U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced $300 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) competitive grants that will allow 36 public housing authorities across the United States to use green materials and technology to create public housing that conserves energy.

The Public Housing Capital Funds being awarded are designated for the creation of energy-efficient communities through substantial rehabilitation or new construction of public housing developments. Activities include development of connections to neighborhoods and green space; site improvements that provide surface water management techniques; water conservation using appliances, fixtures and efficient irrigation; energy efficiency that meets Energy Star standards for new construction; and use of renewable-energy resources. These transformational activities will substantially increase energy efficiency and environmental performance of public housing properties.

In February, HUD allocated nearly $3 billion in Recovery Act funding to more than 3,100 public housing authorities.

Some funding remains to be awarded. The remaining Public Housing Capital Fund competitive grants will be awarded in the coming weeks under the housing for the elderly/persons with disabilities gap financing for stalled projects and energy-efficiency funding categories.

HUD’s Capital Fund Program provides annual funding to public housing authorities to develop, finance and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements, such as new electrical systems to increase energy efficiency.