Southern United Neighborhoods
Housing Preservation Grant Program
Owner Occupied Rehab Project
(1) Statement of Activities
(i) The Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) Program is a housing rehabilitation program funded through the USDA Rural Development Agency. This is a Preapplication for the grant program to provide rehabilitation to the owner-occupied homes of very low income and low income families. The HPG Program will be available to owner-occupied properties of low and very low income families located within Violet, LA.
Low and very low income families are defined as following as those living under 80% of the AMI. Most homeowners targeted are anticipated to fall between 50% to 80% of AMI, so the following income determinations will be used:
Homeowners between 50% AMI will also be eligible for the program. Violet is a census-designated area with close to 7000 residents and located within the New Orleans MSA. 18 percent of residents live in poverty. The maximum amount of financial assistance will not exceed $6,429 per owner-occupied home. SUN will provide the assistance in the form of a grant and estimates that 7 homeowners will receive HPG assistance. All applicants receiving grant funds will be required to sign a grant agreement. The recipient agrees not to sell his house for a period of two years. If the house is sold the recipient will pay back the grant amount to Southern United Neighborhoods.
II. Selection Process: SUN will select recipients for HPG assistance from the targeted community of Violet, LA. Applications will be taken over a three month period in which outreach to this community will be conducted through churches, community centers, website, City agencies and newspaper listings to publicly notify all potentially eligible residents of the program requirements. Income eligible applications will have a household income not greater than 80% of AMI and maintain proof of ownership for at least 1 year prior to the awarding of grant funds. The selected will be owner-occupied single-family units of primary residence for the homeowner.
Qualified homeowners will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. The rehabilitation specialist will determine if the unit is suitable for repairs and that the scope of work will fall within the range of our program will evaluate units. For those homes who need repairs that cost in excess of our program, the homeowners will be referred to other agencies for assistance. Scopes of work will be generated for qualified homes, lead risk assessments performed and put out to bid to a list of certified contractors. Bids will be evaluated using in repairs cost estimates from Housing Developer Pro Software programs. Bidders within 15% range of estimated costs will be awarded the jobs, with points given to those contractors who are Disadvantage Business Enterprise (DBE) and certified in lead safe work practices. After the bids are awards, the rehabilitation specialist monitors the construction work to make sure repairs are completed properly and payments are issued only after the home passes all Parish inspections and notices of completion are signed by SUN and the homeowner.
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III. Environmental Impacts: In order to identify any potential environmental impacts, SUN will follow the following procedures:
- At the time of application, St. Bernard Parish will be contacted to gain clearance on needed permits.
- Request a RHS environmental review for homes located within the floodplain.
- Though it is not anticipated that any homes identified for rehabilitation for this project will be identified as historic, SHPO will be contacted if such homes are identified and appropriate rules and regulations for the rehabilitation of historic properties will be followed.
- Homeowners will receive information on lead hazards and lead risk assessments on all qualifying homes will be performed to identify lead hazards, work will be conducted using lead safe work practices, and lead clearances will be performed.
IV. Development Standards: SUN will use for housing preservation work the standards adopted and amended by the St. Bernard Parish Council and the Louisiana Statewide Building Codes http://lsuccc.dps.louisiana.gov/pdf/Amendments%20effective%201-1-2015.pdf which is an adoption of the Standard Building Codes; National Electrical Code; St Bernard Parish Plumbing and Gas Code and the St. Bernard Parish Mechanical Code.
V. Time Schedule
It is estimated that SUN will process and review for eligibility all applications within the first three months of grant agreement and complete construction on all homes within 18 months. The proposed schedule covers an 18 month period and is as follows:
Month 1-3: outreach efforts; collect application; certify all qualified applications that qualify for the program
Month 4-6: conduct scopes of work on and lead risk assessments on first 3 properties; refer homeowners whose homes are beyond SUN’s services to other agencies; bid out scopes of work to certified contractors and execute home repair contracts.
Month 7-9: conduct scopes of work on and lead risk assessments on next 3 properties; refer homeowners whose homes are beyond SUN’s services to other agencies; bid out scopes of work to certified contractors and execute home repair contracts; start construction on 3 homes.
Month 10-13: conduct scopes of work on and lead risk assessments on remaining properties; bid out scopes of work to certified contractors and execute home repair contracts; refer homeowners whose homes are beyond SUN’s services to other agencies; start construction on next three homes, monitor construction; issue 3 notices of completion; execute payments
Month 14-17: start construction on remaining homes, monitor construction; issue 3 notices of completion; execute payments
Month 18: issue notices of completion on all remaining properties, execute any remaining payments, submit closeout paperwork.
Project Director who is responsible for managing the entire project and tracking the project to completion; Intake specialist to recruit and qualify applicants; Rehabilitation Specialist to generate work write ups and work with contractors; Lead Risk Assessor to perform lead risk assessments and lead clearances.
VII. Numbers: SUN anticipates that this project will assist 7 homeowners who are very low or low income. All of the 7 homes will have household incomes of not more than 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), with at least 30% at under 60% of AMI. As 50% of Violet is African American, SUN expects to assist at least 4 minority homeowners.
