SHAHEEN: OVER $27 MILLION TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, CREATE JOBS IS COMING TO NEW HAMPSHIRE

Shaheen fought for housing assistance in the economic recovery bill, second round of funding for NH announced today

July 10, 2009

(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that a second round of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding to spur the development of affordable housing has been awarded to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority, bringing the total funding for New Hampshire to over $27 million.  Shaheen successfully fought to include this tax credit exchange program for state housing agencies in the bill, which allows them to trade-in unused tax credits for cash to develop low-income housing programs. 

"In order to get our economy back on track, we need to give our local communities the resources they need spur economic development while helping people who are feeling the strain of these tough economic times," said Shaheen.  "This funding will help to ensure that unused housing tax credits will instead go toward the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing projects across the state."

Today, the U.S. Treasury Department announced a second round of funding for the New Hampshire Housing Authority in the amount of $17,423,436.  In early June, the first round was obligated to the state, in the amount of $10,289,626.  In total, New Hampshire will receive $27,713,062 to develop and renovate affordable housing projects. 

Please find below the letter Shaheen sent to Senate Finance Committee Leadership urging the tax credit exchange program be kept in the final economic recovery bill, as well as the press release from the U.S. Treasury Department announcing this funding:

 

February 11, 2009

The Honorable Max Baucus                                                                        

Chairman 

Senate Committee on Finance

219 Dirksen Senate Office Building 

Washington, DC 20510     

The Honorable Chuck Grassley

Ranking Member

Senate Committee on Finance

219 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Grassley:

As you well know, our country is in the midst of a housing crisis that threatens our nation's long-term economic stability.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act takes many important steps to provide relief to struggling communities across the country and promote growth in the housing market, and I commend you for your hard work to address these issues.  Yet as Congress considers a final version of this legislation, I urge you to consider three important measures that would ensure greater assistance for low-income housing projects.

I urge you to retain the "tax credit exchange" program included in the House version of the recovery package. This is a critical fix for the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program which would allow 100 percent of each state's unused 2008 tax credits and 40 percent of their 2009 tax credit allocation to be exchanged to the Treasury Department for a cash grant of 85 cents per dollar of returned credit.  The funds would then be granted or loaned by the allocating state agencies to developers building affordable rental homes that meet LIHTC requirements. This program is not included in the Senate version of the stimulus bill but is vital to moving projects forward that could put people to work and provide critically needed affordable apartments. 

The legislation should also retain the "accelerator amendment" that was adopted in the Senate version of the bill by the Cantwell Amendment, co-sponsored by Senator Collins.  This provision, not included in the House bill, "accelerates" the amount of low-income housing tax credits that taxpayers can claim in the first three years, which would make the credit more attractive to investors and increase the economic viability of new housing projects.

Finally, I want to call your attention to an issue regarding funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.  Increasing funding for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program is a great first step toward assisting states and municipalities with greater demand, but Congress should maintain existing allocation formulas for the additional funding.  Under language adopted in the Senate, the new HOME funding would be awarded on a nationally competitive basis, disadvantaging smaller and rural states.  In addition, states should have greater flexibility in determining which housing projects are eligible to receive HOME grants.  By allowing funds to be used for projects that were allocated credits in the three prior years as well as projects allocated credits in 2009 and 2010, states will be able to more effectively invest tax dollars. 

By adopting these three important measures, Congress will ensure that funding for low-income housing is both more targeted and more effective at meeting the nation's growing needs.  If there is anything I can do to assist in this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen

 

# # #

 

U.S. Treasury Department

Office of Public Affairs

 

EMBARGOED for 9AM                                         CONTACT: Treasury Public Affairs

July 10, 2009                                                              (202) 622-2960

Treasury announces $486 Million in Recovery Act Funds
to Create Jobs, Provide Affordable Housing

With Funds from Fourth Award Round, More Than $1 Billion Obligated to Date under Innovative Recovery Program to Help Local Communities  

WASHINGTON - As part of the Obama Administration's effort to create jobs and ease pressures on the housing market, the U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced $486 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) funding to spur the development of affordable housing units in Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, the Virgin Islands, and Vermont.    

