HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) issued Notice CPD-21-10 on September 13 establishing requirements for funds appropriated for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program under the American Rescue Plan Act (HOME-ARP; sec. 3205). The notice includes waivers and alternative requirements to allow communities to begin accessing funds from the nearly $5 billion funds allocated from ARPA to create affordable housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.
Any individual or family who meets the criteria is eligible to receive assistance or services funded through HOME-ARP without meeting additional criteria. Qualifying populations are as followed:
- Homeless as defined in 24 CFR 91.5
- At the risk of homelessness as defined in 24 CFR 91.5
- Fleeing, or attempting to flee, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, Stalking, or Human Trafficking, as defined by HUD
- Other Populations where providing supportive services or assistance would prevent the family’s homelessness or would serve those with the greater risk of housing instability. This includes:
- Other families requiring services or housing assistance to prevent homelessness
- At greatest risk of housing instability
- Veterans and families that include a Veteran family member that meets the criteria for one of the qualifying populations.
The notice states that the funds must be primarily used to benefit the qualifying populations through the four eligible activities: 1) tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA); 2) development and support of affordable housing; 3) provision of supportive services; and 4) acquisition and development of non-congregate shelter (NCS) units.
HUD requires that:
- 100% of HOME-ARP funds used by a participating jurisdiction (PJ) for TBRA, supportive services, and acquisition and development of non-congregate shelter units must benefit individuals and families in qualifying populations. Individuals and families in qualifying populations may be assisted by one or more of the HOME-ARP eligible activities, consistent with the requirements in this notice.
- No less than 70 percent of affordable rental housing units acquired, rehabilitated, or constructed with HOME-ARP funds by a participating jurisdiction must be occupied by households in the qualifying populations. Units that are not restricted to occupancy by qualifying populations are subject to income targeting and rent requirements established under the HOME-ARP Rental Program Rules and are only permitted in projects with rental units restricted for occupancy by qualifying populations.
Participating jurisdictions may establish reasonable preferences among the qualifying populations to prioritize applicants for HOME-ARP projects or activities based on the participating jurisdiction needs and priorities, as described in this HOME-ARP allocation plan. For example, a participating jurisdiction may set a preference among qualifying individuals and families for a HOME-ARP non-congregate shelter for individuals and families who are homeless; fleeing or attempting to flee domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking; and veterans and families with a veteran family member that meet the criteria of one of these prior qualifying populations, consistent with its HOME-ARP allocation plan.
If HOME-ARP funds are used for TBRA, participating jurisdictions may establish a preference for individuals with special needs or persons with disabilities among the HOME-ARP qualifying populations. Within the qualifying populations, participation may be limited to persons with a specific disability only, if necessary, to provide effective housing, aid, benefit, or services that would be as effective as those provided to others in accordance with 24 CFR 8.4(b)(1)(iv). The participating jurisdictions may also provide a preference for a specific category of individuals with disabilities (e.g., persons with HIV/AIDS or chronic mental illness) within the qualifying populations only if the specific category is identified in the participating jurisdictions HOME-ARP allocation plan as having an unmet need and the preference is needed to narrow the gap in benefits and services received by such persons.
The notice also describes the HOME-ARP allocation plan requirements. The HOME-ARP allocation plan must describe the distribution of HOME-ARP funds for soliciting applications and/or selecting eligible projects. The plan must also identify any preferences being established for eligible activities or projects. However, participating jurisdictions are not required to identify specific projects that will be funded in the HOME-ARP allocation plan. In the allocation plan, participating jurisdictions must:
- Provide a needs assessment and gaps analysis
- Describe how it will distribute HOME-ARP funds in accordance with its priority needs
- Provide an estimate the number of affordable rental housing units for qualifying populations that they will produce or support with its HOME-ARP allocation
- Identify whether they intend to give preference to one or more of the qualifying populations
- If the participating jurisdictions intend to use HOME-ARP funds to refinance existing debt secured by multifamily rental housing that is being rehabilitated with HOME-ARP funds, it must state its refinancing guidelines
- Submit all required certifications under the notice
The HOME-ARP can be used to for the following eligible activities:
- Reasonable administrative and planning costs, up to 15 percent of its HOME-ARP allocation
- HOME-ARP Rental Housing (page 20 - 38)
- HOME-ARP funds may be used to acquire, rehabilitate, or construct affordable rental housing for occupancy by households of individuals that meet the definition of one or more of the qualifying populations. Unlike the regular HOME Program, which targets HOME-assisted rental units based on tenant income, 70 percent of all HOME-ARP units will admit households based only upon their status as qualifying households
- Not more than 30 percent of the total number of rental units assisted with HOME-ARP funds by the participating jurisdiction may be restricted to low-income households. These rental units do not have to be restricted for occupancy by qualifying households, however rental units restricted to low-income households are only permitted in projects that include HOME-ARP units for qualifying households
- Eligible HOME-ARP rental housing includes “housing” as defined at 24 CFR 92.2, including but not limited to manufactured housing, single room occupancy (SRO) units, and permanent supportive housing
- Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (pages 38 - 41)
- In HOME-ARP TBRA, the participating jurisdiction assists a qualifying household with payments to cover the entire or insufficient amounts that the qualifying household cannot pay for housing and housing-related costs, such as rental assistance, security deposits, and utility deposits
- Supportive Services (pages 42 - 54)
- HOME-ARP funds may be used to provide a broad range of supportive services to qualifying individuals or families as a separate activity or in combination with other HOME-ARP activities.
