Community Development, Economic Development, and Housing

Note: Most of the programs on this page are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Community Affairs at the federal level.In addition to the specific Web sites listed for each program below, HUD has developed an ARRA portal at http://www.hud.gov/recovery/.The portal may have more up-to-date information on funding allocations and other matters than the program-specific pages.

Note: Some of the programs on this page are administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) at the state level. In addition to the specific Web sites listed for each program below, TDHCA has developed an ARRA portal at http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/recovery/index.htm.The portal may have more up-to-date information on funding allocations and other matters than the program-specific pages.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Updated May 11

Total Funding Available: $1.0 Billion

Total Texas Funding Available: $67.8 million ($19.5 million to non-entitlement cities)

Overview:
CDBG funds may be used to provide affordable housing, services, and jobs for the most vulnerable in our communities. Generally, appropriations are allocated to states and local jurisdictions. Entitlement communities are comprised of central cities of metropolitan statistical areas; metropolitan cities with populations of at least 50,000; and qualified urban counties with a population of 200,000 or more (excluding the populations of entitlement cities). States distribute CDBG funds to non-entitlement communities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) determines the amount of each grant by using a formula comprised of several measures of community need, including the extent of poverty, population, housing overcrowding, age of housing, and population growth lag in relationship to other metropolitan areas.Not less than 70 percent of CDBG funds must be used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons. In addition, each activity must meet one of the following objectives: benefit low- and moderate-income persons, prevention or elimination of slums or blight, or address community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community for which other funding is not available.

Special Factors:
There are certain differences between the regular CDBG program and the CDBG program authorized by the federal stimulus bill.Under the CDBG program authorized by the federal stimulus, cities must give priority to projects that can award contracts based on bids within 120 days of the grant agreement, and CDBG funds cannot be used for casinos, aquariums, zoos, golf courses, or swimming pools.

How to Access Funding:
CDBG entitlement cities must submit their application to their HUD field office by June 5, 2009.The application should take the form of a substantial amendment to the program year 2008 action plan.The state, through the Texas Office of Rural and Community Affairs (ORCA), must submit its application to the HUD field office by June 29, 2009.ORCA will then provide guidance for non-entitlement cities to apply for CDBG funds.
Entitlement cities that haven’t yet applied for funds under the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program may combine the application for that program with the CDBG application in a single substantial amendment to the cities’ 2008 action plan.A city choosing this option must send the combined application to their HUD field office by May 18, 2009.

Federal Contact:

Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant Program:
http://www.hud.gov/recovery/cdblock.cfm

State Contact:

Texas Office of Rural and Community Affairs:
http://www.orca.state.tx.us/index.php/Community+Development/CDBG+General+Info

Neighborhood Stabilization Program Updated June 18

Total Funding Available: $2.0 billion

Total Texas Funding Available: Unknown

Overview:
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program provides emergency assistance to state and local governments to acquire and redevelop foreclosed properties that might otherwise become sources of abandonment and blight within their communities. The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) provides grants to purchase foreclosed or abandoned homes and to rehabilitate, resell, or redevelop these homes in order to stabilize neighborhoods and stem the decline of house values of neighboring homes. The $2 billion in new funding may be used for the same purposes as provided in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (with some changes), but all funds will be awarded through a competitive grants process rather than by formula.

Special Factors:
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development will ensure grants are made in areas of greatest number and percentages of foreclosures. Additional consideration will be given for grantee capacity to execute projects, leveraging potential, concentration of investment to achieve neighborhood stabilization, and other factors at the discretion of the Secretary.The Secretary will obligate all funding within one year. Eligible entities are states, local governments and nonprofit entities. The Secretary can also establish minimum grant size. Grantees must expend at least 50 percent of funds within 2 years, and all of the funds within 3 years. There are several other rules that apply to leasing and rights of subsequent property owners after they take interest in a formally foreclosed property.

How to Access Funding:
On May 4, HUD released its Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the NSP funds provided under the federal stimulus bill. Eligible cities’ applications for NSP funding must be submitted in paper form to HUD by 5:00 p.m. on July 17, 2009. According to HUD, proposals for funding generally will be judged based on the following guidelines: (1) capacity of the lead applicant to execute projects; (2) leveraging potential; and (3) concentration of investment to achieve neighborhood stabilization.

