Construction Law News Blog

Stimulus Act - Impact on Affordable Housing

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”) offers multiple opportunities for property owners, developers and other stakeholders in the commercial real estate arena. This advisory focuses on affordable housing, as there are approximately $13 billion in funding initiatives for affordable housing projects. Many of the provisions are complex and some of the details have yet to be fully provided, so it is impossible to accurately summarize the details of each item. Frost Brown Todd will be embarking upon a series of seminars to more adequately explain the provisions of the Recovery Act. We will be contacting you soon with information with respect to dates and locations for these seminars.

Some of these beneficial programs are:

  • Low Income Housing Funding: $2.25 billion is allocated to fund the gap caused by the collapse of the low-income housing tax credit (“LIHTC”) market. The funds will be distributed to housing tax credit allocating agencies based on the federal formula for the HOME program. 
  • Low Income Housing Grants: The Recovery Act allows state agencies to use a portion of their allocated LIHTCs as grants instead of credits. States will be able to exchange 40 percent of their 2009 LIHTCs plus unused 2008 credit ceiling for grants at a reduced rate of $0.85 on the dollar.
  • Rental Assistance: The Recovery Act allocates $2 billion for full-year payments to owners receiving Section 8 project-based rental assistance.
  • Public Housing Capital Fund: $4 billion is allocated for the Public Housing Capital Fund, with $3 billion being distributed by the capital fund formula and $1 billion through competitive grants. These funds will be used to retrofit the public housing projects to make them more energy efficient.
  • Home Weatherization: The Recovery Act allocates $5 billion to help low-income families reduce their energy costs by weatherizing their homes to make the country more energy efficient.
  • Internet Resources: A multitude of websites are being increasingly utilized and/or created in order to provide up-to-date information as to the available Recovery Act projects. The website www.fedbizopps.gov is an excellent resource for federal projects. Another useful site is www.recovery.gov, which provides specific detail regarding the Recovery Act, including a useful tool that contains links to each of the individual state websites that have been created in connection with the Recovery Act.

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C. Michael Shull, III focuses his practice on construction law and litigation. Michael's client representations range from casinos and ENR Top 400 contractors to design firms and subcontractors.

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