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April 14, 2009
                       
Re: Stimulus Funding Update On Department of Community Affairs Programs and Priorities

Dear Mayor:

The following analysis of several important programs dependent on Federal stimulus funding has been provided to us, for your benefit, by the Department of Community Affairs. We want to thank Commissioner Doria and his staff for this valuable information.

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP): The funds will provide short-term or medium term rental assistance, housing relocation and stabilization services for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing including housing search, mediation or outreach to property owners, credit repair, security or utility deposits and moving cost assistance.

  • Total Stimulus Appropriation: $1,500,000,000
  • New Jersey’s Portion: $40,919,501, DCA’s Portion: $10,221,710
  • Federal Agency:  US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development / HUD
  • Timeline:        
    • HUD publishes program notice on 19 March 2009.
    • The substantial amendment to the NJ Consolidated Plan Action Plan is due May 19, 2009 (60 days after the publication of the program notice).
    • HUD will execute grant agreements by 01 September 2009.
    • DCA must obligate funds to sub grantees by 30 September 2009.
    • DCA must expend 60% of the funds within 2 years of the funds becoming available to us and 100% of the funds within 3 years of the funds becoming available. Funds will become available once HUD executes the grant agreement, estimated to be no later than 01 September 2009.

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG): provides funds to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities.  The funds provide a range of services and activities to assist the needs of low-income individuals including the homeless, migrants and the elderly. Grantees must provide services and activities addressing employment, education, better use of available income, housing, nutrition, emergency services and/or health.

  • Total Stimulus Appropriation: $1,000,000,000
  • New Jersey’s Portion: Approximately $27,200,000 for state programs and distribution.
  • Federal Agency: US Dept. of Health and Human Services / DHHS
  • Timeline:
    • USDHHS releases the state allocation in March 2009.
    • DHHS anticipates contracts to grantees in April or May 2009 (to date, DCA has not received).
    • All funds awarded to state and distributed to agencies must be expended by 30 September 2010.

Small Cities / Community Development Block Grants (CDBG): provides grants and loans for community development activities for persons of low and moderate income, prevent or eliminate slums and blight, meet urgent community development needs for which no other resources are available.  All projects and each activity must meet one of the above objectives.  Funds may be used for public facilities, community revitalization, housing rehabilitation and innovative development leveraging private investments.

  • Total Stimulus Appropriation: (Nationwide) $980,000,000
  • Statewide Appropriation: $26.74 million
  • New Jersey Small Cities CDBG Program Appropriation: $1.945 million for state programs
  • Federal Agency: US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development / HUD
  • Timeline:
    • USHUD has indicated that they anticipate funding will be released in July 2009. 
    • Priority will be given to projects or activities that can award contracts based on bids within 120 days (shovel-ready).  It is DCA intention to fund recently awarded projects that fit this definition.

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP): Provides income-qualified residents with services that reduce household energy use and costs by improving the energy efficiency of their homes while ensuring their health and safety.  The NJ WAP contracts with a network of community based organizations that deliver weatherization throughout the State. 

  • Total Stimulus Appropriation: $5,000,000,000
  • New Jersey Weatherization:  $118.6 million for program distribution; including approximately $20.2 million for training and technical assistance.
  • Federal Agency:  US Department of Energy / DOE
  • Timeline:
    • Initial application to DOE was due by 23 March 2009 (completed). 
    • The Comprehensive Application is due to DOE on 12 May 2009.  This shall include a State Plan.
    • State Plan process: Public Hearing is scheduled for 05 May 2009 in DCA/CR129 (public advertisement on 17 April 09). 
    • Draft Plan will be circulated during week of 20 April 2009.

Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)*: provides funding to reduce neighborhood blight and create more affordable housing. The funds can be used to purchase, rehabilitate, resell or rent foreclosed and abandoned properties. Funds can also be used to establish financing mechanisms, establish land banks, demolish blighted structures and redevelop demolished or vacant properties. Funds must be used to assist households with incomes at or below 120% of the Area median Income with 25% of the funds used for households with incomes at or below 50% of the Area Median Income. The criteria for a competitive NSP grant will include grantee capacity, leveraging potential, concentration of investment to achieve neighborhood stabilization and additional factors determined by HUD.

  • Total Stimulus Appropriation:  $2,000,000,000
  • New Jersey’s Portion: Unknown; funds will be distributed on a competitive basis.  HUD is expected to define process by May 2009.
  • Allocation Method: Competitive grant method; which is open to the State, units of general local government and non-profit entities or consortia of non-profit entities which may partner with for-profit entities.
  • Federal Agency: US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development / HUD
  • Timeline:
    • USHUD is expected to announce criteria for competitive grants in May 2009. 
    • HUD also has indicated that the deadline for submission of the competitive applications will be in July 2009. 
    • To date, guidelines have not been issued.

*Please note that this NSP funding is separate from the NSP funding that was announced last summer and for which DCA received approximately $51 million.

Again, we want to thank Commissioner Doria and his staff for this information and for all they do to help New Jersey local officials better serve their fellow citizens.  For further information contact Paul Stridick, Director, Division of Housing and Community Resources at (609) 633-6286. 

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

      

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