Additionally, HUD will award $50 million in Technical Assistance Grants to NSP grantees to improve management of their NSP program.Applications for these grants are due by June 8, 2009.

For more details on the allocation of the NSP funds, and to access the NOFA, please visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/neighborhoodspg/arrafactsheet.cfm.For more information on the Technical Assistance Grants, please visit http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/neighborhoodspg/nspta.cfm.

Federal Contact:

Department of Housing and Urban Development Neighborhood Stabilization Program:
www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/communitydevelopment/programs/neighborhoodspg/

State Contact:

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs:
http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/recovery/detail-nsp.htm

HOME Investment Partnerships

Total Funding Available: $2.25 Billion

Total Texas Funding Available: $150 Million

Overview:
HOME provides formula grants to States and localities that communities use, often in partnership with local nonprofit groups , to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, and rehabilitate affordable housing for rent. This grant provides an additional amount for capital investments in low-income housing tax credit projects.

Special Factors:
Funds remain available to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) until September 30, 2009. Housing credit agencies must commit at least 25 percent of funds within one year of enactment, 75 percent in two years, and all funding in three years. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may recapture funds if timelines are not met.Priority is to be given to projects that are expected to be completed within three years of enactment. In addition, projects that were awarded low income housing tax credits under section 42(h) of the Internal Revenue Code in FYs 2008, 2009, and 2010 are specifically eligible.

How to Access Funding:
Funding to state housing credit agencies is per a formula based on percentage of HOME funds apportioned to the state. State agencies then distribute competitively to project owners per a qualified allocation plan to owners who receive low income tax credits.

Federal Contact:

Department of Housing and Urban Development Home Investment Partnership Program: www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/affordablehousing/programs/home/

State Contact:

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs:
http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/recovery/detail-tcap.htm

Public Housing Capital Fund (Updated May 15)

Total Funding Available: $4.0 Billion ($3.0 Billion per formula; $1 Billion competitive)

Total Texas Funding Available: $119.8 million

Overview:
$3 billion to public housing authorities per formula for the Public Housing Capital Fund for capital improvements related to public housing. Money will become available to public housing agencies within 30 days of signing the bill. In addition, there is another $1 billion for public housing authorities in competitive grants for priority capital improvements and rehabilitation. Funding remains available until September 30, 2009.

Special Factors:
Grantees must obligate all funding in one year; then spend 60 percent of funds within two years, and 100 percent of the funds in three years.The U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development can recapture funds if timelines are not met. Funds must be used to supplement, not supplant, other funding sources. Priority is given to projects that can award contracts in 120 days. In the competitive grant program, priority is given to rehabilitation of vacant rental units, projects within five year capital improvement plans, and capital projects that can be awarded in 120 days from receipt of funding.

How to Access Funding:

The $3 billion to be distributed to public housing authorities under the same formula used in 2008, except that the Secretary may determine not to allocate funding to “troubled” or to agencies that elect not to accept funding.

HUD will begin accepting applications for the $1 billion in competitive grants on June 1st, and will award the grants for the following categories:

  • Energy Efficiency: $600 million is available for public housing authorities to create more energy efficient public housing units.
  • Financing Stalled Projects: $200 million is available to allow public housing authorities to develop or renovate public housing projects stalled due to lack of resources.
  • Public Housing Transformation: $100 million is available to transform obsolete public housing projects into newly built or renovated developments.
  • Housing for the Elderly/Persons with Disabilities: $95 million is available to improve public housing units and create community facilities for the delivery of medical and other services to this vulnerable population.

Applications for energy efficiency grants are due by July 21st, and grants for the other three categories are due by August 18th.

Federal Contact:

Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Capitol Improvements, Public and Indian Housing:
www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/ph/capfund/index.cfm.

