Gem State Roundup
Federal agency announces Idaho will be part of new push to build more affordable housing
Margaret Solle Salazar, Region X director for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency, speaks at an event in Boise on Tuesday, May 31. (Kelcie Moseley-Morris/Idaho Capital Sun)
The regional branch of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency that includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington announced a new effort to boost the housing supply across all four states through a national initiative called Our Way Home, according to a press release.
HUD will host roundtable discussions and listening sessions in the coming months, as well as peer learning opportunities to connect cities, counties, tribal communities and state governments with the tools and resources to build more affordable housing. The initiative will also serve as an opportunity for the agency to collect feedback and ideas for improvements to its existing programs, according to the release.
President Joe Biden announced a nationwide plan to increase affordable housing developments in late May, with a list of more than a dozen actions the administration intends to take within the next five years. The list includes expanding and improving existing forms of federal financing such as the low income housing tax credit, working with the private sector to address supply chain issues and improve building techniques, and establishing a new grant program to help eliminate barriers to development, including permitting for manufactured home communities. Through the American Rescue Plan Act, communities across the country also now have access to $5 billion in HOME grants.
Regional Housing and Urban Development Administrator Margaret Solle Salazar announced the initiative publicly on Wednesday in Boise with Mayor Lauren McLean and Idaho Housing and Finance Association President Gerald Hunter. She applauded the state of Idaho’s establishment of the Workforce Housing Trust Fund and the city of Boise’s efforts around housing, according to the release.
As part of the Our Way Home initiative, HUD will continue to elevate community wins and learn from communities that are building and preserving affordable homes. The Department will engage communities in discussions on housing supply policies and resources in the coming months.
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