COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Virginia Community Development Block Grant Program
Public Hearing – Information on Funds Available
Messrs. Tucker, Elliott, Davis, and White
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
February 6, 2008
ACTION: X INFORMATION:
The Virginia Community Development Block Grant (VCDBG) is a federally-funded grant program administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Since 1982, the DHCD has provided funding to eligible units of local government (non-entitlement communities only) for projects which address critical community needs including housing, infrastructure, and economic development. Albemarle County has received numerous grants in previous years to support housing and community improvement initiatives.
The VCDBG application process requires that two local public hearings be conducted. The purpose of the first public hearing is to provide information on eligible activities that may be funded by CDBG, the amount of funding estimated to be available, past activities undertaken with CDBG funds and to receive public comment on this information. The follow-up public hearing is held in order to consider proposed project applications and must take place prior to the application due date of March 26, 2008. Applications are to be submitted by the County to DHCD; however, the proposed activities may be undertaken by other agencies.
By June 30, 2010, working in partnership with others, increase affordable housing opportunities for those who work and/or live in Albemarle County.
Albemarle County, as a non-entitlement community, is eligible to apply to 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. Since the production of affordable housing for homeownership is one of the priority strategies for the County, CDBG funds could be targeted for design and construction of site improvements to support the creation of affordable housing and/or for construction of actual units 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 while 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. This $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.
For a project to be considered by the County for CDBG funding, the applicant is required to submit a notice of intent to request CDBG funds to the Office of Housing no later than February 12, 2008. This notice must include a brief description of the project, proposed use of CDBG funds and a description of the beneficiaries of the proposed activity. A completed application, less attachments but inclusive of the proposed development budget, shall be submitted to the Office of Housing electronically no later than March 3, 2008 while the entire application must be received no later than March 15, 2008.
The Office of Housing has received a notice of intent to request CDBG funding from the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program which plans to request up to $700,000 for the design and construction of on-site infrastructure for its proposed Treesdale Park project on Rio Road. This project will provide 90 units of affordable rental housing.
There is no budgetary impact unless or until an application is made and approved for a funded project. However, projects applying for CDBG generally require some level of local financial support. Albemarle County has been successful in the past using some of its annual contributions to affordable housing as local support for projects.
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 19, 2008 for the second required public hearing to review any proposed applications.
Return to regular agenda