Today, the HUD Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) published a final rule that will “modernize” the consolidated planning process (24 CFR 91) for CPD formula grantees. The rule adds the concepts of broadband access and vulnerability to natural hazard risks to the Consolidated Plan’s existing housing market analysis. According to HUD, this rule seeks to “promote a balanced planning process that more fully considers the housing, environment, and economic needs of communities.”
Under the new rule, States and local governments must analyze the broadband needs (i.e., broadband wiring and connection to broadband service in the household unit, or the need for additional broadband Internet service providers to increase competition) of housing occupied by low- and moderate-income (LMI) households, including housing in rural areas. The rule also requires States and local governments to assess the vulnerability of housing units occupied by LMI households to increased natural hazard risks, particularly risks associated with climate change.
HUD does not expect the new regulations to result in significant additional expenses and administrative burden to jurisdictions since the requirements are similar to existing planning requirements, and the data necessary is readily available on the internet. HUD plans to input data for both broadband and resilience assessment requirements within the Consolidated Plan pre-populated data tables for use by jurisdictions, though jurisdictions can opt to use other data of their choice. HUD will provide grantees with this data early in Fiscal Year 2018.
Compliance with the requirements of the final rule will apply to Consolidated Plans submitted on or after January 1, 2018. Additional coverage of this final rule will available in the forthcoming edition the NAHRO Monitor (members only).