Sixty-one affordable seniors housing projects will share in $17 million in pre-development grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The demonstration planning grants are made under HUD’s Sec. 202 program, which provide funds for pre-development activities such as architectural and engineering work, site control, and other expenses related to the development of a project prior to initial closing.

“These funds can make the difference between senior housing developments being built or never getting off the ground,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in a statement. “This money will help these organizations cope with the complexities of developing vitally important elderly housing projects in their communities.”

The recent grants are spread across 32 states. New York received the largest share, with more than $1.5 million going to five projects. Four other states—California, Illinois, Maryland, and Pennsylvania—also each received more than $1 million in grants. These states each had three seniors housing developments receiving funding.

To be eligible for the grants, the activities must otherwise be eligible for funding under the Sec. 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program. The maximum individual grant amount is $400,000, while no more than $800,000 can be awarded to a single sponsor or its affiliates.