- Supportive services include a) services listed in section 401(29) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (“McKinney-Vento Supportive Services”); b) homelessness prevention services (as defined in the notice); and c) housing counseling services
- Acquisition and Development of Non-Congregate Shelter (pages 55 - 66)
- HOME-ARP funds may be used to acquire and develop HOME-ARP non-congregate shelter (NCS) for individuals and families in qualifying populations. This activity may include but is not limited to the acquisition of land and construction of HOME-ARP NCS or acquisition and/or rehabilitation of existing structures such as motels, hotels, or other facilities to be used for HOME-ARP NCS. HOME-ARP funds may not be used to pay the operating costs of HOME-ARP NCS. Consequently, participating jurisdictions must consider the availability of ongoing operating funds for the HOME-ARP NCS so that the HOME-ARP NCS can remain viable through the restricted use period specified in this notice
- Nonprofit Operating and Capacity Building Assistance (pages 67 - 68)
- A participating jurisdiction may use up to 5 percent of its HOME-ARP allocations to pay operating expenses of community housing development organizations (CHDOs) and other nonprofit organizations that will carry out activities with HOME-ARP funds. A participating jurisdiction may also use up to an additional 5 percent of its allocation to pay eligible costs related to developing the capacity of eligible nonprofit organizations to successfully carry out HOMEARP eligible activities
- HOME-ARP funds are also subject to other federal requirements and nondiscrimination equal opportunity requirements such as those listed in 24 CFR part 92, subpart H, 92.352 – Environmental review; 92.353 – Displacement, relocation, and acquisition; and 92.355 – Lead-based paint, and more in the notice
Participating jurisdictions must provide for and encourage citizen participation in the development of the HOME-ARP allocation plan. Before submitting the HOME-ARP allocation plan to HUD, PJs must provide residents with reasonable notice and an opportunity to comment on the proposed HOME-ARP allocation plan of no less than 15 calendar days. The PJs must follow its adopted requirements for “reasonable notice and an opportunity to comment” for plan amendments in its current citizen participation plan. In addition, PJs must hold at least one public hearing during the development of the HOME-ARP allocation plan prior to submitting the plan to HUD. For the purposes of HOME-ARP, PJs are required to make the following information available to the public:
- The amount of HOME-ARP funds the PJ will receive
- The range of activities the PJ may undertake
“With rates of COVID-19 transmission still high, there is no time to wait to assist the more than half a million Americans on any given night who are enduring this pandemic in crowded shelters or on the streets,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “Today’s release of guidance opens up access to the critically needed American Rescue Plan funds that will help communities provide the safety and security of a stable home to more Americans.”
Read Notice CPD-21-10 at: https://bit.ly/3hCG84N
Read the Press Statement from HUD on CPD Notice at: https://bit.ly/3ElqSmt
Read the HOME-ARP Non-congregate Shelter Fact Sheet at: https://bit.ly/3hAAL5R
Read the HOME-ARP Nonprofit Operating and Capacity Fact Sheet at: https://bit.ly/2Xq3uU1
Read the HOME-ARP Rental Housing Fact Sheet at: https://bit.ly/3hDwT4q
Read the HOME-ARP Supportive Services Fact Sheet at: https://bit.ly/3CnM0qx
Read the HOME-ARP Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Fact Sheet at: https://bit.ly/2VQah94
Read the HUD-ARP Appendix of Waivers and Alternative Requirements at: https://bit.ly/3AcJJh7
More information about HOME Investment Partnerships Program is on page 5-6 of NLIHC’s 2021 Advocates’ Guide.