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Public Housing Development

The Public Housing Development program provides Federal grants to local public housing authorities (PHAs) to develop housing for low-income families that cannot afford housing in the private market.

Local PHAs develop public housing to provide decent, safe, and affordable housing for low-income families. Housing is developed in one of three primary ways: 1) the PHA hires a contractor to construct housing units-in accord with a HUD-approved program-on a site owned by the PHA; 2) the PHA advertises for and selects a developer to develop a project on a developer-owned site that is sold to the PHA after completion; or 3) the PHA buys existing units. PHAs may also provide assistance to mixed-income developments under section 14 (q)(2) of the Housing Act of 1937.

Type of Assistance:
HUD furnishes technical assistance in planning, developing, and managing public housing and provides funding for 100 percent of the development costs. For commitments approved on or before September 30, 1986, HUD makes annual contributions to PHAs for debt service. Projects approved after September 30, 1986, receive grants for direct funding of capital costs.

Eligible Grantees:
PHAs established under State law are eligible to develop and operate public housing using Federal assistance. The proposed program must be approved by the local governing body. Until fiscal year (FY) 1998, Indian housing authorities (IHAs) were eligible for this program. Beginning in FY 1998, the Indian component was removed and folded into the Indian Housing Block Grant program.

Eligible Customers:
Public housing provides affordable shelter for low-income families comprised of citizens or eligible immigrants. "Family" is defined as a family with or without children, elderly family, near-elderly family, disabled family, displaced family, the remaining member of a tenant family, or a single person.

Eligible Activities:
Several different methods can be used to develop public housing. Under the "Turnkey" method, the PHA invites private developers to submit proposals for construction or substantial rehabilitation, selects the best proposal, and agrees to purchase the project upon completion. Under conventional-bid construction, the PHA acts as its own developer and acquires bids for construction. The PHA may also acquire existing housing, with or without rehabilitation, from the private market.

Public housing agencies apply for funding by responding to Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) published in the Federal Register.

Funding Status:
HUD has not provided new funding for public housing development since FY 1994. However, PHAs could use Modernization and HOPE VI funding flexibly for development (section 14(q)(1) of the 1937 Act).

Technical Guidance:
Legal authority for public housing development is found in the U.S. Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1439) and in 24 CFR Parts 904, 905, and 941. The program is administered by the Office of Public and Indian Housing, Office of Capital Improvements. The telephone number is (202) 708-1640.

For More Information:
Information is available from HUD Field Offices and the HUD home page at (www.hud.gov). The Public Housing Authorities Directors Association Website offers news and NOFAs for public housing programs.