City Creates Rental Housing Rehabilitation Program | News, Sports, Jobs
More than $1 million will be spent on improving rental properties in the Town of Jamestown.
On Monday, the Jamestown City Council approved a resolution creating a rent rehabilitation program with federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act totaling $1,227,069. The appropriation includes $1,043,031.60 that will go towards rehabilitation of rental units while $184,037.40 will go towards program administration.
Before council passed the resolution, a public hearing was held with Crystal Surdyk, the city’s director of development, to discuss the program. She said the funding is in addition to the $28 million the city has received in federal stimulus funds. She added that because Jamestown is considered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be an entitled community, the city received $1.2 million in funding to fund the rent rehabilitation program.
Surdyk said owners can request $15,000 per unit, with a 10% match. She said there will also be a maintenance agreement and a five-year anti-speculation agreement to discourage and penalize people if they sell their property after receiving the funds.
Surdyk said the rental housing rehabilitation program was created after meeting with local housing agencies to determine the “critical” needs in the community. She said there is no maximum amount of funding a homeowner can receive if they submit more than one application. She added that each application will be considered individually.
Ward 4 councilor Marie Carrubba said the rental property must be up to code to receive funds.
During the public portion of the public hearing, town resident Doug Champ said the town needs to invest more money in trying to help people buy their own homes instead of renting property. . He also questioned why the city is allocating funds to landlords to improve their properties, which should be something rental property owners should already be spending money on. He said it would be easy for owners to take advantage of the program.
CDBG, ANNUAL ACTION PLAN HOME
The board also discussed the creation of HUD’s annual Community Development Block Grant and HOME Action Plan. On March 26, the first of several public meetings and walking tours were held to receive feedback on how the city should spend about $1.5 million in federal funding. The city will hold five more community meetings to gather public input.
The meeting schedule includes 10:00 a.m. on April 9 at Washington Middle School; 6:00 p.m. on April 12 at Jackson-Taylor Park; 6:00 p.m. April 21 at Lincoln Elementary School; 10 a.m. May 7 at Fletcher Elementary School; and 6 p.m. May 17 at Willard Park.
In the event of rain or thunderstorms, meetings will be held in the lobby of the Jamestown Municipal Building, located at 200 E. Third St., Jamestown.
In January 2021, the board approved the use of a total of $1,540,516, including $1,198,049 in CDBG funding and $342,467 in HOME funding for the annual action plan. New York State community leaders use CDBG and HOME funding to meet a wide range of needs, enabling local governments to support affordable housing initiatives and expand economic development. The CDBG program provides New York City municipalities with critical funding for transformative and unique development projects and the financing needed to leverage outside investment in job-creating projects. The funds continue to play a vital role in facilitating local economic development in Upstate New York and helping local governments succeed.
HOME Funding is the primary source of state and local government funding to purchase and rehabilitate affordable housing. According to HUD, the HOME program provides grants to states and localities that communities use, often in partnership with local nonprofit groups or development corporations. These communities and organizations then finance activities such as the construction, purchase and rehabilitation of affordable housing to rent or own. HOME is the largest comprehensive federal grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing.
HUD officials have three purposes for using CDBG funding. The first is to prevent or eliminate slums or the scourge, the second is to benefit low to modest income residents and the third is to respond to a particularly urgent need for the municipality. The CDBG program stipulates that at least 70% of the funds must be used for activities benefiting low to moderate incomes, and no more than 30% of the funds can be used for slums and degraded areas.