CPD Reduces Annual Action Plan Public Comment Period to 14 Days for FY17

Because Congress only recently enacted the FY17 appropriations act (see Memo, 5/8), HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) is waiving the regulatory requirement that jurisdictions provide a minimum of 30 days for public review and comment on proposed uses of CPD formula grant programs in the Annual Action Plan component of the Consolidated Plan process. Instead, CPD is shortening the public review and comment period to 14 days for FY17, according to a May 10 CPD Memorandum.

The CPD formula programs funded by Congressional appropriations are the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) programs. The national Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is also a CPD formula program, but it is funded not by appropriations but through a small (0.042%) assessment on the volume of new business generated by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  CPD has not yet announced HTF formula amounts for 2017.

The Consolidated Plan regulations require jurisdictions to submit an Annual Action Plan 45 days prior to the beginning of their program year. Jurisdictions choose their own program years; more than half have a program year that begins on July 1. The regulations also state that an Annual Action Plan must be submitted no later than August 16 of any calendar year.

The Memorandum refers to Notice CPD 16-18 issued on December 15, 2016 (see Memo, 1/9), which addressed the late passage of appropriations acts in recent years. The Notice offered jurisdictions two options regarding fulfilling their public participation obligations while waiting for the FY17 allocations. One option was to engage in public participation regarding a draft Action Plan using estimated formula allocation amounts, clearly explaining to the public how it will adjust the proposed Action Plan once actual allocations were known. The second option was to prepare a proposed Action Plan using a jurisdiction’s regular timetable, but waiting until actual allocation amounts were known before carrying out public participation. Notice CPD 16-18 also stated that for FY17 CPD will not execute a grant agreement with a jurisdiction until CPD has received an Annual Action Plan (or an amended Action Plan) that incorporates the actual allocation amounts a jurisdiction is to receive for FY17.

The May 10 Memorandum repeats Notice CPD 16-18, declaring that any jurisdiction with a program year start date prior to or up to 60 days after CPD announces the FY17 formula program funding allocations should not submit its Annual Action Plan until the FY17 formula allocations have been announced. Because the timing of the enactment of the FY17 appropriations act leaves insufficient time for jurisdictions to complete the pre-Action Plan submission or pre-Action Plan Amendment public participation review and comment process before August 16, CPD is shortening the public comment period to 14 days.

The May 10 Memorandum is at: http://bit.ly/2rDsoha

The December 15, 2016 Notice CPD 16-18 is at: http://bit.ly/2hPd0c1