Public comment being taken for TJPDC’s use of federal funds

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has public notice and public comment requirements for the use of funding it provides to localities across the country for various projects. 

The Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission administers one revenue source called the HOME Consortium. Every year, staff produces a document called the CAPER which stands for Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report. (view the TJPDC website on the CAPER)

“The HOME program’s goals are to assist first-time homebuyers, preserve existing housing stock by rehabilitating owner-occupied homes, and develop new housing units for home ownership or rental,” reads the summary of the CAPER which covers activities in 2022. 

Funding goes to the City of Charlottesville as well as nonprofit groups that provide funding for specific counties. These are the Albemarle Home Improvement Program, the Fluvanna/ Louisa Housing Foundation, the Nelson County Community Development Foundation, and Skyline CAP. The latter serves Greene County. 

The CAPER also covers funds that come through the Community Development Block Grant program. HUD wants to know the use of funds advances the objectives of various plans. The TJPDC’s CAPER notes that area median income (AMI) for a family of four grew from $93,700 in 2021 to $112,200 in 2022. 

“Income for those at the lowest end of the income spectrum largely stagnated, thereby exacerbating the effects of inflation for these residents,” reads page 12 of the report

That has put pressure on low-income homeowners who may not be able to afford maintenance and repair. That influenced how Charlottesville spent some of its funds.

“Recognizing this, the city committed in PY22-23 a significant portion of its entitlement (EN) funds to programs designed to preserve the existing supply of affordable housing (goal #1), including for critical and energy-efficiency upgrades for income-qualified residents through LEAP’s Solar Panel Rehabs program ($38,526.23 in CDBG funds) and LEAP’s Assisted Home Performance ($93,478.13 in HOME funds),” the CAPER continues.

There’s a lot more in the document and the main point of this segment is to get more people to read it. The CAPER documents other recent housing investments made by the city as well as housing challenges. It notes the zoning rewrite is intended to create more opportunities to build housing but notes that there is competition between private and nonprofit developers. 

“Several new affordable housing construction projects are either underway or in the planning stages but making significant progress has been challenging due to a tight real estate market in the city and in the wider region and the space constraints the city faces, along with the challenges posed by the lingering effects of the COVID pandemic,” reads page 20 of the document. 

The comment period is open through August 30 and Charlottesville City Council will hold public hearings for the CAPER on August 21 and September 5.  At publication, no one had yet commented.

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the August 17, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: