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HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 99-58
Further Information:For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD officeApril 7, 1999


NASHUA, NH - The New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority today became the first housing agency in the nation to sign an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to participate in a program designed to preserve privately owned affordable housing subsidized by HUD.

New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority Executive Director Claira Monier and HUD's Office of Multifamily Housing Assistance Restructuring Director Ira Peppercorn signed a participation agreement this afternoon in a brief ceremony at the New Hampshire State Housing Conference.

"New Hampshire is pleased to lead the nation in addressing the challenging problem of preserving affordable housing," Monier said. "I feel certain that New Hampshire will become a model for others in their efforts to preserve affordable housing."

Peppercorn said: "By entering into this historic partnership we have established the building blocks of cooperation, communication and productivity through which we will bring down the long-term costs of low-income housing while ensuring that families continue to have options for decent and safe housing."

The new program - known as "Mark-to-Market" - gets its name because rents permitted by HUD in privately owned subsidized housing are marked down to the competitive market rent level prevailing in an area's rental housing.

The program is designed to enable HUD to more effectively use its subsidies to preserve the maximum amount of affordable housing under the Project-Based Section 8 Program. It is expected to save taxpayers nationwide nearly $1.6 billion over the next five years.

Residents of assisted housing under the Project-Based Section 8 Program pay 30 percent of their income as rent, and HUD subsidies pay landlords the difference between the resident payment and the competitive market rent.

HUD won Congressional approval of its Mark-to-Market program in 1997 as part of a plan to rescue the Section 8 rental subsidy program from financial collapse and avert an affordable housing crisis that could have threatened up to 4.4 million Americans with homelessness.

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