August 9, 2012
BATON ROUGE, La. - The State of Louisiana is accepting public comments on the transfer of $5.2 million from the Housing Development Loan Fund to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit "Piggyback" program, as well as to clarify a previous transfer of funds to the Piggyback program from the Soft Seconds program.
The portion of the Housing Development Loan Fund to be transferred originates from a program created post-Katrina in May 2006, shortly after the disaster. The Housing Development Loan Fund was intended to provide seed funding to support acquisition and pre-development costs for affordable housing development. The change in recovery circumstances, including the rapid deployment of tax credits, reduced the need for the type of developer assistance offered through the Housing Development Loan Fund. Action Plan Amendment 56 allows that the dollars meant to produce affordable housing through the Loan Fund are still used for that goal, but through a mechanism that has had demonstrated success.
To date, the Piggyback program has disbursed $502 million toward 50 developments in parishes impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, creating a total of 6,405 units, 3,690 of which offer affordable rates to low and moderate-income households.
The second portion of the Action Plan Amendment clarifies a transfer of $1.8 million from the Soft Seconds program to the Piggyback Program, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in APA 54, which can be viewed at: http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/DR/plans/APA54_FINAL.pdf. The amendment specified the transfer within the first allocation of federal disaster recovery dollars from HUD, but Action Plan Amendment 9 had previously moved all Piggyback funds into the second allocation of HUD recovery dollars. Because of this, the influx of $1.8 million into the Piggyback program within the first allocation constituted more than 15 percent of the program's income, thereby making it a substantial Action Plan Amendment requiring public comment.
Action Plan Amendment 56 can be accessed online at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/DR/plans/APA56_Final_PubComm.pdf.
The formal public comment period for the plan begins today, August 9, 2012 and runs until August 23 at 5 p.m. After accepting public comments, the state will submit the plan to the HUD for final federal approval.
Citizens, community leaders and elected officials can access the plans and submit comments online by visiting http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dractionplans.htm and opening Action Plan Amendment 58, 59 or 60. A copy of the plans can be requested by calling (225) 219-9600.
Members of the public can submit comments several ways:
- Using the online form at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dractionplans.htm;
- Emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Mailing them to Disaster Recovery Unit, P.O. Box 94095, 70804-9095, Attn: Janice Lovett; or
- Faxing them to the attention of Janice Lovett at (225) 219-9605.
The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.