VIII. Geographical Area: The geographical area to be served is Violet, LA, which is a census designated area of St. Bernard Parish that is a part of the New Orleans MSA that qualifies as a rural area with a population of less than 10,000. The boundaries of Violet are the Mississippi River, Docville Canal, Florida Avenue and Farmsite Road.
The estimated budget for HPG activities includes a homeowner match of supplies and materials of approximately 2000 per home. This match allows SUN to maximize construction work per unit to address additional repairs per unit to satisfy homeowner needs. The per unit cost for repairs for 7 units is an average of $6429, anticipating homes to average between 5000 to 6500 per home. Administrative costs are capped at 5000 for the entire project, and the bulk of such costs are for lead risk assessments and rehabilitation specialist. Additional administrative costs such as outreach, office space, insurance, telephone, and Internet services will be provided in-kind for this project.
Sources of Funds
Homeowner Match $17,500
In-Kind Outreach, Office Space, Insurance, communications
Use of HPG Funds
Rehabilitation $45000 (Avg $6429 per home)
Administrative Costs $5000
Project Director 50 hours $1000
Rehabilitation Specialist 60 hours $1200
Intake Specialist 40 hours $800
Lead Risk Assessor 7 homes $2000
X. Indirect Costs: There will be no indirect costs attributed to the HPG Program, as proposed in this application.
XI. Project Director tracks costs using Quickbooks accounting software programs and all SUN programs and financial systems are audited by Cassells & Associates on an annual basis.
XII. Evaluation: The effectiveness of SUN’s program will be demonstrated by the long-term affordability resulting to household assisted with these funds. Monitoring and evaluation of the HPG program will include:
- documentation of name, address, income, and total rehabilitation cost
- list of major repairs to home
- comparison of actual accomplishments to the objectives i.e. number of very low income households assisted and number of households assisted
- % of HPG funds invested
- ability to meet program work schedule
All monitoring and evaluation observations will be included in quarterly reports to Rural Development in accordance with §1944.683.
XIII. Financial Resources: SUN will invest as in-kind funds to pay for the following: outreach, office space, insurance, telephone and Internet to support the project. Homeowners will invest up to 2500 per home in the form of materials in order to help with the cost of repairs. This investment is for a total of $17,500.
XIV. Program Income: Since HPG funds will be issued in terms of a grant, program income is not anticipated at this time.
XV. Security Instruments: SUN does not anticipate utilizing security instruments.
XVI. Other Information: SUN is competed to utilizing Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) contractors to perform the home repairs.
XVII. Outreach efforts will consist of informational sheets to all owner-occupant households in the targeted communities; community meetings in which residents can come ask questions about the program; publication in community newspapers; information at housing and community fairs in which other information on all available housing programs is made available. Using the above-mentioned mechanisms, all families within the targeted community will be reached over the first three months of the grant period.
(2). Experience: SUN operates a very successful owner-occupied rehabilitation program in partnership with the City of New Orleans’ Office of Community Development that utilizes HOME funds to rehab the housing stock of low income homeowners and bring these homes up to code in order to preserve this housing and keep residents safe. This program aids residents who may have been victims of contractor fraud and unable to complete repairs, as well as those residents who homes have deteriorated due to environmental and previous repair work that was not up to code. Since April 2012, SUN has completed 28 homes; 8 under construction; and 6 more in various stages of pre-construction. Home repairs were completed utilizing over 600,000 dollars in HUD HOME funds.
A list of 20 certified contractors was developed for this project. SUN’s partnership with certified contractors instead of volunteers has allowed us to complete homes in a timely manner and guarantee repair work for 1 year. In addition, SUN works with minority contractors, DBE contractors, and Section 3 workers to help return income into the neighborhoods in which we work.
SUN’s Owner-Occupied Rehab Project maintains a construction manager/rehabilitation specialist on staff to generate scopes of work, oversee the completion of housing repair work and ensure that projects stay on track; a certified lead risk assessor to perform lead risk assessments and clearances; an a Project Director to complete monthly reporting requirements, document match funds, and monitor construction costs.
(3). Legal Existence: Please see attached incorporation papers for Southern United Neighborhoods.
(4). Private Nonprofit Entity: NA
(5). Area Served: SUN proposes to repair at least 7 owner-occupied housing units in Violet, LA, a census-designated area of the New Orleans MSA that is located in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana. This targeted community has close to 6000 residents with a high homeownership rate of close to 80%, with 18% of those residents living in poverty. Close to 50% of these residents are African American. The area was devastated by hurricane Katrina in 2005 and these homeowners rebuilt their housing stock and experience many of the same circumstances of contractor fraud and substandard construction as post-Katrina homeowners in New Orleans. The financial impacts of the subsequent disaster of the BP oil spill have stained the pocketbooks of low income homeowners. As a result, home repair programs are needed to help these homeowners increase the sustainability of their homes.
(6). Overcrowding: SUN’s home repair program will help homeowners retain their homes and improve the livability and longevity of their homes, reducing the possibility that they will need rental housing in the future.
(7). SUN activities:
- Owner-Occupied Rehab Project in the Lower 9th Ward (HUD Home Funds/reimbursement grant)
- Affordable Housing and Financial Literacy Training Programs (Membership Fees 1000/month)
- Community Engagement Programs – Foundation Grants (20,000/year)
(8). Other Information: NA