Urbana Community Development Commission certifies Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County as a CHDO
Urbana Community Development Commission met Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The Community Development Commission, has responsibility for monitoring the federally funded portion of the Community Development Services Department. They assist in the establishment of guidelines for various federally funded projects including subgrantee programs, housing rehabilitation, acquisition and demolition programs, and other capital improvement programs in the eligible Census Tracts. Members serve 3-year alternating terms.
Here are the minutes as provided by Urbana:
UNAPPROVED MINUTES COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION MEETING Tuesday, February 28, 2017, City Council Chambers, 400 South Vine Street, Urbana, IL 61801
Call to Order: Commissioner Silvis called the regular meeting to order at 7:07pm.
Roll Call: Kelly Mierkowski called the roll. A quorum was present.
Commission Members Present: Anne Heinze Silvis, Janice Bengston, Michael Braun, Abdulhakeem Saalam and Karin Hodgin-Jones
Commission Members Excused/Absent: Fred Cobb, Chris Diana, Jerry Moreland and Lauren Karplus
Others Present: Kelly Mierkowski, Matt Rejc and Don Ho, Community Development Services
Approval of Minutes: Commissioner Silvis asked for approval or corrections to the January 24, 2017 minutes. Commissioner Saalam moved to approve the minutes as written and Commissioner Hodgin-Jones seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Petitions and Communications: Commissioner Silvis asked if there was any Written communication to the Commission, there were none.
Audience Participation: Commissioner Silvis stated that audience members could speak if they so wished. Lisa Benson, Community Services Director of Champaign County Regional Planning Commission and Michelle Stallmeyer, Family Support Manager from Habitat for Humanity: Champaign-Urbana were present.
Staff Report: Kelly Mierkowski, Grants Management Manager, provided a brief overview of the staff report provided to the Commissioners that evening, which included HUD activities, staff activities, meetings attended, and various projects and programs.
Old Business: None.
A RESOLUTION CERTIFYING A COMMUNITY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION FOR THE URBANA HOME CONSORTIUM (HABITAT FEB 2017)
A RESOLUTION APPROVING AND AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF AN URBANA HOME CONSORTIUM COMMUNITY HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION AGREEMENT (HABITAT CHDO DEVELOPER FY 2016-2017)
Mr. Rejc explained that the first resolution is to certify Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County (Habitat) as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) and the second resolution is to approve an agreement to give Habitat funds which are specifically set aside for community housing. A CHDO is a special affordable housing developer which has met certain criteria required by HUD. These criteria require CHDOs to have certainstructure, some amount of representation in the community, adequate staffing levels and sustainable financial resources. Habitat submitted their application to be certified as a CHDO again. Grants Management Division (GMD) had reviewed their application and concluded that Habitat is worthy of being certified as a CHDO again.
This is not the first time that Habitat has been a CHDO. They have been a CHDO and a recipient of CHDO funds since 2011. The proposed agreement will allow to the City to give Habitat $96,180.90. The reason for that specific amount is that the CHDO allocation is specifically 15% of the HOME grant and cannot be used for any other purposes. GMD tried to reach out to different agencies but Habitat is the only one that has met all the criteria at the moment. As a result, GMD would like to dedicate the whole CHDO allocation amount to Habitat.
There are three projects that Habitat has proposed, one in Urbana and two in Champaign. The reason why there are two projects in Champaign is that the Urbana HOME consortium includes City of Champaign, City of Urbana, and Champaign County Regional Planning Commission. Because Urbana does not have the population needed to apply for HOME fund, a consortium is needed in order for the City to receive HOME funds. The first project is 1408 Hill in Urbana. It is a former home that has been demolished and a new home will be built at that address. The second project is 709 Tommy Court in Champaign and it will be a rehab project. The third and last project is 1212 Hill and it will be a new construction project. All these projects are anticipated to be finished this summer and each project would receive roughly $33,000 using HOME funds.
Habitat is also receiving funds from difference sources to help with these projects such as the Attorney General grant ($2 million in 2013), the Illinois Housing Development Authority grant and the Housing Authority of Champaign County grant. These funds are required to meet the 25 percent match that is required for HOME projects. There is no fiscal impact on the City budget and these projects are in line with the 5-year consolidated plan. Mr. Rejc recommends the Commission to forward the Resolutions to Council with a recommendation for approval. These projects
Commissioner Hodgins-Jones pointed out a typo on page 1 of the Urbana HOME Consortium agreement and said that corrections are necessary. Mr. Reic agreed and said that he would fix the typo before forwarding these resolutions to Council. Commissioner Silvis then asked about the cost of demolition. Mr. Rejc explained that it could range anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 and depends on different factors such as size, location, materials, etc. Commissioner Silvis mentioned about the project near King's school that was completed recently. She said that it was a nice project and would like to see more in the future.
