HUD Awards $80.8 Million to Improve, Preserve Public Housing in Massachusetts

David Tille

BOSTON – To help public housing authorities make needed capital improvements to their properties, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has allocated $80.8 million in annual funding to housing authorities in Massachusetts.

The grants announced are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which offers annual funding to approximately 3,100 public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. These housing authorities use the funding to complete large-scale improvements such as replacing roofs or making energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems.

To help provide residents with decent, safe and sanitary housing and respond to the growing demand for affordable rental housing, HUD uses the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), a comprehensive strategy that complements the Capital Fund Program. RAD offers a long-term solution to preserve and enhance the country’s affordable housing stock, including leveraging public and private funding to make critically needed improvements.

David Tille

“This funding will assist Massachusetts public housing agencies as they work to provide the best housing possible for their residents,” said David Tille, HUD New England Regional Administrator.

For more than 75 years, the federal government has been investing billions of dollars in developing and maintaining public housing, including providing critical support through the Capital Fund grants announced today. Nonetheless, there has been a net loss of over 135,000 public housing units since fiscal year 2000, representing an average loss of approximately 9,000 units annually.

In 2011, HUD released Capital Needs in the Public Housing Program, a third-party independent study that estimated the capital needs in the public housing stock in the U.S. The study found the nation’s 1.1 million public housing units are facing an estimated $25.6 billion in large-scale repairs. Unlike routine maintenance, capital needs are extensive improvements required to make the housing decent and economically sustainable, such as replacing roofs or updating plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency.

Since Congress authorized the RAD demonstration in November of 2011, early results show it is generating significant additional capital for distressed public housing. As a result, more than 88,000 public housing units are converting to a more sustainable Section 8 financing platform, all without any additional costs to taxpayers. Public Housing Authorities and their partners have generated over $5 billion to preserve or replace distressed units and support local jobs in their communities – all without additional federal resources.