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Implementing Block Grants for Housing: An Evaluation of the First Year of HOME, 1996


Report Acceptance Date: November 1995 (126 pages)

Posted Date: November 01, 1995

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The HOME Investment Partnership Program is fulfilling its purpose of serving the neediest communities and households, according to an Urban Institute evaluation of the program's first year. A block grant for housing that replaced several categorical programs, HOME was first funded in fiscal year 1992 at $1.5 billion. The report provides an initial examination of the low-income housing choices States and localities made in using HOME funds.

HOME was designed to give participating jurisdictions a great deal of flexibility in providing affordable housing opportunities. Participating jurisdictions can use HOME funds to support four different general types of housing assistance, including acquiring and developing rental housing, rehabilitating owner-occupied housing, facilitating homeownership, and providing tenant-based rental assistance.

HOME has lived up to its promise in serving America's neediest families, according to the report. The program has directed housing resources to needy families in the neediest cities. About 57 percent of program funds were allocated to the 20 percent of American cities that were most distressed. Nearly half of all local participating jurisdictions applied more stringent income targeting than was required by statute in at least one of their HOME-funded projects, while 16 percent did so in all their programs. Overall, more than half of all rental households served had incomes below 30 percent of the area median.


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