CITY OF BESSEMER, ALABAMA
Government

CR-05 – Goals and Outcomes

Progress the jurisdiction has made in carrying out its strategic plan and its action plan.  91.520(a)

This could be an overview that includes major initiatives and highlights that were proposed and executed throughout the program year.

 

In FY2017 the City of Bessemer provided sixteen(16) Emergency Housing Repair Grants totaling $77,985.00 and two (2) Housing Rehabilitation Loans totaling $120,598.78. $53,661.87 from FY2016 Action Plan was spent under the Public Services in the summer of 2017 for the Camp Bessemer program. All  $53,661.87 in CDBG funding under the Public Services category from the 2017 Action Plan was moved by substantial amendment to the Public Facilities category for Signage. $50,000.00 was moved by Substantial amendment of the FY 2015 Action Plan, from the Asset Allocation activity, to Park and Recreation for a drainage project in Roosevelt Park. The Economic and Community Development Department conducted programs designed to market CDBG Housing and Homeownership programs. Seminars were coducted in partnership with local banks to provide information to citizens interested in financing homes through the private sector. The Lincoln Theater project, which should result in the expenditure of $100,000.00 in CDBG funds, began the environmental review process in conjunction with the State of Alabama’s Historic Commission as part of the Historic Grant Pprogram. 

Comparison of the proposed versus actual outcomes for each outcome measure submitted with the consolidated plan and explain, if applicable, why progress was not made toward meeting goals and objectives.  91.520(g)

Categories, priority levels, funding sources and amounts, outcomes/objectives, goal outcome indicators, units of measure, targets, actual outcomes/outputs, and percentage completed for each of the grantee’s program year goals.

 

Goal

Category

Source / Amount

Indicator

Unit of Measure

Expected – Strategic Plan

Actual – Strategic Plan

Percent Complete

Expected – Program Year

Actual – Program Year

Percent Complete

Economic Development Loan

 

CDBG: $

Facade treatment/business building rehabilitation

Business

8

0

         0.00%

5

0

         0.00%

Economic Development Loan

 

CDBG: $

Jobs created/retained

Jobs

8

0

         0.00%

5

0

         0.00%

Economic Development Loan

 

CDBG: $

Businesses assisted

Businesses Assisted

8

0

         0.00%

5

0

         0.00%

Emergency Housing Repair Grants

Affordable Housing
Non-Homeless Special Needs

CDBG: $

Homeowner Housing Added

Household Housing Unit

 

 

 

35

16

        45.71%

Emergency Housing Repair Grants

Affordable Housing
Non-Homeless Special Needs

CDBG: $

Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated

Household Housing Unit

179

59

        32.96%

 

 

 

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Affordable Housing

CDBG: $

Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated

Household Housing Unit

35

8

        22.86%

12

2

        16.67%

Public Facilities

Non-Housing Community Development

CDBG: $

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit

Persons Assisted

27000

0

         0.00%

27000

0

         0.00%

Public Services

Non-Housing Community Development

CDBG: $

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit

Persons Assisted

0

0

 

 

 

 

Public Services

Non-Housing Community Development

CDBG: $

Public service activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit

Persons Assisted

375

150

        40.00%

75

0

         0.00%

Table 1 – Accomplishments – Program Year & Strategic Plan to Date

 

 

Assess how the jurisdiction’s use of funds, particularly CDBG, addresses the priorities and specific objectives identified in the plan, giving special attention to the highest priority activities identified.

PRIORITY #1: To provide rehabilitation assistance to low, and low to moderate homeowners by upgrading the existing stock of affordable housing through rehabilitation of structures classified as substandard, but suitable for rehabilitation. To bring housing into compliance with the International Housing CODE. To provide assistance for repairs to maintain housing stock in a decent, safe and sanitary condition. To limit the loss of affordable housing and to promote and provide for rehabilitation of historic properties. During FY2017 The City provided 16 Emergency Housing Repair Grants and 2 Housing Rehabilitation Loan.

