WORK SESSION AGENDA REQUEST

Sponsor:

Board of Supervisors Meeting Date:

Terrence L.  Nyhous, Center District Supervisor

 

June 11, 2009

 

Staff Lead:

Department:

Anthony I. Hooper, Deputy County Administrator

 

County Administration

 

Topic:

 

A Work Session to Review an Application to the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for Acquisition and Administration Funds to Purchase Vacant Foreclosed Homes as Provided Through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)

 

Topic Description:

The Board of Supervisors held a work session on the topic of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program on November 13, 2008. On January 8, 2009, the Board authorized County Administration to apply for a $25,000 Planning Grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).


The planning grant was awarded to fund the administrative costs associated with developing an implementation grant application, including the formation of a Management Team to identify properties and targeted neighborhoods, prepare qualified homeowner lists, initiate an ongoing public and financial institution outreach program, and outline a strategy for delivery of homeownership training/counseling.

 

The County is now positioned to issue a competitive, multi-jurisdictional grant proposal to DHCD for program implementation funds on July 1, 2009. The basic components of the NSP program and a basic outline of the contents of the County’s competitive application are provided below.

NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM:  Authorized under Title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program offers targeted emergency assistance to state and local governments to acquire, redevelop, and re-sell foreclosed properties that might otherwise become sources of abandonment and blight within their communities.

·         Virginia Allocation: $38.7 million to be administered statewide by The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), plus separate allocations to Fairfax and Prince William Counties.

·         Eligible Counties: DHCD identified Fauquier County as having a high level of need based on the number of bank-owned properties – 228 as of October 2008 (14th highest in the state); the number of foreclosures in an 18-month period ending June 2008 (19th highest); and the number of subprime mortgages issued in 2004-2006 (21st in the state).

·         Eligible Properties: Abandoned/foreclosed/blighted properties vacant at least 90 days in a neighborhood impacted by the foreclosure crisis.

·         Project Beneficiaries: 100% of project expenditures must benefit households earning 120% or less of median income; 25% of project funds must benefit households earning 50% or less of median income, classified by HUD as ‘very-low income’. The 25% ‘very-low income’ requirement may best be met by working with nonprofits that provide supportive housing.

·         Eligible Project Activities: 1) Establish financing mechanisms for purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed homes and residential properties; 2) purchase and rehabilitate homes and residential properties abandoned or foreclosed; 3) establish land banks for foreclosed homes; 4) demolish blighted structures; 5) redevelop demolished or vacant properties.

·         Program Benefits for Homebuyers: 1) Housing Counseling Assistance; 2) The purchase of a rehabilitated property (up to $25,000 of program funds can be utilized to rehabilitate the property to meet minimum DHCD Housing Quality Standards; 3) Up to 3% matching down payment assistance funding.

Application 

Step 1. Planning Grant Phase:  DHCD staff has worked closely with Fauquier County’s program Management Team (Attachment 1) to produce planning grant products that prepare the County for a competitive proposal. The team was charged with developing an organizational infrastructure demonstrating the County’s ability to successfully administer a foreclosure stabilization program.  

Step 2. July 1, 2009 Application:  As the planning grant phase concludes at the end of June, 2009 the County is positioned to submit a competitive application for statewide funding with the following major components:

·         Target Neighborhoods: The grant requires program funds to be targeted to neighborhoods with foreclosure rates between 8-12%. The team has studied the foreclosure phenomena and has found that Fauquier County continues to witness high foreclosure levels largely concentrated in Warrenton, Remington and the Bealeton areas.  The high foreclosure rates appear to be remaining constant in some sub-areas of these communities. Additionally, other neighborhoods have stabilized even as other neighborhoods have become newly impacted.  DHCD staff will be flexible in administering the program with the understanding that neighborhoods and homes currently identified as targeted areas in the application may not be the same as those that demonstrate need when funding would be appropriated in the late Summer, 2009.  

For purposes of this application, the currently identified priority target neighborhoods are Meadowbrook in Bealeton and Oak Springs in Warrenton, as mapped on Attachment 2. The application must also list at least nine potential sub-areas within three overall targeted areas meeting program specifications.

·         Outreach: The team had a successful community outreach meeting on April 15th. Sixteen members of the public, in addition to Management Team members who were present, signed in and provided follow-up contact information. Presentations were given on the nature of NSP and county history with foreclosures. Loretta Flynn of Wells Fargo bank spoke on the subject of mortgage financing. The meeting was covered by the Fauquier Times Democrat, which ran a subsequent article and editorial endorsing the proposed program.  The Management Team is working with local non-profits to develop a list of qualified potential home buyers who may be interested in living in one of the targeted communities. Outreach efforts to the community at large and to local financial institutions will continue and accelerate throughout the next three months.

 

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Conduct the work session and consider the attached resolution.

Financial Impact Analysis:

Federal and State funds are requested to support this planning and future program activity.  The County will provide in-kind services in the form of staff assistance.

Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

Department of Community Development

Attachments:

  1. NSP Management Team
  2. Priority NSP Neighborhoods
  3. Proposed Resolution

 

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