Collins, King Work to Ensure Continued Access to Affordable Housing
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Collins, King Work to Ensure Continued Access to Affordable Housing

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 1, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King today released a letter that they wrote to U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan urging the implementation of regulatory and administrative relief measures for public housing authorities (PHAs) in Maine and across the country. In addition, the Senators also released HUD’s response, which praises their suggestions and outlines relief measures that have already been adopted to help PHAs maximize funds and manage their programs.

“Public Housing Authorities in Maine play an indispensable role in helping some of our most vulnerable citizens find safe and affordable housing,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “Given the rising number of people in need of housing assistance, we are thrilled that HUD was so receptive to our requests. In particular, we are pleased that HUD is in the process of drafting a proposed rule to further provide administrative relief to public housing authorities and we look forward to reviewing that rule when it is proposed.”

In their letter to Secretary Donovan, Senators Collins and King requested that HUD:

Provide an update on the deliverables from the April 8, 2013, meeting between the Department and public housing industry groups.
Identify what steps it has taken to date to reduce the time it takes to inform housing authorities of their Capital Fund allocations and what additional steps could be taken to reduce the time to 60 days.
Affirm whether it has, in the context of improving effective oversight of Public Housing Authorities (PHAs), undertaken a review of its data collection requirements from housing authorities to determine if HUD is collection the correct data and id some of the stat required to be submitted by housing authorities lacks an oversight justification.

In its response letter, HUD praised the Senators for drawing attention to these issues and noted several relief measures that have already been implemented while agreeing that more needs to be done. In response to an amendment that Senator Collins and Senator King filed to the Fiscal Year 2014 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations bill, HUD notified the Senators that it has taken steps to reduce the time it takes to inform PHAs of their Capital Fund allocations.

Senator Collins’ and King’s letter to Secretary Donovan can be viewed here. HUD’s response letter is available here.

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