March 16, 2005

Idaho Housing Programs Get Boost

Crapo says HUD offerings revitalize neighborhoods

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo says the Senate has renewed funding for the two federally-funded programs, which have been successful both in creating new low-income housing in Idaho, and helping homebuyers with their down payments. The programs, operated by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Idaho Housing and Finance Association and city housing programs, will be included for new money as part of the $200 million dollar approval of S. 811, the American Dream Downpayment Act. Crapo, as a member of the Senateâ??s Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, cosponsored the Act and expects the House will follow the Senate by approving the bill next month.â??These programs have proven to be both popular and effective in Idaho,â?? Crapo said. â??One component has allowed us to assist homeowners with what can be an overwhelming lump sum down payment to get their first home. The other program has helped build the new, lower-priced housing we so desperately need in areas like the Treasure Valley and the Wood River Valley which are growing so quickly.â??The American Dream Downpayment Act, S. 811, authorizes the appropriation of $200 million annually to be made available to participating local authorities. Each stateâ??s funding is determined by the share of low-income renters and a formula established by HUD. Assistance to any one family is capped at either $10,000 or six percent of the purchase price of a home. Administrative expenses in the program are capped at 5 percent of program funds. The program is scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2007, so that the Committee and HUD can analyze the programâ??s efficiency and effectiveness in helping families purchase homes. The bill also includes money for the HOPE VI program, which has been instrumental in neighborhood renovation and new housing construction.# # #