COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Community Development Block Grant Funds

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Public Hearing – Information of funds available

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Bob Tucker, Roxanne White, Larry Davis, Ron White

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

January 11, 2006

 

ACTION:     X                          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:                               INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:     No

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

Local citizen participation is encouraged throughout the process of developing application(s) for funding through the Virginia Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.  To facilitate participation two public hearings are required. At the first hearing, information is provided to the Board and to the public on funding availability, the County’s housing and community development needs, and performance on past CDBG-funded activities, and input is solicited from the public on potential community improvement needs.

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

Goal 3.2:  Promote a variety of safe, sanitary and affordable housing types.

 

DISCUSSION:

Albemarle County, as a non-entitlement community, is eligible to apply to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for up to $2.5 million in CDBG funding for projects that benefit low- and moderate-income persons, prevent slums and blight, or address urgent community needs.  Eligible activities include economic development, housing rehabilitation, housing production, community facilities, and community service facilities. Production of affordable housing for homeownership is one of the priority strategies for the County.  CDBG funds could be used for design and construction of site improvements to support the creation of affordable housing.  CDBG funds may be used for construction costs when a neighborhood-based non-profit has primary responsibility for the development of the new housing.  Housing production projects may receive up to $700,000.  Housing rehabilitation projects may receive up to $1,000,000.

 

Albemarle County has been successful in receiving a number of CDBG awards over the years, the most recent being a grant to construct a community center at Whitewood Village Apartments, now known as Parks Edge Apartments.  The center was completed in September 2004 and is the site for after-school programs conducted by the YMCA, financial literacy classes, GED classes and employment counseling/assistance.  Prior to this project, CDBG funds were awarded for a comprehensive community improvement initiative for the Porters Road/Yancey School neighborhood.  The $770,000 CDBG award leveraged over $2 million in other public and private funds to rehabilitate 28 houses, demolish 13 dilapidated houses, construct five new houses, and create a community park and community center. 

 

While there remains a scattered need for housing improvement in the County, it should be noted that less than 1% of the existing housing stock is considered poor or substandard according to County assessment records.  A greater need is the production of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families.

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

Any potential budget impact cannot be assessed without identifying a specific project.  CDBG applications generally require some level of local support.  Albemarle County has been successful in receiving awards using funds appropriated to the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS:

Staff recommends that the Board receive information on available CDBG funding and eligible uses and hold the public hearing to receive input from the public on potential community development and housing needs.  Staff also recommends that the Board set a public hearing for Wednesday, March 8, 2006 for the second required public hearing to review any proposed applications.

 

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