HUD Issues 19 CPD Waivers to Help Disaster Recovery

In order to aid communities and accelerate disaster recovery for those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, HUD has announced a package of 19 regulatory and administrative waivers for the following Community Planning and Development (CPD) programs:  The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program.

According to HUD, this waiver package represents the largest collections of regulatory and administrative waivers ever issued by the Department at one time. State and local grantees located in major disaster declared areas can now access a waiver through a new simplified notification process. HUD’s flexibilities include: Continue reading

What to Know About the CDBG Disaster Recovery Program

Last month, President Trump signed H.R. 601 into law, providing $15.25 billion in disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey. Of the amount, $7.4 billion goes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help meet immediate needs, and $450 million to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for disaster-relief loans. The remaining $7.4 billion goes to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program for disaster relief and long-term recovery. This blog will explain what the CDBG-DR program is and how funds will be allocated and administered to disaster impacted communities.

Continue reading

HUD Webinar on Procurement Requirements for CDBG Disaster Recovery Programs

On September 19, 2017 at 1:00 PM EDT, HUD will host a webinar titled “Buying Right: CDBG-DR and Procurement A Guide to Recovery,” which will focus on procurement requirements for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Disaster Recovery programs. This webinar will cover the latest procurement guidance under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Uniform Guidance as provided in 2 CFR Part 200. This 1.5 hour webinar is designed for all CDBG and CDBG-DR grantees, especially staff charged with purchasing goods and services.

Participants will learn:

  • Roadmap of the procurement process
  • Procurement methods for different types of goods and services
  • Best practices to ensure compliance with the Uniform Guidance requirements
  • Common pitfalls in procuring goods and services by grantees

Register for the webinar here.

HUD, IRS Announce Disaster Assistance for Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Earlier this week, HUD announced that the Department will expedite federal disaster assistance to the State of Texas and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters that are left without a home due to Hurricane Harvey.

Currently, President Trump has issued a disaster declaration for 18 counties in Texas: Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Wharton. More counties may be added at a later date.

HUD’s disaster assistance will include: Continue reading

HUD Publishes FY 2017 CPD Formula Allocations

Today, HUD released the FY 2017 allocations for the Department’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) formula grant programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) , Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Housing Trust Fund (HTF).

For FY 2017, states and local communities across the nation will receive approximately $3.0 billion in CDBG, $958 million in HOME, $320 million in HOPWA, $270 million in ESG, and $219 million in HTF funding. These amounts reflect approved grant reductions and reallocated funds for the CDBG and HOME programs.

The CPD allocations can be found online here.

HUD Issues Waiver for a Citizen Participation Requirement in CPD Programs

On May 10, HUD’s Office of Community Planing and Development (CPD) issued a waiver that concerns the 30-day public comment standard for CPD formula grantees submitting their FY 2017 consolidated plan or action plan to HUD.

As a consequence of Congress’s seven month delay in passing a FY 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) spending bill, there is now insufficient time for CPD grantees to complete their pre-submission or pre-amendment citizen participation process before the statutory August 16, 2017 submission deadline – if HUD does not receive a consolidated plan or action plan by this date, a grantee automatically loses its FY 2017 CDBG funding.

To help ensure grantees do not lose their FY 2107 funding, HUD’s waiver replaces the regulatory 30-day citizen participation public comment period with a minimum 14-day comment period. This waiver applies to all CPD grantees and is in effect only until August 16, 2017.

FY2017 Omnibus Spending Bill Agreement

On Monday, May 1st, an agreed to fiscal year 2017 omnibus appropriations bill was released. The spending deal would fund the Federal government through September 30, 2017. This omnibus must still be voted on in the House and Senate and then be signed by the President but there is optimism and agreement among the parties involved.

The omnibus provides the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with $38.8 billion for fiscal year 2017, which is a 1 percent increase over fiscal year 2016 levels. Below is a brief breakdown of a few of the HUD program areas. The NAHRO Policy Team will continue to analyze the omnibus and will provide a deep dive analysis once the omnibus becomes law.

Public Housing (PH)

The omnibus funds the PH Operating Fund at $4.4 billion, which is $100 million less than fiscal year 2016.

The PH Capital Fund is funded at $1.9415 billion, an increase of $41.5 million from fiscal year 2016. This capital funding includes set-asides of $35 million for Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS), $25 million for new Competitive Lead-Based Paint Hazard Grants, $21.5 million for Emergency Capital Needs, $15 million for Jobs Plus Pilot, and $10 million for PH Financial and Physical Assessment Activities.

Section 8

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance is funded in the omnibus at $20.292 billion, which is an increase of $663 million more than fiscal year 2016. This amount includes set-asides for Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Renewals funded at $18.355 billion, Ongoing Administrative Fees at $1.640 billion, Special and Ongoing Administrative Fees at $10 million, Tenant Protection Vouchers at $110 million, and new Incremental Vouchers at $57 million. The Mobility Demonstration program is not funded in the FY2017 omnibus appropriation bill.

