On May 7, HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) introduced three major changes relating to the Consolidated Plan (ConPlan) process:
- Posted Notice CPD-12-009 describing a new electronic template that will be required to submit ConPlans and Annual Action Plans after November 15, 2012.
- Demonstrated the new mapping tool available to the public as well as to cities, counties, and states.
- Revamped the ConPlan webpage.
The ConPlan is a jurisdiction’s affordable housing and community development needs assessment, statement of priorities, and strategy for addressing priority needs. A five-year Strategic Plan and Annual Action Plan update are required for all states, cities and counties that receive formula-based funds from CPD. Those funds include HOME, Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA), the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), and eventually the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF).
According to Notice CPD-2012-009, there are three versions of the electronic template required for submitting ConPlans, Annual Action Plans, and the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Reports (CAPERs). One template is for “entitlement jurisdictions” (cities with populations greater than 50,000 and urban counties with populations greater than 200,000). Another template is for states, and the third template is for “consortia” (adjacent jurisdictions that jointly apply for HOME funds when the individual jurisdictions do not meet the HOME formula threshold). There is a fourth, optional template for multiple grantees to prepare a single regional Consolidated Plan strategy, with separate, grantee-specific Annual Action Plans.
Jurisdictions will be able to customize their templates by adding additional text, data, or images from other sources. An actual, stand alone template is not on the ConPlan website. However, a 213-page Desk Guide contains the components of the template, with instructions for using CPD’s management information system (IDIS) for completing the template. For advocates involved with ConPlan, the Desk Guide is a valuable resource to explore because it outlines the regulatory requirements that jurisdictions must follow, and because it helps advocates know what the various template tables should look like. Because all ConPlans and Action Plans will be submitted using IDIS, HUD will have the capacity to post all of them on the HUD website.
As previously noted (see Memo, 5/6/11 and 5/4/12) CPD has compiled extensive data sets available to jurisdictions and the public to facilitate planning. Some of the data sets include the 5-year American Community Survey (ACS) from the Census, public housing resident characteristics from the Picture of Subsidized Housing compiled by HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing, and business and employment data from Census.
These data sets are used to pre-populate many of the required data tables in the template. For instance, the template will automatically provide renter data such as the number of extremely low income households (incomes at or below 30% of the area median income, AMI) in the jurisdiction spending more than 50% of their income for rent.
Another example is a feature showing how funds will be allocated geographically according to priority needs.
The interim ESG rule made significant changes to that program’s reporting requirements. Therefore, CPD is releasing limited template screens for ESG recipients that must be submitted with their CAPERs after October 1, 2012. HUD will update these screens to reflect new Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data standards. ESG recipients are instructed to use HMIS information as much as possible, but to use other sources when data are not collected in HMIS.
The new mapping program allows both grantees and members of the public to access a large amount of data in a user-friendly, web-based format. Users can search, query and display information on the map that will help them identify trends and needs in their communities. Some of the features available on the mapping program include the capacity to show where CDBG and HOME activities have been provided, and where public housing and private, HUD-assisted housing is located. It is also possible to see housing, economic and demographic characteristics of an area down to the census-tract level. The web-based software enables advocates to draw custom geographies, such as neighborhood boundaries which might not fit neatly into census tracts. Jurisdictions are not required to use the maps.
The Notice CPD-12-009 is attached.
HUD intends to provide ongoing webinars, trainings, and tool kits in the coming months. Advocates should also periodically refer to the ConPlan home page for updates. Click here for the revamped ConPlan home page.
Click here for the May 7 webinar slides.
Click here for the ConPlan mapping tool and a desk guide with instructions for using it.
Click here to view the eCon Planning Suite webpage, which includes a link to the 213-page Desk Guide.
Click here for a HUD news release.
For more about the Consolidated Plan, see page 188 of the 2012 Advocates’ Guide.