HOME Program

HCD will use 10% of the annual HOME allocation for administration of the program. Funds will also be set-aside for use by Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs). HOME regulations require that at least 15% of HOME funds be made available for activities by qualified CHDOs. CHDOs can use HOME funds for any eligible HOME activity but only certain activities count toward the 15% minimum set-aside. The department will also allocate 5% of the HOME funds for CHDO operating expenses. HOME assistance for operating expenses in each fiscal year may not exceed $50,000 or 50% of the CHDO’s total annual operating expenses for that year, whichever is greater.

The remaining funds will be available to sub-recipients throughout the fiscal year as gap financing for eligible housing activities under this Action Plan.

ACC HOME Funding Policy as approved by the Mayor and Commission

To maximize the impact of HOME program funds and leverage public and private resources, HOME funds will be available as “gap financing” for eligible housing activities under the HOME Investment Partnership Program. Applications for HOME funds will be accepted on a “first come, funds available” basis on affordable housing developments where:
• the proposed property site has been identified;
• total development costs have been projected (including sales price and/or rental rates); and
• additional financial resources have been secured and committed.

Applications for HOME funds are accepted where the proposed property site has been identified, total development costs projected (including sales price and/or rental rates), and additional financial resources secured and committed. This will enable HCD to determine the actual investment of HOME funds required to make the development financially feasible and provide increased housing opportunities for decent, safe, and affordable housing for low to moderate income households in Athens-Clarke County. All HOME awards and associated contracts must be approved by the ACC Mayor and Commission. Contact HCD for the most recent HOME Loan Application and an estimated time line for application review.

Key Points from HUD Notice: CPD -15-09 regarding the HOME Program.

Acquiring land with HOME funds

Land banking is not permitted under the HOME Program. Under 92.205(a)(2), land can only be acquired for a specific local project, with construction scheduled to begin within 12 months of commitment.

Preliminary Awards:
In accordance with 92.504(c)(3), the PJ may make a preliminary award of HOME funds for a proposed project, contingent on conditions such as obtaining other financing for the project. BUT, this preliminary award is not a commitment to a project. This can be used to facilitate applications for other financing, and other preliminary award letters issued as the result of a competitive funding process. Preliminary awards are not commitments and cannot be entered into IDIS. PJ may not make a preliminary award of HOME funds for a specific project prior to completion of environmental review requirements.
A preliminary award is not the same as a "conditional commitment". Conditional commitments pending completion of environmental review process prior to the commitment of any funds, including HUD or non-HUD funds, once an application has been submitted. Mostly likely done for the purpose of meeting the 24-month commitment deadline. Conditioned on the PJ's determination to proceed with, modify or cancel the project based on the results of the environmental review. HUD recommends certain language.

Project completion deadline 4 years
Amending a written agreement to add additional funds does not extend the completion deadline.

Estimated timeline for HOME Application Review

HCD initial review and response..............................................................15 business days

Consult with applicant to review additional information needs.................... 5 business days

Applicant responds with additional information..........................................5 business days

HCD reviews additional information for accuracy and completeness............5 business days

Environmental clearance (NEPA)..............................................................35 days
Along with other NEPA review requirements, the next step involves the GA Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Division (HPD) Section 106 Review that may take as long as 45 days from the date of the Section 106 Review request.

Mayor and Commission review.............................................................. 45 days
If HCD staff recommends funding for a project an agenda report is developed and submitted to the Manager for review on at the end of each month. If approved by Management, the Mayor and Commission would review the agenda report at an Agenda Setting Session which is the third Tuesday of each month. The Mayor and Commission would then entertain a vote for approval of the funding on the first Tuesday of the following month.

Contract review and execution................................................................... 30 days
If approved by the Mayor and Commission HCD then prepares a contract for funding. After execution of the contract by the applicant, HCD then processes the contract through the ACC Attorney’s office for review and final execution by the Mayor.

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