In 2014, the City of Belfast was awarded a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Housing Assistance Grant; these grant funds are to be used to help pay for the rehabilitation of multi-family housing, to improve housing conditions of tenants who come from low-to-moderate income households.
While the City of Belfast has already selected a number of qualifying properties for participation in this program, there are still unused funds (approximately $80,000) and the City of Belfast is currently seeking out additional qualified properties to participate. Below please find more information regarding this opportunity.
1. PRIMARY PROGRAM GUIDELINES AND REQUIREMENTS
- At the time of application, a property receiving any assistance must have at least 51% of its units be occupied by low-to-moderate income households. (For a 2-unit/duplex, it only has to be 1 out of the 2 units to qualify.) Any units within the property receiving specific assistance must itself be occupied by a low-to-moderate income household at the time of full application. For building-wide improvements than benefit multiple units within the property, the property will meet the requirement by virtue of having 51% of its units being occupied by low-to-moderate income households.
- A property that undergoes rehabilitation with funds from this program, must, after completion, have a majority (at least 51%, or 50% for duplexes) of the units occupied by low-to-moderate income households that are paying “affordable rents” (it is a goal of this program that a tenant should not be paying more than 30% of their gross income on rent). Rent levels for assisted units may not exceed established fair market rent levels for a period of 5 years.
- Housing receiving federal assistance must follow established requirements for notification, evaluation and reduction of lead-based paint hazards based on the amount of funding received.
- If assistance is provided and the building is rehabilitated, you must inform your tenants that they will be able to lease and occupy their present apartment (or another suitable, decent, safe and sanitary apartment in the same building) upon completion of the rehabilitation.
- All units assisted with CDBG Housing Assistance funds must, if possible, meet Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 Minimum Housing Quality Standards.
- Properties receiving grant funds must be located within Belfast.
- Maximum grant assistance amount per unit is $10,000.
- Maximum grant assistance amount per property owner is $50,000. A property owner may potentially receive funding to be used on more than one property that they own, but the amount of assistance will not exceed $50,000.
- Grant funds must be matched with 20% of the project cost from the applicant (for every $4.00 in grant funding, the owner will provide $1.00 in match). This match can be in the form of cash or as in-kind (labor and/or materials); previously we have also considered recent (within the preceding 12 months) improvements to a building as match. (Documentation and/or review is required to establish a value for non-cash match.)
- Should the owner sell the property within 5 years, a portion of the grant must be paid back; this amount decreases by 20% of the grant amount per year. After 5 years, the property may be sold with no payback required.
- Upon completion of the substantial rehabilitation project, code violations cited by the Belfast Code Enforcement Office shall be corrected to their satisfaction.
- The City may require properties that are ultimately selected for grants to complete an energy audit, and include energy efficiency improvements recommended in that audit in the final project scope of work.
- If a property has any tax, water, or sewer liens against it at the time of full application submission, the property owner will need to work with the City of Belfast to rectify these issues in a timely manner.
- Properties that received funding through this program in 2011 will not be eligible for assistance in 2015. (However, property owners who have other properties may submit for grants to rehabilitate those.)
2. ELIGIBLE REHABILITATION ACTIVITIES
- Handicapped access
- Lead-based paint removal
- Removal of other hazardous materials
- Energy efficiency/insulation
- Bathrooms and kitchens
- Building and life safety code issues
3. APPLICATION SUBMISSION PROCESS
If you are interested in participating in this program, please submit your application (available below under "Related Documents") in accordance with either one of the following two methods:
A) mail your application to Belfast Community Development, 61 Main Street, Suite 61, Bangor, Maine 04401; or
The deadline for receipt of applications will be 4:00 PM on Monday, August 3rd, 2015, regardless of the submission method chosen.
Applications will be reviewed, and projects will be selected for participation, by the City of Belfast’s CDBG Housing Assistance Advisory Committee. The committee may request additional documentation from a respondent in order to fully evaluate an application. All documents submitted become the property of the City of Belfast and will not be returned.
4. QUESTIONS AND MORE INFORMATION
The application itself, along with additional documents, can be downloaded below under "Related Documents."
We also encourage property owners to continue to visit this page (www.cityofbelfast.org/housing) for periodic updates. Finally, property owners may also watch our informational video for additional information.
6/15/2015 2:00 PM
8/3/2015 3:00 PM
Ron Harriman (Project Administrator)
Belfast Community Development (207) 947-8595 firstname.lastname@example.org