|HUD No. 22-234
HUD Public Affairs
November 15, 2022
HUD Marks Anniversary of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
One year ago today, President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), into law, making the largest long-term investment in America’s infrastructure and economy in history.
In the year since, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has worked with federal agencies and across levels of government to connect transformative investments in transportation, climate resilience, broadband, and water infrastructure with HUD’s investments in affordable, quality housing:
Enabling Communities and Neighborhoods to Thrive
HUD announced the availability of $5 million in technical assistance funds that the Department received in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget to help jurisdictions leverage their infrastructure investments from BIL to increase housing supply - while avoiding displacement of residents and businesses. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) received $25 million for a similar purpose, and the two agencies are working together to align the uses of these and BIL funds as part of a “Thriving Communities” initiative that was launched in June 2022. Deploying technical assistance in this way will enable more communities to thoughtfully plan and execute transformative infrastructure investments that better serve existing and planned affordable housing developments.
Improving Resilience and Housing Quality
Improving the quality and resilience of housing extends the lifespan of existing housing and lowers costs for families. HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes is partnering with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), which receives BIL funding, to further develop HUD’s Healthy Homes and Weatherization Cooperation Demonstration grant program to mitigate health and safety hazards in WAP-eligible homes of low-income families. This hazard mitigation will allow these homes to be enrolled in WAP and have their energy efficiency and comfort improved. HUD is also using its funds to build state-level expertise, working with state energy offices and additional external stakeholders to direct states to multifamily weatherization training resources.
Increasing Reliable Internet Access
BIL included $65 billion to expand broadband in communities across the country, create more low-cost broadband service options, and subsidize the cost of service for low-income households. The largest program, the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program, enables states to competitively award subgrants to community anchor institutions, including public housing authorities. Most of that funding will go to states and territories to deploy high-speed broadband infrastructure in areas currently lacking access to such services, including HUD-assisted and low-income households. HUD also continues to partner with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to encourage sign-ups for the Affordable Connectivity Program, an FCC benefit program that provides discounts toward internet services and computer hardware for eligible households. Residents of HUD assisted housing are categorically eligible for this program. FCC’s latest estimates suggest 733,287 HUD assisted households have benefited from the Affordable Connectivity Program so far, and HUD is working to increase the enrollment among its assisted tenants.
Eliminating Lead Hazards in Housing
BIL enables HUD to make meaningful progress on our commitment to eliminate lead hazards in federally assisted housing, including tribal housing. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) received $15 billion in BIL funding to replace lead service lines in drinking water systems, as well as additional funding to address contaminants in drinking water. HUD’s Office of Lead Hazard Control and Healthy Homes is coordinating with EPA to ensure these funding streams serve homes of low-income housing owners and renters.
Lowering Utility Costs for HUD Households
To help improve energy efficiency and lower utility costs for communities, including HUD-assisted properties HUD continues to connect and convene stakeholders in regional and local offices to highlight federal funding sources - including funding streams from BIL and HUD programs such as Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) - that can be used for improvements. HUD has also reduced the administrative burden for HUD-assisted household to access the $3.5 billion in BIL Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) funding, by working with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create “categorical income eligibility” for HUD-assisted households such as public housing, Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), and Housing Choice Vouchers.
Delivering Opportunity and Investments to Tribal Communities
To help coordinate sanitation and water investments provided through BIL - including $3.5 billion to the Indian Health Service to build the infrastructure necessary to ensure a safe supply of drinking water, reliable sewage systems, and solid waste disposal facilities - EPA revitalized the Tribal Infrastructure Task Force (ITF) through a Memorandum of Understanding between seven federal agencies, including HUD. Additionally, HUD has helped the U.S. Department of the Interior determine how to distribute its $216 million for Tribal climate resilience; promoted resources like broadband funding as part of the White House Council on Native American Affairs; and helped DOE with data for its allocation formula for its $550 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.
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