State to Get $164M for Housing

State to Get $164M for Housing WASHINGTON, DC - Indiana is getting $164 million in economic stimulus funds to build affordable housing across the state, the Obama administration announced Monday. The money can be used for development projects that the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority already has approved as eligible for a federal tax credit program to encourage affordable-housing developments.

The state approved 30 developments in April and about that same number last year. But the developers haven't found enough private investors lured by the federal tax credit program that reduces their tax liability in exchange for their investment in affordable-housing developments.

"This amount of money would go to fill that gap," said Jacob Sipe, multifamily manager for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

The new money is a forgivable loan to developers as long as they keep the housing affordable for 30 years and meet other requirements.

An estimated 240,000 Hoosier families paid more than 30 percent of their income on rent in 2005, according to a study by the state housing authority.

And that was before the recession, which hit the state's auto and RV industries particularly hard. "As we lose those jobs and people are losing their homes, we have to have a place for them to move to," Sipe said.

He also said that many Hoosiers displaced by last year's flooding and storms might still be struggling to find affordable housing.

About 4,500 to 5,000 housing units could become available from the recently approved developments awaiting financing.

Sipe said the developments include new construction, rehabilitations and housing geared toward groups such as families, the elderly and people in large and small cities and rural areas.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin said the funding also will create construction jobs while increasing affordable housing. Housing starts have fallen 80 percent nationally since their peak level at the beginning of 2006, according to the Treasury Department.

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