"Today's announcement of housing funds demonstrates how the Recovery Act is putting our nation on the path to economic stability, one community at a time," said Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin.  "This initiative will help spur construction and development, create much needed jobs, and increase the availability of affordable housing for families around the country."

The labor and housing crises in this country are deeply inter-connected. Since their peak level at the beginning of 2006, housing starts have fallen almost 80 percent. Houses currently under construction are at a 13-year low, down more than 60 percent from the peak in the first quarter of 2006. This collapse has led to severe job losses in the residential building and specialty trades sector related to housing, with employment down by nearly one-third -- a loss of over one million jobs.  Such losses not only indicate significant problems in the residential construction sector, but also suggest that the need for affordable housing has risen markedly during the recession. 

In response, the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have been implementing new efforts designed to help families while providing important assistance to homebuilders.  Specifically, Treasury has launched an innovative program that will provide more than $3 billion from the Recovery Act to put people to work building quality, affordable housing for individuals and families affected by the current crisis.

The Treasury Department will work with state housing agencies to jump start the development or renovation of qualified affordable housing for families across the country.  Under this program, after meeting certain eligibility requirements, state housing agencies will receive funding to construct affordable housing developments. 

Today, the Treasury Department is announcing the fourth round of recipients: $36 million in Alabama; $29 million in Arkansas; $34 million in Connecticut; $76 million in Georgia; $114 million in Louisiana; $44 million in Maryland; $51 million in Massachusetts; $16 in Montana;  a second round for $17 million in New Hampshire bringing the total to nearly $28 million; $38 million in New Mexico; $20 million to the Virgin Islands; and $10 million to Vermont.

The funds announced today are the fourth round in a series of awards based on a rolling application process.  The Treasury Department anticipates making similar announcements in the coming weeks.  To view the terms and conditions for the Treasury application, please click here.

Recovery Act Awards for Affordable Housing Projects in Lieu of Housing Tax Credits

(in order of application submission)

State

Amount Awarded

Kansas Housing Resources Corporation

 $           23,185,466

Ohio Housing Finance Agency

 $           21,250,000

Puerto Rico Housing Finance Authority

 $           99,555,290

Michigan State Housing Development Authority

 $           78,310,613

Wisconsin Housing & Economic Development  Authority

 $           115,827,117

Washington Finance Housing Commission

 $           10,979,349

New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority

 $           10,289,626  (1st round - 6/4/09)

 

 $           17,423,436 (2nd  round - 7/10/09)

Iowa  Finance Authority

 $           72,772,712

Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation

 $           36,811,103

Maine State Housing Authority

 $             4,142,789

Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority

 $            164,011,126

Missouri Housing Development Commission

 $            17,000,000

Tennessee Housing Development Agency

 $            53,035,205

DC Department Housing and Community Development

 $            33,770,695

Arkansas Development Finance Authority

 $            29,170,283

Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority

 $            20,246,000

New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority

 $            38,250,000

Vermont Housing Finance Agency

 $            10,281,430

Maryland Community Development Administration

 $            44,054,729

Alabama Housing Finance Authority

 $            36,456,058

Georgia Housing and Finance Authority

 $            75,952,358

Montana Board of Housing

 $            15,510,979

Connecticut Housing Finance Authority

 $            34,000,136

Massachusetts Dept. of Housing and Community Development

 $           50,814,102

Louisiana Housing Finance Agency

 $         114,065,141

Total

 $   1,227,165,743

For further information on local projects, please contact:

Alabama Housing Finance Authority - Barbara Wallace, (344) 244-9200

Arkansas Development Finance Authority - Derrick Rose, (501) 682-5904
Connecticut Housing Finance Authority - Christine Schilke, (860) 571-4355

Georgia Housing and Finance Authority - Kimberly King, (404) 679-0615
Louisiana Housing Finance Agency - Jeff DeGraff, (225) 763-8800 ext111
Massachusetts Dept. of Housing and Community Development - Phil Hailer, (617) 573-1104

Maryland Community Development Administration - Jacqui Lampell, (410) 514-7704

Montana Board of Housing - Gail Gallik, (406) 841-2704

New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority - Bill Ray, (603) 472-8623
New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority - Leanne Holt, (505) 767-2254

Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority - Janine Hector, (340) 772-4432

Vermont Housing Finance Agency - Cindy Reid (802) 652.3462 


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