patrick Administration today announced nearly $11 million in funding to improve, preserve and reoccupy the Commonwealth’s state-funded public housing units.
The capital funding will be used for a number of initiatives, including supporting repairs required to get current vacant units back online, creating more accessible units for persons with disabilities and preserving the current housing stock by making the units more sustainable.
“Affordable public housing is in high demand across the state,” said Undersecretary of Housing and Community Development Aaron Gornstein. “These additional dedicated funds will provide local housing authorities with new tools and funding to extend the life of our current housing stock and also more quickly house seniors and families looking for affordable housing.”
The four types of funding being awarded to 170 housing authorities are:
- $3,598,970 in Sustainability Funds to upgrade building components in order to save energy and water;
- $4,125,365 in Health and Safety Funds to reduce site and common area hazards that could pose a danger to residents;
- $721,053 in Vacant Unit Funds to renovate and reoccupy units needing costly rehabilitation that have been vacant for more than 60 day; and
- $2,517,778 in Accessible Unit Funds to help housing authorities make progress toward having five percent of their units fully accessible.
A listing of Housing Authorities that received awards today can be found here http://www.mass.gov/hed/docs/dhcd/ph/publicnotices/public-housing-special-awards-fy14-summary.pdf
All of these special initiatives had specific threshold eligibility and prioritization criteria that were used for targeting the awards. Housing authorities needed to apply for funds through separate application processes and DHCD also did direct outreach to all eligible applicants. More information on each initiative can be found in the Public Housing Notice 2013-20.
Since 2008, the Patrick Administration has taken action to protect and strengthen the safety net that state-aided public housing’s 45,600 units provides for our state’s most vulnerable families, seniors and people with disabilities. These initiatives are a part of a broader strategy being implemented to reform the state’s public housing system. Other reforms have included requiring local housing authorities to provide DHCD with the salaries of the five highest-paid management staff and setting a maximum salary for local housing authority executive directors.