Community Development

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the HOME Investments Partnerships Program (HOME) have flat funding at $3 billion and $950 million respectively.

The Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) is funded at $356 million, an increase of $21 million from FY2016 and the Homeless Assistance Grants are funded at $2.383 billion, an increase of $133 million over FY2016 levels.

Other Rental and Service Programs

The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is funded at the same level as FY2016, $75 million.

Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance increased $196 million from FY 2016 levels to $10.816 billion.

The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program did not receive any additional funding but the cap on the number of units eligible for the program was increased from 185,000 to 225,000 and the RAD program was extended from 2018 to 2020.

The Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks) was funded at $140 million with $5 million to be used for a multi-family rental housing program.

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness is funded at $3.6 million and is extended to October 1, 2018.

CDBG Impact Stories in Washington County, Minnesota

During National Community Development Week, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

CDBG is a flexible federal program and Washington County, Minnesota has used CDBG dollars to strengthen their communities through a wide variety of projects:

  • Affordable senior housing so that the elderly population may comfortably age in place;
  • zero percent home improvement loans for families and seniors to fund repairs that these homeowners might not otherwise be able to afford; and
  • an expanded local food bank so that additional fresh produce and meats are available to their growing number of clients.
Project name Piccadilly Square Senior Housing BuildingPiccadilly Square
Location Mahtomedi, Minnesota
District MN-04
Project year 2015
Use of CDBG funds Soil remediation for redevelopment
Project Description The Piccadilly Square Senior Housing Building is a 79-unit affordable senior housing development for seniors 62 or older with incomes at or below $35,000. Developed through the joint effort of the Washington County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and a private developer, CDBG funds were used for soil remediation of 3 acres for redevelopment of a former restaurant site at the edge of downtown Mahtomedi.

Piccadilly Square enables seniors to age in place. A senior service coordinator is available to all tenants to proactively problem solve issues affecting seniors ability to live well and safely in their units.  Building design includes: 5 wheelchair accessible units and 9 units with accessible communication features for residents who are deaf or hearing impaired; roll-in showers in all units; ample space in unit and common area spaces for walker/wheelchair mobility; no threshold curb at main entry; and two elevators.

Target population Low-income, elderly
Amount of CDBG funds $352,709
Other project funds; leverage $14,078,516; 1:98. HOME, 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, Tax Exempt bonds, Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Metropolitan Council Livable Community Act funds, and City fee waivers.
Jobs created 28 temporary jobs
Project impact Not only does the apartment complex allow low-income seniors to comfortably age in place (full occupancy of the 79-unit building is expected in summer of 2017), but this project has contributed to the beautification of the downtown area. The restaurant previously located on the site had been shuttered since 2005 and was badly deteriorating. The project called for razing the building and extensive environmental cleanup of the soil. City officials expect Piccadilly Square to “spur things happening in the downtown area.”
Contact Washington County Community Development Agency BDacy@wchra.com
Project name Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Loan ProgramWashington Co Loan Program
Location Throughout Washington County, Minnesota
District MN-02, MN-04, MN-06
Project year Yearly
Use of CDBG funds Homeowner housing rehabilitation
Project description Administered by the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC), this program offers deferred, 0% interest loans to homeowners in Washington County for home improvements to low-income families or seniors that might not otherwise be able to afford repairs.
Target population Families and the elderly
Amount of CDBG funds $207,000
Project impact 10 to 15 homes a year
Contact www.gmhchousing.org
   
Project name Hugo Good Neighbors Food ShelfHugo Food Shelf
Location Hugo, Minnesota
District MN-04
Project year 2014
Use of CDBG funds Land acquisition for construction so that HGNFS could move into a new and improved space.
Project description Opened in May 2009, the Hugo Good Neighbors Food Shelf (HGNFS) was started by a group of volunteers in response to the needs of their neighbors, whom were struggling to meet their financial obligations and provide food to their families. It was critical to the community that the food shelf conduct itself with a philosophy of operational transparency and as an independent, stand-alone Food Shelf, not affiliated with any other private organization. With this in mind, and with the full support of the City of Hugo, HGNFS was developed as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. Significant growth of HGNFS over the last seven years spurred the need for a larger space – the previous food shelf had been operating out of a small garage that housed the Hugo Fire Department’s fire truck over 30 years ago and had inadequate heating and cooling and no running water.
Target population Extremely low-income families, seniors, youth, homeless.
Amount of CDBG funds $70,000
Other project funds; leveraging Bank Loan $202,414; 1:4
Project impact In the early days, HGNFS served, on average, served 10 households per month. In 2012, the other food shelf located in the community closed its doors, leaving HGNFS as the sole provider of food shelf service for the growing community. As a result, clients have doubled and they now serve, on average, 125 households per month. Thanks to the CDBG program, the new building has the additional space needed to offer more fresh produce and meats to their clients.
 Contact  www.hugofoodshelf.org
   

CDBG Impact Story in Fort Collins, Colorado

During National Community Development Week, April 17-22, NAHRO celebrates the hard work of communities across the country by sharing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) impact stories, highlighting the importance of these federal affordable housing and community development programs at the local level.

