Date Published: December 2015
Yes. Under § 92.206(a) in the HOME rule, HOME funds may be used for the actual costs of constructing or rehabilitating (development hard costs) single family or multifamily housing, including the costs to wire the property for broadband internet. The costs to make utility connections, including off-site connections from the property line to the adjacent street, are also eligible under HOME at § 92.206(a)(3)(ii). HUD includes internet connectivity in the regulatory definition of “utility connections.”
For both new construction and rehabilitation of multifamily rental projects, HOME funds may be used for costs to construct or rehabilitate community facilities that are located within the same building as the housing and which are for the use of the project residents. However, HOME funds cannot pay for a computer room located in a separate building from the assisted housing. HOME funds also may not pay for equipment or furniture in the computer room.
If a multi-unit project does not contain 100 percent HOME-assisted units, only a portion of the cost of providing broadband internet access in the project or the cost to construct a computer room may be charged to the HOME program because only the actual HOME eligible development costs of the assisted units may be charged to the program in accordance with the HOME rule at § 92.205(d)(1).
All HOME-assisted housing must meet the minimum property standards at § 92.251 upon completion, so efforts to provide broadband internet access in existing housing must be undertaken as part of rehabilitation that brings the housing up to the property standards.