COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

 

 

AGENDA TITLE:

Virginia Community Development Block Grant Program

 

 

SUBJECT/PROPOSAL/REQUEST:

Public Hearing Information on Funds Available

 

 

STAFF CONTACT(S):

Messrs. Tucker, Elliott, Davis, and White

 

 

LEGAL REVIEW:   Yes

 

AGENDA DATE:

January 7, 2009

 

ACTION:     X          INFORMATION:   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

  ACTION:              INFORMATION:   

 

 

ATTACHMENTS:   No

 

 

REVIEWED BY:

 

 

 

BACKGROUND:

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 and potential community development and housing needs.  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 April 8, 2009. Applications are to be submitted by the County to DHCD; however, the proposed activities may be undertaken by other agencies. 

 

 

STRATEGIC PLAN:

By June 30, 2010, working in partnership with others, increase affordable housing opportunities for those who work and/or live in Albemarle County.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

Albemarle County, as a non-entitlement community, is eligible to apply to DHCD for up to $1.8 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.  Community development projects can receive varying levels of funding depending on the nature of the activity.

 

Albemarle County has been successful in receiving a number of CDBG awards over the years.  The most recent award was in 2008 to fund land development and infrastructure costs for the Crozet Meadows Apartment development.  That project will include the rehabilitation of 28 existing rental units and the construction of 38 new rental units to provide affordable housing to senior citizens. In 2004, the County funded the construction of a community center at Whitewood Village Apartments, now known as Parks Edge Apartments, using CDBG funds.  The center is used for after-school programs conducted by the YMCA, financial literacy classes, GED classes and employment counseling/assistance in addition to a place where residents can meet.  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 January 30, 2009.  This notice must include a brief description of the project, the 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 6, 2009 while the entire application must be received no later than March 20, 2009.

 

The Office of Housing has had discussions with the Albemarle County Service Authority regarding a possible application for CDBG funding for the extension of sanitary sewer lines to serve the Oak Hill Subdivision. 

 

 

BUDGET IMPACT:

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. 

 

 

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, April 1, 2009 for the second required public hearing to review any proposed applications.

 

 

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