PRIORITY #5: To address the needs of the elderly and disabled by providing Rehabilitation Loans and Emergency Repair grants to elderly homeowners, of low to moderate income, to address health, safety, stability and accessibility issues and to maintain the stock of affordable housing at the highest level possible. Sixteen (16) Emergency Housing Repair Grants were provided in FY2017 for elderly and disabled persons.

Please Note: The housing rehabiltation numbers given under the Emergency Grant Category as “Homeowner Housing Added” should read “Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated”.***

 


CR-10 – Racial and Ethnic composition of families assisted

Describe the families assisted (including the racial and ethnic status of families assisted). 91.520(a)

 

 

CDBG

White

2

Black or African American

16

Asian

0

American Indian or American Native

0

Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander

0

 

 

 

 

Total

18

 

 

 

 

 

Hispanic

0

Not Hispanic

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2 – Table of assistance to racial and ethnic populations by source of funds

 

Narrative

During Program Year 2017 eighteen (18) families were assisted under the City of Bessemer’s Housing Rehabilitation programs. Sixteen (16) were assisted under the Emergency Housing Rehabilitation Repair Grant program and two (2) were assisted under the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program. Of those served sixteen (16) were African American and two (2) were White. $77,985.00 was disbursed under the Emergency Housing Repair Grant program and $120,598.78 was disbursed under the Housing Rehabilitation program. The Emergency Housing Repair Grant program is designed to address the needs of the Elderly and disabled by providing repairs that directly address a given disability and items that address health and safety. Wheel Chair Ramps and renovations that address the American’s With Disabilities Act are typical uses of funds. In these cases the Housing Rehabilitation Loan program included standard Housing Rehabilitation loans for existing homeowners and loans to new homebuyers for the purchase and rehabilitation of existing housing.

In addition to the accomplishmentioned above, it should be noted that during FY 2017 The City of Bessemer’s Department of Economic and Community Development met with and processed the applications and inquiries of 150 Emergency Housing Repair Grant applicants, 25 Housing Rehabilitation Loan applicants, 15 Economic Development Loan applicants, 5 Historic Facade Grant applicants. In addition the department maintained a group of some 20 contractors for various programs.

 


CR-15 – Resources and Investments 91.520(a)

Identify the resources made available

Source of Funds

Source

Resources Made Available

Amount Expended During Program Year

CDBG

CDBG

790,611

583,146

HOME

HOME

 

 

HOPWA

HOPWA

 

 

ESG

ESG

 

 

Other

Other

 

 

Table 3 – Resources Made Available

 

Narrative

The City of Bessemer received $515,279.00 in CDBG Entitlement funds for fiscal year 2017. $14,768.19 was paid in AUgust of 2018 from CDBG Entitlement funds for program administration costs incurred in FY2017. This adjustment appears on line 14 and line 40 of the corrected PR-26 report for FY2017 included with the submission of this CAPER. All other funding derived from Prior Year’s Entitlement Funds, the Housing Revolving Loan fund, Economic Development Revolving Loan fund and Program Income generated from the HOPE 3 program. The City of Bessemer’s CDBG Administrative Costs and Delivery costs for staff salaries operate on a reimbursement basis to the City’s General Fund. All programs are conducted on a City Wide basis.

 

Identify the geographic distribution and location of investments

Target Area

Planned Percentage of Allocation

Actual Percentage of Allocation

Narrative Description

 

 

 

 

Table 4 – Identify the geographic distribution and location of investments

 

Narrative

All CDBG related programs are designed to serve low-to-moderate income individuals on a City-Wide basis. That is all areas of the City of Bessemer are served by CDBG related Housing Programs and are based on low-to-moderate income eligibility rather than a specific geographic area. All Entitlement based CDBG programs are designed to serve low and low to moderate income individuals. 100% of Housing Revolving Loan based programs serve low and Low-to-Moderate income persons. All Economic Development Revolving Loan based programs are designed to create jobs for low-to-modrate income persons. 

 

Leveraging

Explain how federal funds  leveraged additional resources (private, state and local funds), including a description of how matching requirements were satisfied, as well as how any publicly owned land or property located within the jurisdiction that were used to address the needs identified in the plan.

