The Department of Housing and Urban Development on Monday awarded more than 3,145 public housing agencies across the nation $2.2 billion in federal funding to make large-scale improvements to their public housing developments.

The funding comes from HUD’s Capital Fund program, which is distributed annually to public housing agencies (PHAs) to help them develop, finance, and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. The funding can also be used to improve management operations within the agency.

“Just over a million families rely on local public housing agencies to provide safe, decent housing,” said HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, who announced the funding. “This funding gives these entities the resources to make major improvements to their developments. HUD is proud to assist them in this effort to provide quality affordable housing.”

Over the past five years, PHAs in New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities have leveraged this funding, through the Capital Fund Financing Program (CFFP), and issued bonds in the private market to raise additional capital for major modernization needs.

Although the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act of 1998 included an amendment that allowed PHAs to borrow funds on the private market to raise capital for major repairs to its housing stock, it was not until 2001 this financing tool was utilized. Repairs that will normally take five or 10 years can be accomplished in one to two years with the resources the program generates in a shorter time period. PHAs pledge a percentage of their future Capital Fund, subject to annual appropriations, under CFFP to repay debt.

HUD is a federal agency that implements housing policy.

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