The monthly Delaware State Council on Housing (COH) meeting was held at the Liberty Court community building in Dover, Delaware. Here are the agenda and September 14, 2011 meeting minutes.
The Loan Review Committee recommended the following Housing Development Fund (HDF) requests which were approved by the Delaware State Council on Housing:
Homeless Planning Council of Delaware (HPC) requested a one year grant of $95,000 for: 1) administrative and operations support for the Delaware Homeless Management Information System (DE-HMIS); 2) packaging of the Continuum of Care and Emergency Shelter Grants; and 3) administrative expenses for the Delaware Interagency Council on Homelessness (DICH).
- The Delaware Homeless Management Information System (DE-HMIS) helps homeless agencies integrate technology into its operations. The program allows the Homeless Planning Council of Delaware (HPC) to collect data on Delaware’s homeless populations, which data is then used to improve Delaware’s policies and programs. The Homeless Planning Council of Delaware (HPC) coordinates the submission of the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Continuum of Care application for funds that assist Delaware homeless shelters. The Homeless Planning Council of Delaware (HPC) also provides data collection and reporting for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Emergency Shelter Grants, Delaware Interagency Council on Homelessness (DICH) and the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Consolidated Plan.
- The motion carried unanimously.
Milford Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) requested $75,000 for administrative costs for its Self-Help Housing Program.
- The Self-Help Housing Program is a USDA Rural Development (RD) program that assists homeowners at 80% of median income or below to construct their own homes. The program is anticipated to create 10 homes over the next 12 months.
- Ms. Sokolowski inquired about the amount of funding requested since it has almost doubled from the previous year. A representative from Milford Housing Development Corporation (MHDC) stated that there has been a huge demand for the program, which has lead to hiring additional staff.
- Motion carried with Ms. Louder and Mr. Huxtable abstaining.
NCALL Research, Inc. requested a one-year grant of $76,930 for the Rural Development Homeownership Initiative (RDHI), specifically for administrative costs to package USDA’s Rural Development (RD) 502 Homeownership applications and Section 504 Home Repair grants and loans.
- The Rural Development Homeownership Initiative (RDHI) provides homeownership counseling services to the following: 1) households qualifying for Rural Development (RD) 502 Homeownership Loan Program (households at or below 80% of median income), which allow for the purchase of homes in rural areas; and 2) homeowners qualifying for Rural Development (RD) Section 504 Home Repair Program which provides for repair of substandard homes. NCALL Research, Inc. anticipates closing 30 Rural Development (RD) 502 Homeownership Loans and 2 Rural Development (RD) Section 504 Home Repair grants/loans.
- Motion carried with Ms. Louder abstaining.
West End Neighborhood House, Inc. (WENH) requested a grant of $100,000 to support its Security Deposit Revolving Loan Fund.
- The Security Deposit Program provides loans/grants to assist renters at 50-80% of median income who are in need of funds for first month’s rent, security deposit and or utility deposits. M&T Bank provides the security deposit loan for a term of 24 months at a reduced interest rate. West End Neighborhood House, Inc.’s (WENH) annual goal is to provide 188 loans/grants to eligible renters.
- Mr. Peters inquired about the $22,590 allowance for loan loss when the current default rate is only 10%. A representative from West End Neighborhood House, Inc. (WENH) stated that this was a requirement of M&T Bank. Recaptured funds are used in grant support that renters receive.
- Motion carried unanimously.
Sussex County Habitat for Humanity (SCHH) requested a grant of $40,000 for administrative costs of its Family Services Program.
- The Family Services Program is the counseling component of the Habitat for Humanity housing model. The program provides housing counseling education and support to families from the construction to closing period as well as post closing and during the families’ mortgage term. These services are also provided to families in the A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) program, which repairs owner-occupied homes. Sussex County Habitat for Humanity (SCHH) anticipates serving 12 Habitat families and 17 A Brush With Kindness (ABWK) applicants.
- Ms. Sokolowski stated that this program was too far into social services to qualify for Housing Development Funds (HDF).
- Motion carried with Ms. Sokolowski opposing and Ms. Louder and Mr. Peters abstaining.
Lutheran Community Services, Inc. (LCS) requested a grant of $50,000 for its Housing Assistance Program.
- The Housing Assistance Program assists low-income renters to continue in their housing by providing funds for security deposits, rent and utility payments after completing a financial literacy program. Lutheran Community Services, Inc.’s (LCS) annual goal is to provide 250 grants to eligible renters.
- Motion carried unanimously.
Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, Inc. (DIMH) requested a grant of $12,740 for its Preventing Homelessness, Rebuilding Lives Program.
- The Preventing Homelessness, Rebuilding Lives Program provides training and employment to homeless men residing in the Dover Interfaith Mission for Housing, Inc. (DIMH) shelter to recycle, repair and rehabilitate bicycles and furniture. A portion of the resident’s sale proceeds is deposited into an individual development savings account to fund the resident’s permanent housing costs.
- Ms. Sokolowski and Mr. Peters stated that the program’s connection to housing was tenuous, falling outside the scope of Housing Development Funds (HDF).
- Motion carried with Ms. Sokolowski and Mr. Peters opposing and Ms. Louder abstaining.
The council discussed its annual report. After incorporating comments from Ms. Sokolowski, to remove the focus on Housing Development Funds (HDF) and broaden the report’s language to include council’s other responsibilities, the report was approved.
Mr. Ben Addi provided the Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) report. He notified the council that the Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) allocated to the 2010 B’nai B’rith tax credit project was recaptured by mutual agreement due to construction timing issues. As a result, the Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) were allocated to 2011 tax credit applicants whereby a total of seven projects are ranked for 2011 Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC).