October 30, 2017

SEDC attended the final public input session for CDBG-DR Substantial Amendment. The comment period officially closes on November 1, 2017. If there are any comments, please visit the NC Commerce website (http://www.nccommerce.com/ruraldevelopment/state-cdbg/disaster-recovery-program) or email Iris Payne.

The Division of Emergency Management has hired a new position to oversee the implementation of the DR funding named Kevin Landers (kevin.landers@ncdps.gov). He stated that his goal is to “make stuff happen” by the end of November. He voiced his desire to meet with the primary counties this Thursday (Robeson, Wayne, Edgecombe and Cumberland). He also asserted that they are building this plane as it is flying, so this is the reason they don’t have a lot of details.  

The following were some takeaways from the amendment meeting:

  • Additional funds have been allocated, bringing the total to approximately $240M
  • They added “Slum and Blight” to the eligible national objectives
    • Slum and blight would require direct involvement from DPS and Commerce to ensure the project meets the definition of slum and blight for CDBG/HUD/DR purposes
  • Shifted more money to Community Recovery
    • Includes infrastructure, facilities such as emergency shelters, etc.
  • Added $25M to buyout program
    • HMGP is only approved for 800 projects, so DR funding is being requested to fill in that gap
    • DPS is encouraging counties to maintain contact with HMGP applicants to ensure they know the money is coming, and to make sure they still need it. They have experienced some applicants selling homes.
  • They have decided to allow all Public Housing agencies in the 50 counties apply for housing funding instead of just Lumberton PHA
  • Applicants may be as high as 80% AMI instead of 60%
  • Counties have been authorized to offer rental assistance and repair reimbursement (very difficult to qualify, need documentation)
  • Large concern and all projects will need to prove there is no duplication of benefits
  • Any multi-family housing units who receive funding will have to maintain at least 51% affordability for at least 5 years
  • DPS has procured, or will procure, Construction Managers at Risk, but counties can get their own project managers
  • The new allocations and possible future new allocations mean that the counties will have to have their public hearings again
  • Maximum allowable admin is 5% for the life of the grant in all 50 counties, period. Commerce and DPS take their cut off the top, and Counties/COGs will have to deal with less than 5% and it expected to last for at least 6 years and probably more due to NC Commerce reporting requirements into the future
  • Nick Burk was there, HMGP manager and Chief of Staff for Matthew Recovery (Nicholas.burk@ncdps.gov)
  • HUD will take 45-60 days to review the amendment which is due to HUD by 11/7/17