Feds Promote Homeowner Grants for Underserved Populations

By John Voket

I am celebrating the latest news about several programs designed to make homeownership a priority for some groups that had long-standing or traditional barriers to owning or accessing homes of their own.

On February 13, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced eight organizations will receive a total of $7.3 million in grants to improve housing conditions in Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities.

Funds from both programs are intended to primarily benefit low-income families living on Indian reservations or Alaskan and Hawaiian communities. The funding is used for a range of affordable housing activities, including: new construction, rehabilitation, acquisition, infrastructure, and various support services.

Housing can be either rental or homeownership. NHHBG funds can also be used for certain types of community facilities if the facilities serve eligible residents of affordable housing.

One day earlier, HUD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced nearly $98 million in funding for 13 state housing agencies for rental assistance to extremely low-income persons with disabilities.

Many of the intended recipients are transitioning out of institutional settings or are at high risk of homelessness.

Those agencies being funded are working closely with their own Medicaid and Health and Human Service counterparts to identify, refer, and conduct outreach to persons with disabilities who require long-term supports to live independently.

The initiative is beginning in 10 critically important communities, according to HUD and HHS: Atlanta, Chicago, Fresno County, Los Angeles County, Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix/Maricopa County, Seattle, and Tampa.

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