Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Fighting foreclosure and homelessness

The first dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are headed out the door today, as the federal government makes $15 billion available to help states shore up their Medicaid funds.

And there's more coming up.

Just a week after President Obama signed the Act into law, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today allocated 75% of its recovery funds -- $10 billion -- to create green jobs, to revive housing markets with high rates of foreclosure, and curb homelessness.

"Recovery Act investments in HUD programs will be not just swift, but also effective," HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement. "They will generate tens of thousands of jobs, help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis, and modernize homes to make them energy efficient."

The money opened up today includes:

$3 billion to develop, finance, and modernize public housing; $255 million for Native American and Native Hawaiian Housing; nearly $100 million for lead hazard reduction; $2.25 billion to kick-start the production of stalled affordable rental housing projects under the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP); $2 billion to undertake much-needed project improvements to maintain the quality of critical affordable housing; $1 billion to rehabilitate affordable housing and improve key public facilities under the Community Development Block Grant Program; $1.5 billion to reduce homelessness, and prevent it among those facing a sudden economic crisis; and a temporary increase to the loan limits of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

You can even see how the funds break down by program area on a state-by-state basis.

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