Homelessness Prevention Fund (Updated June 18)

Total Funding Available: $1.5 billion

Total Texas Funding Available: $104 million ($41 million to be allocated at state level through the Emergency Shelter Grant Program)

Overview:
For homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing activities. Specifically, the funds can be used for short-term or medium-term rental assistance, housing relocations, and stabilization services (including housing search, mediation, outreach to property owners, credit repair, security or utility deposits, utility payments, rental assistance for a final month at location, moving cost assistance, and case management) for homelessness prevention or re-housing to recently homeless.

How to Access Funding:
Funding is provided per the Emergency Shelter Grant Program to grantees under formula authorized by Section 413 of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development will establish additional requirements as necessary within 30 days of enactment. For more details on the program and how to access funding (including federal funding amounts to eligible Texas cities), please visit http://www.hud.gov/recovery/hrp-notice.pdf.

Federal Contact:

Department of Housing and Urban Development Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program: http://www.hudhre.info/index.cfm?do=viewHPRP.

State Contact:

Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Emergency Shelter Grant Program:
http://www.tdhca.state.tx.us/recovery/detail-homelessness.htm.

Assisted Housing Stability and Energy and Green Retrofit Programs

Total Funding Available: $2.25 billion

Total Texas Funding Available: Unknown

Overview:
$2 billion for project-based rental assistance (e.g., “Section 8”) for a 12-month period. In addition, $250 million for grants or loans for energy retrofit and green investments in such assisted housing.

Special Factors:
Funds must be expended in two years. Projects funded with grants or loans must comply with federal prevailing wage laws (cited in the bill as subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code). The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development may establish terms to ensure the maintenance and preservation of the property, the continued operation and maintenance of energy efficiency technologies, and timely expenditure of funds. The Secretary may also provide incentives to owners to undertake energy or green retrofits as part of such grants or loans, including fees to cover investment oversight and implementation, or to encourage job creation for low-income of very low-income individuals. Secretary may share in a portion of future property utility savings. Property owner must commit to an additional period of affordability not less than 15 years. Secretary may establish other provisions in implementing the program.

How to Access Funding:
Housing assistance per formula, Energy and Green Retrofit per competitive grants and loans under process to be developed by HUD secretary.

Federal Contact:

Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Housing Choice Vouchers:
www.hud.gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/.

Office of Affordable Housing Preservation:
www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/omhar/.

State Contact:

Not applicable or unknown at this time.

Economic Development Administration

Total Funding Available: $150 million

Total Texas Funding Available:Unknown

Overview:
The funding provision specifically refers to leveraging private investment, stimulating employment, and increasing incomes in economically distressed communities. Generally, the Economic Development Administration (within the Department of Commerce) assists state and local interests with the design and implementation of strategies to adjust or bring about change in distressed economic areas. The program focuses on areas that have experienced or are under threat of serious structural damage to the underlying economic base. It also aids the long-range economic development of areas with severe unemployment and low family income problems, and aids in the development of public facilities and private enterprises to help create new, permanent jobs.

Special Factors:
$50 million set aside for Economic Adjustment Assistance with priority given to areas suffering sudden severe dislocation and job loss due to corporate restructuring. Additional $50 million set may be transferred to federally-authorized regional economic development commissions.

How to Access Funding:
Unknown at this time.

Federal Contact:

Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration:
www.eda.gov.

State Contact:

Not applicable or unknown at this time.

Community Development Financial Institutions

Total Funding Available: $100 million

Total Texas Funding Available:Unknown

Overview:
According to the Web site of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Community Development Entities (CDEs) provide capital, credit, and financial services in economically distressed communities. These community-based lenders are used to responsibly deploy resources to support homeowners and businesses. The legislation appropriates an additional $100 million, of which $90 million will apply to the CDFI Program, $8 million to the Native Initiatives, and $2 million to administrative expenses.

Special Factors:
Secretary of Treasury to submit detailed expenditure plan 60 days after enactment.

How to Access Funding:
Not yet determined (subject to discretionary plan).

Federal Contact:

Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund:
http://www.cdfifund.gov/.

State Contact:

Not applicable or unknown at this time

Lead Paint Removal

Total Funding Available: $100 million

Total Texas Funding Available: $3.9 million ($3 million available for the City of Galveston through the Lead Based Paint Hazard Control Grant Program and $900,000 available to Harris County through the Healthy Homes Demonstration Grant Program).

