The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will distribute $17m to 61 housing projects that cater to "very low-income" residents at least 62 years old. Qualifications for residents to be considered "very low-income" varies from county to county, based on the number of people within the household. The projects receiving HUD funds span 32 states and the grant money funds pre-development costs such as architectural and engineering work, site control, and other expenses. Without the funds, those costs would not be reimbursed from other subsidy programs until closing or would have to come from other funding sources. The federal funding in some cases will provide the initial cash needed to get the projects off the ground. Projects that receive the funds are required to complete the funded work within 18 months of disbursement. “These funds can make the difference between senior housing developments being built or never getting off the ground,” HUD secretary Shaun Donovan said in a statement. “This money will help these organizations cope with the complexities of developing vitally important elderly housing projects in their communities.” The funds are part of the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program. The maximum individual grant is $400,000 per project and no more than $800,000 can be distributed to any one organization. Write to Austin Kilgore.