HUD No. 05-034
March 23, 2005
HUD APPROVES DALTON HOUSING AUTHORITY REQUEST TO CONTROL PUBLIC HOUSING UNITS
First public housing agency in U.S. to gain independent status
DALTON, Ga. -Today the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development formally approved the Housing Authority of the City of Dalton (HACD) request to transfer and relinquish all of its interest in Dalton's 614 public housing units. This approval culminates a long desire of this housing authority to control its units. Of the approximately 3,400 public housing authorities (PHAs) nationally, Dalton is the first to make the request and gain approval.
"Today's approval should serve as an example of how a local housing authority can continue, and even improve, the delivery of affordable housing unencumbered by federal rules and regulations," said HUD Assistant Secretary Michael Liu, who joined Dalton Mayor Ray Elrod, HACD Executive Director Patricia A. Johnson and HACD Board Chairman Charles W. Hendry at the Dalton City Hall to sign the approval allowing the official transfer of the units to the housing authority.
In addition to keeping the public housing developments as low-income housing, HACD commits to achieving this goal on its own terms without the added expense of following complex federal rules. Today's approval also allows HACD to make management decisions locally that will directly benefit the housing authority, its residents, and Dalton families who wait for affordable housing. By assuming full control over all of its public housing real estate assets without ongoing federal subsidy, HACD will have the flexibility to set its own rents based on local market conditions; raise additional capital to improve the physical condition of the existing units; use its valuable real estate assets to leverage additional capital to expand its affordable housing goals; and create its own local incentives to encourage current residents to become self sufficient.
The transfer of these properties offers HACD the opportunity to become an entrepreneur and true affordable housing provider for residents of Dalton. In order to seek private sources to finance large-scale modernization and capital improvements of its developments, HACD needed to assume full control of its assets. This approach will allow the housing authority to maximize the value of its assets and target its affordable housing resources, to better meet the need for affordable housing in Dalton.
While public housing is managed by local public housing agencies, the federal government maintains a priority interest in the properties. This interest requires compliance with federal rules and regulations, including a variety of reporting requirements. A majority of PHAs comply with these requirements in exchange for federal funding. HACD, however, was by law required to comply with the same federal rules although it has operated without HUD funding for more than 20 years.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.