HOME Consortium budget includes funding for rental housing rehabilitation | News, Sports, Jobs
PARKERSBURG – The proposed 2021-22 budget for the Parkersburg-Wood County HOME consortium includes a major boost for a new program to improve rental housing.
The HOME consortium is administered by the City of Parkersburg but serves all of Wood County, including Vienna and Williamstown. His draft budget was examined Tuesday evening by the city council’s finance committee.
The HOME budget includes $ 325,911 for the Affordable Housing Leverage Fund program, initially funded at approximately $ 56,000 in fiscal year 2019-20. The plan was to roll it out in the spring of 2020, but it has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program would provide low- or zero-interest loans to owners of residential rental properties for repairs while requiring them to rent to income-eligible tenants for at least five years or for the duration of the assistance.
“In the city of Parkersburg, around 40% of our housing is rental property”, said Ryan Barber, administrator of city development projects.
Councilor JR Carpenter said the program appears to be more beneficial to homeowners than to tenants.
“The real monetary value of the improved structure returns to the owner at our expense”, he said.
Mayor Tom Joyce said that while city officials have traditionally tried to encourage home ownership rather than rental, the goal of the consortium’s federal funding is to provide safe and affordable housing for low-income people.
“I think the reality is that we have a lot of rental housing that might need help,” he said.
Joyce said he understood Carpenter’s reserves, but preferred to provide assistance while structures can be rehabilitated rather than acquiring them at fair market value through a prominent estate, demolishing what is there and selling the lot for a fraction of that cost.
“It’s innovative” Joyce said of the program. “I think we should try.”
The HOME budget also provides $ 131,472 for the Renter Assistance Program, which provides up to 24 months of rent assistance and utilities for low and very low income households.
Federal guidelines require that at least 15 percent of HOME funds be used to build new affordable housing in the county with a community housing development organization. The local entity is Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Ohio Valley, which is expected to receive $ 86,000. Another $ 40,000 is allocated for the associated administrative costs of the city.
While no additional funds are in the proposed budget, Barber noted that $ 151,000 from previous years is allocated to the Consortium’s Down Payment Assistance Program, a grant for eligible homebuyers that has not to be reimbursed if they stay in the house for a specified amount. of time.
The proposed 2021-2022 Community Development Block Grant budget, which was also reviewed on Tuesday, includes $ 50,000 for the city’s minor repairs program, which is open to homeowners with a median income of 60 or less. % of region’s median income, and $ 8,000 for emergency home repairs. Program for income-eligible homeowners to address health and safety issues.
The committee voted 5-0 to return the HOME and CDBG budgets to the full board. They will be considered at the May 11 meeting, after a 30-day public comment period. Budgets will be available on the city’s website at parkersburgcity.com. Barber said people can also request to have copies sent to them by mail or email.