Henriquez Testifies in Support of Project-Based Housing

May 4, 2010
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“We must identify new funding streams for public and assisted housing,” said HUD Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez, during a hearing of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. Henriquez spoke in support of the Transforming Rental Assistance (TRA) bill.

The TRA is an “ambitious, multi-year preservation effort,” designed to support and preserve public housing for the long-term. It would provide subsidies similar to project-based vouchers and project-based Section 8, thereby allowing housing agencies to obtain more private financing than existing public housing subsidies do. TRA would also modestly increase funding for public housing units to a level that would be closer to the subsidies in the voucher and project-based Section 8 programs and to enable them to carry out needed renovations.

TRA would shift the funding structure for assisted housing to a single, property-based federal subsidy that leverages capital from other sources. It would streamline and simplify the HUD programs by moving to a more unified funding approach.

Under HUD’s 2011 proposed budget, the first phase of TRA would provide $350 million to preserve approximately 300,000 units of public and assisted housing, and enhance housing choice for residents. PHAs and private owners would be offered the option of converting to long-term, property-based rental assistance contracts.