HOME Investment Partnerships Program
The HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program is authorized under Title II of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act, as amended. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awards HOME grants to entitlement communities to develop affordable housing for low-income households. Snohomish County and the cities and towns located in the county have entered into Interlocal Agreements to form a consortium to receive HOME funds annually. The Snohomish County Consortium is an entitlement community and the Office of Housing, Homelessness and Community Development (OHHCD) administers this funding on behalf of the Snohomish County HOME Consortium. Snohomish County has signed a separate Interlocal Agreement with the City of Everett that distributes 21% of the Consortium’s HOME funds to the City of Everett to allocate to eligible housing activities within their city limits.
The national objectives of the program are:
- Provide decent, affordable housing for low-income households
- Develop the capacity of nonprofit housing agencies to address the housing needs of low-income households
- Provide funding for state and local governments to address low-income housing needs
- Leverage private sector participation
Only housing-related activities can be funded with HOME funds. All HOME-assisted units must provide housing for households with incomes of less than 80% of the area median income, and for certain activities, a portion of the funds must provide housing for households with less than 50% of the area median income.
HOME Program funds can be used for a wide range of housing projects and programs. These include:
- Transitional housing and permanent rental housing
- Tenant-based rental assistance
- Home rehabilitation assistance for low- and moderate-income homeowners
- Home purchase assistance
- Operating assistance for Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO)
With the exception of tenant-based rental assistance and operating assistance for certain types of nonprofit organizations (CHDOs), HOME funds must be used for capital investments in housing. There are a variety of capital costs which can be paid with HOME funds. These include:
- New construction, rehabilitation, and reconstruction (rebuilding housing on the same lot where it was located at the time funds were committed to the project)
- Conversion of a non-residential structure to housing
- Acquisition of standard units or those in need of rehabilitation
- Acquisition of vacant land or demolition of existing housing, if construction of new housing will begin within 12 months
- On-site infrastructure improvements and off-site utility connections
- Relocation costs
- Refinancing of existing debt on single-family, owner-occupied housing in conjunction with rehabilitation
- Capitalization of project reserves to fund initial operating deficits of rental housing projects for a period of up to 18 months
- Project-related development costs (predevelopment expenses, professional services, financing costs, development fees, etc.)
Tenant-based Rental assistance (TBRA):
Tenant-based rental assistance provides assistance to individual households, rather than to housing units or projects. TBRA programs use HOME funds to help tenants pay the difference between what they can afford for rent (based on 30% of income for rent and utilities) and the actual cost of a unit. The subsidy level is individualized to the tenant household based on their income. The assistance can be used in any decent, safe, and sanitary housing unit and can move with the household from one unit to another.
American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI):
President Bush signed into law the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) on December 13, 2003 under the American Dream Downpayment Act. ADDI is administered as part of the HOME Program. ADDI funds may be used for downpayment assistance towards the purchase of single family housing by low-income families who are first-time homebuyers. ADDI funds can also be used to pay for rehabilitation that is completed as part of a home purchase with ADDI funds.
Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO):
Snohomish County, with its consortium partner, the City of Everett, support the efforts of community-based organizations to develop housing that is affordable to low income individuals and families and those with special needs. The County recognizes that Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) operating in Snohomish County are dedicated to providing affordable housing despite the challenges of operating in a non-profit environment. Therefore, Snohomish County has elected to provide funding allowed under HOME Investment Partnerships Program regulations to support CHDO operating costs. Non-profit housing development agencies must apply to be certified as a CHDO at the same time they apply for a CHDO Operating Support Grant.
HOME regulations require that the County set-aside fifteen percent of its HOME allocation for capital projects developed by CHDOs. The types of capital projects developed by CHDOs are the same as those listed above under Eligible Activities.
Ineligible uses of HOME funds are:
- Rehabilitation of public housing
- Project-based rental assistance
- Acquisition/rehabilitation of commercial facilities
- Project reserve accounts
- Provision of matching funds for other programs
- Properties previously funded through the Low Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act (LIHPRHA) or the Emergency Low-Income Preservation Act (ELIPA), unless the funds are used to assist a nonprofit organization to purchase such a property
- No additional funds may be provided to a previously HOME-assisted project after one year from project completion
- Acquisition of County-owned property unless the property was specifically purchased with other funds for a HOME project
For information about the application process, please see the Housing applications web page.
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