1. Are HOME funds available now?
Typically the City of Hartford receives an allocation of HOME funds each year. The amount of available funds varies from time to time depending on the amount allocated by the federal government and the development proposals that have been approved by the City.
2. What portion of an affordable housing project will the City's HOME program finance?
Generally, the City of Hartford will not finance 100% of a project's costs with HOME program funding. Applicants should demonstrate their ability to leverage other sources of financing. The present program-leveraging ratio averages approximately $6.00 of private funding for every $1.00 of HOME program funding.
3. Are HOME funds provided to housing developers as a grant?
No, generally speaking, HOME financing is in the form of an amortized mortgage loan with monthly principal and interest payments. This method of fund recapture allows the City of Hartford to 'recycle' repayments, ultimately funding other affordable housing development projects.
4. What Federal restrictions do these funds have?
HOME assisted rental units carry rent and occupancy restrictions throughout the affordability period. Two levels of HOME rent limits ('High' HOME & 'Low' HOME) are used to restrict rent levels, and maximum household income thresholds (60% and 50% of the Hartford area median family income) must be utilized to qualify tenants as low-income and very low-income respectively.
HOME assisted homeownership units carry a resale restriction throughout the affordability period. Restrictions include primary residency, affordable purchase mortgages and subsequent resale to low-income families. Households/families with annual incomes of up to 80% of the Hartford area median family income may be eligible to purchase HOME funded homeownership housing.
5. How long must housing units financed with HOME funds remain affordable?
Affordability periods range from five (5) to twenty (20) years depending on the type of activity (rehabilitation, new construction, etc.) and the average amount of HOME assistance per unit. Terms of affordability are in the form of deed restrictions that run with the land throughout the affordability period even if the property is sold and the loan is repaid.
6. Does the City of Hartford inspect the housing units in HOME funded development projects?
Yes, periodically throughout the affordability period the City inspects the HOME funded units to ensure the property continues to meet HUD's quality standards. If the property is in disrepair, the owners must remediate the problems or face foreclosure.
7. Are there rent restrictions or household income limits for HOME funded housing units?
Yes, rents are capped and strictly monitored. Property owners/managers must qualify tenant households as low-income. Periodically throughout the affordability period, the City monitors both the rent and the household income levels of tenants.
8. Are there other requirements or restrictions associated with the HOME program?
Yes, many other program requirements exist. These parameters include, but are not limited to, labor requirements, environmental site assessments, relocation assistance for existing tenants, etc.
9. What is a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO)?
A CHDO is a private nonprofit, community-based service organization that has experienced staff with the capacity to develop affordable housing for the community it serves. CHDOs must meet certain requirements pertaining to their legal status, board composition, organizational structure, housing development expertise, and fiscal.
10. What is the benefit in being certified as a CHDO?
The City of Hartford sets aside 15% of its annual HOME allocation for housing development activities in which qualified CHDOs are the owners, developers, and/or sponsors of the housing. Nonprofits are encouraged to qualify as CHDOs and for all CHDOs to take advantage of capacity building opportunities for investment in affordable housing development.
11. How can I learn more about the City of Hartford's HOME program?
Request additional information from the City's Housing & Property Management contact person noted above.