TWENTY-TWO Catholic dioceses and agencies have received almost 560 million (about £32.5 million) in federal loans for housing projects for the elderly and handicapped. The funds will provide for about 2,000 new and rehabilitated housing units.
Catholic-backed projects account for about 15 per cent of the 136 projects and 12,600 units financed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development at a cost of $375 million. The loans average about $30,000 for each unit.
The funds were provided through a housing programme approved by Congress in 1974, It provides federal loans for non-profit organisations providing housing projects for the elderly and handicapped.
The loans are given at interest rates close to vi hat the federal government pays to borrow money. They are paid back over 40 years out of rental income.
Church and other non-profit agencies had criticised the department for waiting more than a year to issue regulations for loan applications.