Project Name Redtail Ponds Permanent Supportive Housing

Redtail Ponds

Location Fort Collins, Colorado
District CO-02
Project Year 2015
Project Description Redtail Ponds is a 4-story permanent supportive housing (PSH) development that offers 60 apartments for people with disabilities who have experienced homelessness. Multiple support services for those with substance abuse or mental health issues are located on site to help people gain stability in their lives. In a recent press coverage for the development, the columnist appropriately refers to Redtail Ponds as a “window of hope” since this award winning development demonstrates that “the best thing to be done for the homeless is not soup or pallets on a barren floor, but a place to assemble one’s life in peace.” In addition to apartments, Redtail Ponds features a community kitchen, fitness area, computer room, community garden and several common areas for residents to congregate.
Use of CDBG Funds Construction of housing
Target Population Homeless with disabilities and veterans with disabilities
CDBG Funds $1,391,077
Other Funds Leveraging: LIHTC Equity Investment, Colorado Division of Housing, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority Mortgage.
Jobs Created 40 jobs
Project Impact With its inspiring scenic view of the snow-covered Front Range, this project has provided homes for 60 residents, from 19-80 years old, including 22 veterans. After one year, 95% of the residents remained stably housed, 14 enrolled in employment training and 12 rejoined the workforce.

Quote from a beneficiary:

“When I came here and saw my apartment, I cried. I felt like I had gone from being a pauper to a princess virtually overnight. The majority of us here now have become like a family to each other. We care about each other. I have a send of joy and family that I was lacking.” –Cheryl

 Contact Housing Catalyst

National Community Development Week 2017 — April 17-22: Celebrating the Important Work of CDBG and HOME

NAHRO, along with fellow members of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Coalition, will be celebrating National Community Development Week, April 17-22, 2017. Over the course of this week, communities across the country will celebrate the work of the CDBG Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program.

The CDBG program provides grants to over 1,200 state and local governments and funds activities such as housing rehabilitation, business assistance, senior services, and infrastructure – to name a few. These activities are primarily targeted to low-income persons and households. Every $1.00 of CDBG leverages another $3.65 in other funding; bringing additional resources to communities that support jobs, businesses and, most importantly, the people who live in these communities.

HOME provides grants to over 600 State and local governments to create safe, decent and affordable housing, both rental and homeowner. HOME is a vital federal housing program that allows communities to leverage $4.20 of public and private dollars for every HOME dollar invested.

CDBG and HOME have been proposed for elimination in the President’s FY 2018 HUD budget and National Community Development Week provides the opportunity for Congressional Members and the community to see first-hand the results of these programs by touring projects, meeting with state and local staff and interacting directly with beneficiaries served by the programs.

NAHRO is urging members a to participate in National Community Development Week by supporting local project tours, issuing proclamations, engaging and educating Congressional Members on the programs, and reaching out to the media to promote the impact of CDBG and HOME. Here’s what you can can do:

Learn

Advocate

  • Contact and engage with your members of Congress to schedule meetings and plan a site visit of a local projects to show how these programs have helped your community. Remember –  Congress is in recess through April 23 and lawmakers will be back in their districts
  • Send letters to your legislators using NAHRO’s pre-drafted Advocacy Action Center letter telling Congress to take action today to finalize FY 2017 spending and pass a full-year Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending bill.
  • Join over 2,000 local, state and national organizations and sign on to the CDBG support letter seeking $3.3 billion for CDBG in FY 2018. This letter will be sent to Appropriations Committee leaders in May.

Spread the Word

  • Share your impact story by writing and submitting a Letter to the Editor or op-ed to your local newspaper. Make sure to mention your members of Congress so it gets picked up in their daily clips.
  • Join @NAHROnational on Twitter and elevate awareness of the need for – and the impact of – CDBG and HOME through tweets. Make sure to use the following hashtags: #CDBG #CDBGImpact #Fight4CDBG #HOME #HOMEImpact, and to tag your House and Senate representatives.
  • Follow and share the NAHRO Blog where we will post success stories of CDBG and HOME submitted by NAHRO members throughout week.

Connect with NAHRO

  • If your impact story was published in your local newspaper or you meet with your member of Congress, let us know! Please email Jenny Hsu at jhsu@nahro.org with a description of your advocacy efforts so that we can highlight your efforts with Congress once they are back in session.

CDBG Coalition Members: NAHRO, U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, National Community Development Association, Council of State Community Development Agencies, National Association for County Community and Economic Development, National Association of Development Organizations, American Planning Association, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Habitat for Humanity International, Feeding America, YWCA USA, Enterprise Community Partners, Rebuilding Together, National Recreation and Park Association, National Association of Regional Councils, National Urban League, International Economic Development Council, Heartland Alliance, The Trust for Public Land, and National Development Council