Overview:
Competitive grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations for lead paint removal related to older and low income housing.

Federal Contact:

Department of Housing and Urban Development Lead Hazard Reduction Program:
www.hud.gov/offices/lead/lbp/lhc.cfm.

Corporation for National and Community Service

Total Funding Available: $160 million

Total Texas Funding Available: Unknown

Overview: According to its Web site, the Corporation for National and Community Service is the nation’s largest grant maker supporting service and volunteering. Specifically, among other programs, it supports Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs

Special Factors:
Non-federal share waiver discretionary.$89 million is set aside for existing AmeriCorps grantees and an additional $40 million is set aside for the National Service Trust.

How to Access Funding:
Unknown at this time.

Federal Contact:

Corporation for National and Community Service:
www.nationalservice.org.

Updated March 9: Rural Community Facilities Program Account

Total Funding Available: $130 million

Total Texas Funding Available: Unknown

Overview: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Programs handles the Rural Community Facilities Program Account, which provides grants and loans for eligible cities and other entities with a population of less than 20,000. This is a current program that already provides grants and loans, and the money in the stimulus bill appears to be additional funding.

Loan and grant funds may be used to construct, enlarge, or improve community facilities for schools, libraries, health care, fire and rescue stations, police stations, community centers, public buildings and transportation. These funds can include costs to acquire land needed for a facility, pay necessary professional fees, and purchase equipment required for its operation.

Special Factors:
Applicant cities must have a population of 20,000 or less. Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants.

How to Access Funding:
Applications are handled by USDA Rural Development field offices. Applications are accepted year-round and additional information can be found by calling the Rural Development field office that services the county in which a city is located. The USDA Community Programs office suggests submitting applications as soon as a city needs to fund an eligible project, even though full stimulus information is not available yet.

Federal Contact:
Contact the Texas field office that covers the county in which the city is located. A list of field offices is available at: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/tx/Employee%20Directory-JAN-2009.doc.

Updated March 13:Rural Business Program Account

Total Funding Available: $150 million

Total Texas Funding Available: Unknown

Overview:
The funding provided to the Rural Business Program Account will go to both the Rural Business and Industry Guaranteed Loans Program (RBIGL), and to the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program (RBEG).The RBIGL program is to receive $130 million in additional funds, and the RBEG program is to receive $20 million in additional funds.Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the purpose of both programs is to finance and develop business, industry, and employment in rural communities.For more details on both of these programs, go to: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/busp/bprogs.htm.

Special Factors:
“Rural communities” include cities with a population of less than 50,000 that are not in the urbanized area contiguous to a city with a population exceeding 50,000.

How to Access Funding:
Applications are handled by USDA Rural Development field offices.Applications are accepted year-round and additional information can be found by calling the Rural Development field office that services the county in which a city is located.The USDA Community Programs office suggests submitting applications as soon as a city needs to fund an eligible project, even though full stimulus information is not available yet.

Federal Contact:
Contact the Texas field office that covers the county in which the city is located.A list of field offices is available at:http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/tx/Employee%20Directory-JAN-2009.doc.

Updated March 16: Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program

Total Funding Available: $1.38 billion

Total Texas Funding Available: Unknown

Overview:
The funding provided to the Rural Water and Waste Disposal Program will go to both the Rural Water and Waste Disposal Direct Loan Program ($412 million) and the Rural Water and Waste Disposal Grants Program ($968 million).The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers these funds to certain cities and rural areas to construct and/or modify water, sewer, storm water, and solid waste disposal facilities.The funds can also go towards acquiring land, water sources, and water rights, as well as paying the legal and engineering fees associated with the development of these facilities.

Special Factors:
Only cities with a population of less than 10,000 are eligible for these funds.

How to Access Funding:
Applications are handled by USDA Rural Development field offices.Applications are accepted year-round and additional information can be found by calling the Rural Development field office that services the county in which a city is located.The USDA Community Programs office suggests submitting applications as soon as a city needs to fund an eligible project, even though full stimulus information is not available yet.

Federal Contact:
Contact the Texas field office that covers the county in which the city is located.A list of field offices is available at:
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/tx/Employee%20Directory-JAN-2009.doc.