COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE
Community Development Block Grant Program
Public Hearing for Proposed Submission of Block Grant Applications
Messrs. Tucker, Davis, Elliott, White
LEGAL REVIEW: Yes
March 19, 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 first public hearing was held on February 6, 2008 at which time information was provided on eligible activities that may be funded by VCDBG, the amount of funding estimated to be available, past activities undertaken with VCDBG funds and the process for applying for funding. There was no public comment tendered at that hearing. The purpose of this public hearing is to provide information on proposed project applications and to accept public comment on the applications. Applications are submitted by the County to DHCD; however, the proposed activities may be undertaken by other agencies. Albemarle County can submit one or more applications but is limited to awards totaling no more than $2.5 million.
Objective 1.2 By June 30, 2010, working in partnership with others, increase affordable housing opportunities for those who work and/or live in Albemarle County.
Two project applications with eligible activities under VCDBG guidelines were submitted for consideration by the Board. Both projects are requesting $700,000, the maximum allowed for the proposed activity of providing funding for on-site infrastructure associated with housing production projects. A detailed project description and proposed development budget are included in the two attachments. Following is a brief summary of each proposal:
Treesdale Park Apartments (Attachment A) is a proposed ninety (90) unit rental development on Rio Road to be undertaken by the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP). VCDBG funds would be used for site development, roads, sidewalks, and installation of water and sewer lines. AHIPís development budget includes over $9 million in equity financing through the federal low-income housing tax credit program for which an application was submitted in February. AHIP is proposing that the County seek VCDBG funds in the form of a grant that would become a deferred loan to the project with repayment at the end of the tax credit compliance period at which time AHIP will have first right-of-refusal to purchase the property.
Crozet Meadows Senior Housing (Attachment B) involves the renovation of twenty-eight (28) existing rental units and the development of thirty-eight (38) new rental units in Crozet. The project is a joint venture between Jordan Development Corporation, the current owner, and the Piedmont Housing Alliance. VCDBG funds would be used for site work, roads, and
installation of water and sewer lines. Crozet Meadows has also submitted an application for federal low-income housing tax credits. As with Treesdale, VCDBG funds for Crozet Meadows will be requested in the form of a grant and deferred loan.
It is important to the financial feasibility of both proposed developments that VCDBG funds be awarded to the County as a grant so that the County can provide deferred loans to the developments. DHCD's program guidelines indicate that funding for on-site infrastructure would be repayable at the completion and occupancy of the development. Such a funding structure could result in an increase in rents of $20 to $50 per month. County staff has met with DHCD staff to emphasize the importance of using VCDBG funding as long-term deferred financing and the Housing Committee followed up with a letter (Attachment C) to stress the need for a grant to the County so that the County can make a deferred loans to the proposed developments. DHCD staff encouraged the County to proceed with the applications making a case for the need for deferred loans to both developments. If one or both proposals are awarded VCDBG funds, there will be additional opportunities to address this issue, if it still exists, prior to executing a contract with DHCD.
There is no budgetary impact unless or until an application is made and approved for a funded project. Fifty-six thousand dollars is included in each application to cover administrative and project management costs for the funded activities. Projects applying for VCDBG 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. In addition, the Crozet Crossings Housing Trust Fund has approved awards to Treesdale Park for $252,000 and Crozet Meadows in the amount of $134,400. The Board of Supervisors will be requested to appropriate these funds, currently available in a restricted account, as the projects move forward.
Staff recommends that the Board, after receiving information on the proposed VCDBG applications and taking public comment on the proposals, adopt the two resolutions (Attachments E and F) approving submission of the applications, and authorize the County Executive to execute the applications and required certifications and assurances for both proposals (Attachments F through H).
A. Treesdale Park Proposal
B. Crozet Meadows Proposal
C. Housing Committee Letter to DHCD
D. Treesdale Resolution
E. Crozet Meadows Resolution
F. General Assurances
G. Public Participation
H. Drug-free Workplace
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