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The country is facing an unprecedented affordable housing crisis. One of the largest contributing factors to this crisis is the lack of actual housing units in the marketplace. In response, HUD has created a new stream of funding to increase the supply of affordable housing and hopefully lower housing costs. HUD announced an $85 million competitive PRO Housing funding opportunity as well as new guidance for providers of affordable housing that will help communities address local housing challenges. The White House released a plan  highlighting the “Actions to Lower Housing Costs and Boost Supply.”

HUD recognizes that communities have unique housing challenges and that’s why the resources announced today are not one size fits all. HUD is proud to highlight the efforts of communities who are committed to housing-forward policies and practices, and through PRO Housing, we hope to support them with funding as well,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Today, we are acting to increase the supply of affordable housing, which is crucial to lowering housing costs. We look forward to continuing this work in partnership with local communities.”

Program 1 Under “PRO Housing”

Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing (PRO Housing) will help communities further develop, evaluate, and implement housing policy plans; address restrictive zoning, land use, or regulatory policies; improve housing strategies; and facilitate affordable housing production and preservation. Grants to local governments, states, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and multijurisdictional entities will range from $1 million to $10 million.

Program 2 for “PRO Housing”

HUD is also providing new tools for public housing authorities and multifamily housing owners participating in the Rental Assistance Demonstration.

Released Thursday, HUD’s supplemental RAD notice provides “additional flexibilities for housing providers that will enhance RAD’s ability to support repairs to thousands of affordable homes over the next three years. The notice also promotes water- and energy-efficiency investments and includes new requirements that address climate resilience and adopt stronger energy efficiency standards. Additionally, the notice provides $12 million to support preservation transactions of eligible housing for the elderly.” HUD says that these actions follow through on commitments made by the Biden-Harris Administration in its Housing Supply Action Plan, with the key objective of lowering the cost of housing for all Americans. These two programs build on the progress already made by HUD, says the agency, including reviving the Risk Sharing program. HUD says that the Risk Sharing program has supported the preservation and creation of 12,000 affordable homes since its restart and has provided communities with $5 billion for the HOME-ARP program, which will create over 20,000 new affordable homes for people experiencing homelessness, facing housing insecurity, fleeing domestic violence, and veterans.

Scott Precourt is the Managing Partner and Founder of US Housing Consultants.