New HUD Programs: A Focus on Affordable Housing and Houselessness
New HUD Programs: A Focus on Affordable Housing and Houselessness

By: Joseph Phelan, Grants Development Consultant (State and Local Government)

The Preservation and Reinvestment Initiative for Community Enhancement (PRICE) PRICE has a goal to preserve and revitalize manufactured housing. Administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), these funds will be disbursed as competitive grants to various entities with grantees having to provide at least a 50 percent match.

Advocates had been fighting for the inclusion of PRICE ahead of the most recent fiscal budget. The plan came to fruition as the $225 million grant program was appropriated for 2023.

Over the next five years, these funds will serve a multitude of purposes. Some will go towards infrastructure, while others will be for planning. There are expected streams for resident and community services to help with relocation or to prevent eviction. As is the theme for additional HUD funds, PRICE will offer funding for any resiliency activities, which essentially means addressing any weatherization or energy efficiency requirements. Lastly, there are funds for land and site acquisition. HUD’s overarching theme is to benefit low or moderately low-income residents by preserving long-term housing affordability.

Of the total amount, $25 million will go directly to a pilot program for grants to help with the redevelopment of manufactured housing communities as affordable replacement housing. Some eligible activities that fall under this pilot program include—relocation assistance or buy-outs for residents of a manufactured housing community or down payment assistance for residents.

PRICE is just one example of the HUD’s focus on the affordable housing crisis the United States continues to face.

According to Harvard University’s State of the Nation’s Housing report, in 2020, 30 percent of households had “unaffordable” rent or mortgage payments. In the same study, zoning reforms and housing investments were labeled as important solutions to the problems.

The federal government moved forward with zoning as HUD will have $85 million for a brand-new competitive grant program that will reward communities that have made progress in improving inclusionary zoning practice, land use policies, and housing infrastructure with the ultimate goal of increasing the affordable housing supply. The program has been named “Yes In My Back Yard” as a reference to NIMBY that has often been cited as the reason why affordable housing plans or homeless shelters fail at local levels. Eligible entities include governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and multijurisdictional entities.

In addition to affordable housing, homelessness remains a central issue, and the budget reflects it.

Recently, HUD finished its Annual Homelessness Assessment Report and found that roughly 30 percent of people without homes experience chronic patterns of houselessness, which means they’ve been houselessness for more than a year, or they’ve had extended periods of houselessness over the previous three years.

With that in mind, it makes sense that money continues to be spent to address homelessness. HUD has long administered the Continuum of Care program, which has the goal of ending houselessness. Under this program, HUD will make $75 million available for grants to build, acquire, or rehabilitate new permanent supportive housing for the houselessness.

It’s not a surprise, given the challenges surrounding affordable housing and houselessness, that the fiscal budget has plans in place to try and address them.