About the Public Housing Neighborhood Networks (NN) Program
This funding program provided grants to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) to establish, expand and/or update community technology centers.
In lieu of direct grant funding, by statute, PHAs may use their Capital and Operating Funds to establish and operate Neighborhood Networks centers. Neighborhood Networks centers provide access to computers, computer training and the Internet. Neighborhood Networks centers can also provide a wide range of services to help residents achieve long-term economic self-sufficiency. An overview of how PHAs may use their Capital and Operating funds to support this type of work is provided here:
The Public Housing Capital Fund can be used to open a Neighborhood Networks computer lab. Equipment, Internet connectivity, space renovation/remodeling, staff salary, and insurance costs can be paid for using Capital Funds. These funds can be used for the first year of the center’s operation. Subsequently, PHAs can use their Operating Funds for the continued operation of the Neighborhood Networks center. However, any equipment upgrades over the life of the Neighborhood Networks center would come from the Capital Fund. Similarly, PHAs can use their Capital Funds to purchase routers for individual units (across an entire building or development, not on a case-by-case basis). However, neither Capital Funds nor Operating Funds can be used to pay for residents’ in-unit Internet access. Please see below for a comprehensive list of activities that may be paid for out of each fund.
- Capital Fund may be used for the establishment and initial operation of a Neighborhood Networks computer center for such things as:
- Computer equipment (CF management improvement or Operating Fund)
- Equipment upgrades (over the life of the center from CF management improvement or Operating Fund)
- Space renovations (could be initial CF and later CF modernization expense)
- Internet connection and utilities (for initial operation of NN center)
- Staff salary (for initial operation of NN center)
- Insurance (for initial operation of NN center)
- Routers for individual units (not Internet connectivity) – initial CF expense, ongoing maintenance costs from Operating Fund
- Statutory Authority: Capital Funds may be used for the initial operation of a Neighborhood Networks center per Section 9 (d) Capital Fund (of the 1937 Housing Act as amended) – subparagraph (1)(E)
- Capital Fund Rule References:
- Federal Register Notice – New Capital Fund Rule: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/10/24/2013-23230/public-housing-capital-fund-program
- New Capital Fund Rule, Overview Training: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWpULWyDx9E
- Operating Fund must be used for the ongoing costs of operating computer centers in public housing
- Ongoing Internet connection fees and utilities
- Staff salary
- Ongoing maintenance of in-unit routers
- Other activities related to the computer center (e.g., training programs) would be an Operating Fund expense
- Statutory Authority: Costs associated with the ongoing operation of a Neighborhood Networks/computer lab are specifically cited in the HUD statute as follows:
- Section 9 (e) Operating Fund (of the 1937 Housing Act as amended) – subparagraph (1)(K): the costs of operating computer centers in public housing through a Neighborhood Networks initiative described in subsection (d)(1)(E) of this section.
- The statute can be found here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCODE-2010-title42/USCODE-2010-title42-chap8-subchapI-sec1437g/content-detail.html
For more information on the Neighborhood Networks program, please call 1 (800) 955-2232.