Commissioner Silvis entertained a motion to either forward the Resolutions to Council with a recommendation for approval, forward the resolutions to Council with a recommendation for approval with changes, or to not forward for approval. Commissioner Bengston motioned for the approval of the Resolution, Commissioner Braun seconded the motion; the motion carried.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) PUBLIC SERVICE FUNDING PRIORITIES AS PART OF THE CONSOLIDATED SOCIAL SERVICE FUNDING POOL (FY 2017-2018)
Ms. Mierkowski Stated the Social Service funding process usually begins around March or April, and then Council decides which non-profit organizations would get funded and how much. GMD has to set aside 15 percent of CDBG funds for public service each year and then use a portion for the social service funding pool. The rest of the public service funds go towards the two Neighborhood Cleanups and the Transitional Housing program. In the past, GMD used to have more funds to contribute to the pool, but the amount has reduced recently due to funding cut. GMD is looking to contribute at least $5,000 to the pool. The applications will be available the upcoming Week.
At Council request, GMD will have presentations done in April or May, and then Council will make the final decision. Under the options of the memo are goals and priorities that are referenced in the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan. Ms. Mierkowski recommended the options for funding to be supportive services & training for low-income individuals and support for homelessness. This would provide a larger range for funding possibilities and meet some of the needs that have not been met.
Commissioner Braun asked about the application process and an example of Supportive services for low-income person. Ms. Mierkowski explained that the application process and training would start in the upcoming week. Regarding the Supportive services for low-income person, the City has done this since 1996 and many different agencies have applied since then. Ms. Benson, director of Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, used the example that the City has supported low-income youth, provided them supportive services, and helped them with Selfsufficiency.
Commissioner Silvis entertained a motion to either forward the Resolutions to Council with a recommendation for approval, forward the resolutions to Council with a recommendation for approval with changes, or to not forward for approval. Commissioner Braun motioned for the approval of the Resolution, Commissioner Salaam seconded the motion; the motion carried.
DRAFT FY17-18 ANNUAL ACTION PLAN (AAP)
Ms. Mierkowski stated that GMD is in the very preliminary stages of the AAP process. Beginning of January, GMD had a public hearing regarding the AAP. Per schedule, GMD is required have at least one discussion with the Community Development Commission. After that, GMD would be able to write up a draft and bring it to next month meeting for review. The next step is to bring the draft to Council for approval and then to HUD for final submission in May.
Ms. Mierkowski explained that the consolidated plan is what drives the federal grant programs and connected to the AAP. The AAP is specifically for HOME funds and CDBG funds.
Included in the APP is also the CAPER which is the year-end report and the participation plan (public hearings). There will be another public hearing next month. There are various parts of the AAP Such as the executive summary, objectives, activities, outcome measures and measurable goals. Objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and timed). Ms. Mierkowski then asked for any questions, suggestions or discussions regarding the AAP
Commissioner Braun asked if there will be any changes compared to last year. Ms. Mierkowski explained that it depends on the amount of funding that GMD gets. More funding means more projects and activities, and vice versa. Mr. Reic added that it is also depends on what kind of projects that are coming. The City was able to commit $500,000 from CDBG and HOME to the Highland Green Project last year. There are still a couple projects that are still in limbo state because they are waiting on the approval for low-income housing tax credits from the State. Without the tax credits, it is very hard for developers to start on these projects. If these projects are ready to be funded, GMD then would dedicate HOME funds and/or CDBG funds to them.
Commissioner Braun asked if there are any concerns about these grants since there is a new administration. Ms. Mierkowski said that GMD is watching it closely through HUD news, webinars and trainings. However, there is not much information available regarding this issue. Commissioner Hodgin-Jones raised her concerns about future funding for CDBG and HOME grants. Ms. Mierkowski said that Congress is still working on the budget appropriation process and HUD will not release anything until the federal budget is approved.
Commissioner Hodgin-Jones then asked if HUD has ever not approved any AAPs. Ms. Mierkowski answered no. Commissioner Silvis asked if there are any financial requirements for these grants. Ms. Mierkowski said that there is a commitment deadline for HOME grant and an expenditure deadline for CDBG grant. Commissioner Silvis and Commissioner Braun then complimented the Grants Management Division on their hard work and dedication.
Adiournment:. Seeing no further business, Commissioner Silvis adjourned the meeting at 8:12 p.m.
Don Ho, Grants Compliance Specialist, Grants Management Division