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The Community Development Block Grant is a federally funded grant administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), aimed to assist low to moderate-income communities with community development projects. Every year, each community with more than 50,000 people, and each county with a population with more than 200,000 are eligible to receive this funding.
The Township’s annual grant is based on a formula established by Congress and this amount may change based on the total Congressional appropriation given to HUD for a given year. The funding amount is further impacted by the number of new “entitlements”. As more communities are authorized to receive funding, everyone’s slice of the funding pie decreases. Due to these factors and the recent economic downturn, our CDBG budget has suffered the last several years.
In general, CDBG funds can be used for a wide range of activities such as housing rehabilitation, code enforcement, acquisition of real property, demolition, infrastructure and public facility improvements, economic development, and social services. The primary eligibility requirement for any funded activity is that the project or program principally benefits low and moderate-income persons in designated census tracts. HUD defines low and moderate income as a household that is at or below 80% of the median income for the area. Because demographic and economic conditions change quickly within a geographical area, these income guidelines are adjusted annually.
First, each proposed activity must meet one of three National Objectives of the federal program (benefitting low income persons, preventing or eliminating slums or blight, meeting urgent needs) and be consistent with the goals contained in the community’s Consolidated Plan. The Consolidated Plan is a 5 year planning document that sets a community’s CDBG goals. Each year under the Consolidated Plan a document called an “Action Plan” is prepared by the community and is made available for public review and comment. The Action Plan calls out the proposed activities to be funded and establishes an annual budget. After the review period, a public hearing is held, and in our case it is the Township Board that finally allocate the funds through the adoption of a resolution. The Action Plan and resolution is is then sent to HUD for approval. HUD has 45 days to review the Action Plan and request additional information, if necessary. If the Action Plan has been accepted by HUD, a new contract is sent to the Township to execute and funding is made available. The Township’s CDBG program year runs between July 1st and June 30th.
Waterford Township currently funds three eligible activities including (1)Housing rehabilitation – we assist low-income Waterford Township homeowners improve the quality of their homes via our Urgent Needs Home Repair Program. It was determined in our Consolidated Plan the upgrading of these homes and neighborhoods is important in keeping Waterford a desirable place to live and work. (2) Code enforcement - One of the cited goals in our Consolidated Plan is to increase the viability and aesthetic quality of neighborhoods and areas where the residents are primarily low and moderate income persons. To help accomplish this goal, CDBG monies are utilized to fund a portion of clerical and administrative costs necessary to oversee the Township’s code enforcement functions within Waterford's CDBG Target Areas, and (3)Program Administration - Funds are directed towards the general administration of the CDBG Program. This includes necessary supplies, services, training, capital expenses, and the wages and fringe benefits for the percentage of time spent by staff in administering the overall CDBG Program. This activity cannot exceed 20% of the total grant.
Waterford Township was first placed on the “entitlement list” in 1974.
Currently there are there are four, full-time positions partially funded; and two, part-time code enforcement positions funded through CDBG.
You are eligible if you are a low-income Waterford Township homeowner, as defined by HUD. Your home must be a single-family home, owner-occupied for at least one-year, the taxes must be current, and the combined assets of everyone living in the home must be less than $10,000.00.
It’s the gross income of all the household members 18 years old, or older, plus the benefits of all of the household members. Benefits include things like child support, Social Security benefits, alimony, etc.
Urgent needs like repairs/replacement of furnaces, water heaters, roofs, water and sewer connections, wells, minor repairs to electrical/plumbing systems, new insulation, and barrier free access improvements qualify under our program.
Due to limited funds, non-emergency repairs are not considered. Further, this program does NOT provide funding for projects like additions, painting, upgrades, purchase or repair of furnishings, new home construction, carports or garages, or reimbursement on improvements in process or already completed.
Assistance is provided through a deferred payment loan (D.P.L.). A D.P.L. is a zero percent (0%) interest, no monthly payment loan that is recorded as a mortgage on the home for the amount of the improvements.
The loan is repaid ONLY when you sell your home, transfer title or rent out your home. As long as you live in your home, payment is NOT required. If a homeowner passes, their heirs must repay this mortgage just as they must repay all other debts of the deceased.
Repaid loans are considered “program income” and this money can be used to fund the approved activities identified within an Action Plan. We feel that it is appropriate to direct these funds back into the Urgent Needs Home Repair program.
Applications are available at the Development Services Department located on the third floor of Town Hall. Also, the application packet can be e-mailed or sent out upon request.
If eligible, the applicant is contacted to schedule an appointment for an inspection. Staff prepares a work write-up for repairs on your house. The project is then released for bids to several prequalified contractors. Contractors will contact the applicant to view the specified work for bidding purposes. Once the winning contractor has been selected, the homeowner will be contacted to schedule a loan closing. Once all the paperwork is signed, work should start shortly after and be completed within one-hundred twenty (120) days. The work will be inspected by the Development Services Department before the contractor is paid. Invoices are submitted to the Township by the contractors. There will be no exchange of cash between Waterford Township and the homeowner, but payment is not made to the contractor until the homeowner signs off on the work.
Staff assists in application preparation. Once an application is submitted, we inspect the property and give cost estimates for the repairs. Staff oversees the bid process, prepares the construction contract, and inspects the project to ensure contract and code compliance.
First, staff checks to see that a contractor is not on the federal debarred list. Debarment means that an individual, organization and its affiliates are excluded from conducting business with any Federal Agency or funding recipients. Further, any contractor wishing to bid on housing rehabilitation work through our local program must be, and remain, certified. To be on our contractor’s list, a contractor must complete a two-page application, submit a copy of their Contractor’s License (as applicable), and provide a copy of their current Insurance Coverage. Staff reviews the application, and, if acceptable, places the contractor on the approved list.
There are 27 contractors representing several trades on the list. If more are interested, they can contact the Development Services Department at (248) 674-6240 for details. Women and/or minority owned contractors are especially encouraged to apply.