WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have announced $19.8 million in federal funding for the development, financing, and modernization of public housing developments and for management improvements in Baltimore, Maryland. This grant was awarded to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Public Housing Capital Fund.
“Every Marylander – every American – deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Many families in Baltimore benefit from access to public housing developments, but too many more remain on waiting lists without other good options,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Finance committee. “These federal funds will support the continued effort to expand and improve affordable housing options for future generations, which uplifts our local communities and strengthens our local economies.”
“When we invest in affordable housing, we invest in Maryland’s continued economic growth and success. That’s why we must keep working to improve the quality and accessibility of affordable housing in our state. This funding will not only increase the supply of affordable housing in Baltimore, but it will also help modernize current homes – providing more options and better living conditions for Maryland families,” said Senator Van Hollen, a member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Development and Appropriations Committees. “I will continue fighting for investments that strengthen Maryland communities and increases economic opportunity for all.”
In the Fiscal Year 2019 omnibus appropriations bill Senators Cardin and Van Hollen fought for increased funding for public housing – including an increase of $25 million for capital funds, which agencies use to update and maintain their housing stock. However, there remains a capital backlog of over $26 billion throughout the public housing portfolio. Trump proposed to zero out the capital fund in his 2020 budget despite this critical backlog.
Through the office of Public Housing Investments (PHI), HUD provides funds annually via a formula to approximately 3,200 public housing agencies (PHAs) across the country. PHAs may use Capital Fund grants for development, financing, modernization, and management improvements The Office provides technical assistance to PHAs as well as to HUD Field Offices relating to development, financing, modernization, and management improvements of public housing developments. It prepares quarterly reports to Congress on the status of the obligation and expenditure of Capital Fund grants and implements the statutory sanctions for PHAs that are in noncompliance with the statutory deadlines.