- Expand the supply of decent and affordable housing, particularly rental housing, for low- and very low-income persons.
- Strengthen the abilities of state and local governments to design and implement strategies for achieving adequate supplies of decent, affordable housing.
- Provide both financial and technical assistance to HOME recipients, including the development of model programs for affordable low-income housing.
- Expand and strengthen partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector, including for-profit and non-profit organizations, in the production and operation of affordable housing.
The Grants Management Division administers Federal funding from the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for affordable housing, community development, and social service programs intended to improve the quality of life and increase the number of affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Urbana residents.
The largest funding sources for Division programs include the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) program:
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program was established by the Federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (Act). Administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Act combined eight categorical programs into a single block grant program. Through this program, funds are available to help the City of Urbana meet their greatest economic and community development needs, with an emphasis upon helping persons of extremely low- to low-income. In order to ensure that the program meets the intent of the Federal Housing and Community Development act of 1974, as amended and re-authorized by the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, Congress has required that entitlement programs meet at least one of the following three national objectives:
- Benefit low- and moderate-income persons
- Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight
- Meet other community development needs that pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community
The HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program is a federal entitlement grant program authorized by Title II of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990, as amended. The program provides annual grants on a formula basis to entitled cities, counties, approved consortia, and states. Local governments receiving HOME funds are called “Participating Jurisdictions” or "PJs". The amount of HOME funds annually available to participating jurisdictions is determined by Congress through passage of the annual federal budget. HUD is also responsible for management and oversight of the HOME Program. Each PJ is responsible for deciding how HOME funds will be used in its jurisdiction and for daily administration of HOME funds. The HOME Program is intended to increase affordable housing opportunities, particularly for low-income persons. Specific purposes of the HOME Program are:
The Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (herein called “the Act”), as amended, makes provisions whereby units of local government may enter into cooperation agreements and form a Consortium to undertake or assist in undertaking affordable housing pursuant to the HOME Investment Partnership Program. In 1994, Champaign, Urbana, and Champaign County pursued designation of a HOME Consortium, for purposes of receiving HOME funds directly from HUD. In early 1995 HUD officially certified the Urbana HOME Consortium, at which time the City of Champaign, the City of Urbana, and Champaign County entered into an intergovernmental agreement, establishing the City of Urbana as the Lead Entity. The Consortium includes the following jurisdictions:
- Unincorporated Champaign County (represented by the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission)
- City of Champaign
- City of Urbana
The Grants Management Division works closely with neighborhood organizations, social services agencies, and citizens, in accordance with a Citizen Participation Plan adopted by City Council in 1995, to develop the City's five-year Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plans to ensure that plans and budgets meet current needs. The Grants Management Division staffs the Community Development Commission, a citizens’ advisory group appointed by the Mayor with consent of City Council that assists in establishing guidelines for the activities of the Grants Management Division and makes recommendations to City Council regarding Division programs.
Major Activities of the Grants Management Division include:
- Maintains and improves the quality of life in the City through design and delivery of programs that either benefit low-income persons or eliminate slum and blight
- Eliminates deficient housing conditions through loans and grants, which principally benefit very low-income persons and, in cases of extreme deterioration, through property clearance and resident relocation
- Increases the number of rental housing units affordable to very low-income persons through tenant-based rent assistance and through use of tax credits for investors in low-income housing
- Improves the appearance and safety of the CD Target Area through capital improvements and cleanup activities
- Increases the number of accessible housing units available to persons with disabilities
- Prevents housing deterioration through grants for minor home repair targeted toward elderly persons and persons with disabilities.
- Provides social services designed to promote personal growth, independent living, and self-sufficiency
- Promotes involvement by residents in planning, design, and implementation of neighborhood services though development of viable, representative, non-profit neighborhood and housing organizations