The City annually designates $125,000.00 from its General Fund for Camp Bessemer, a public service activity, and budgeted $53,661.59 from CDBG for the same project. However, the City amended the 2017 budget to move the $53,661.59 to a public facilities project, thus Camp Bessemer was cancelled relative to FY2017 CDBG funding. The City anticipates paying for the Camp Bessemer project from the summer of 2018 with FY 2018 CDBG funds. The City committed $250,000.00 for City Wide Blighted Housing Clearance from its General Fund allowing CDBG funds to be used for other housing purposes. The City also partners with various groups including the United Way, JCCEO, and Habitat for Humanity to provide Housing services CDBG funds cannot address. Habitat for Humanity plans to build fifteen (15) new houses in Bessemer in 2018 and another ten (10) new houses in 2019.

 

 


CR-20 – Affordable Housing 91.520(b)

Evaluation of the jurisdiction’s progress in providing affordable housing, including the number and types of families served, the number of extremely low-income, low-income, moderate-income, and middle-income persons served.

 

 

One-Year Goal

Actual

Number of Homeless households to be provided affordable housing units

0

0

Number of Non-Homeless households to be provided affordable housing units

0

0

Number of Special-Needs households to be provided affordable housing units

0

0

Total

0

0

Table 11 – Number of Households

 

 

 

 

One-Year Goal

Actual

Number of households supported through Rental Assistance

0

0

Number of households supported through The Production of New Units

0

0

Number of households supported through Rehab of Existing Units

12

2

Number of households supported through Acquisition of Existing Units

0

0

Total

12

2

Table 12 – Number of Households Supported

 

 

Discuss the difference between goals and outcomes and problems encountered in meeting these goals.

The City of Bessemer believes the overall goals of the  projections in its Consolidated Plan for FY2015-FY2019 related to housing can be achieved, but the numbers for FY2017 indicate additional outreach will be necessary to achieve those goals.. The City disbursed $77,985.00 for 16 Emergency Housing Repair Grants in FY2017. This was below expectations so the City has instituted additional outreach in order to increase the number Emergency Grants. The  City was able to complete two (2) Housing Rehabilitation Loan totaling $120,598.78. Poor credit ratings impacted the opportunity to underwrite the forecast number of Housing Rehabilitation loans for FY2017 and in general the income levels of most eligible residents are too low for them to be comfortable with repaying a mortgage loan so it may be that altering the focus from pure rehab to programs like Buy/Rehab/Sell will be necessary. It should be noted that several Rehabilitation Loans made it to the closing process only to fail for various legal reasons. The financial collapse of 2008 continues to effect the ability of individuals at and below the low-to-moderate income level to qualify for loans. Credit requirements, although moderate, have proven to be difficult for many people to meet due to the financial hardships cause by the recession. The City plans to convert its Revolving Loan Fund to Entitlement Funds and reallocate a significant portion of those funds to Emergency Grants in FY2018 because such grants address the areas of greatest need in the community. Housing Rehabilitation loans continue to be challenging due to the lack  of credit worthiness of most applicants, the exceptionally low income levels of most applicants and the after rehabilitation value of many properties. 

Discuss how these outcomes will impact future annual action plans.

Future Action Plans will likely focus on Housing Grants, Deferred Loans, Public Services, Public Improvements and Economic Development activities related to the removal of Slum and Blight in the City’s National Historic District, although smaller sums will be directed to Economic Development Loans designed to facilitate Job Crteation. Clearance will be entirely financed by the City’s General Fund. The needs of those with disabilities continues to rise as the population ages and housing stock grows older. Therefore, Emergency Housing Repair Grants will continue to be a central tenent of the CDBG program for the City of Bessemer. The Emergency Housing Repair Grant is designed to address the needs of the elderly and the disabled with repairs specific to addressing disabilities through compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act and Health and Safety. Bessemer has a large elderly population that is addressed by this program. While not a direct part of the action plan the City will continue to pursue partnerships with agencies like JCCEO, The Woodlawn Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, The Veterans Administration and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority to leverage funds and increase outreach. In the case of elderly applicants on fixed incomes standard rehabilitation loans are not feasible because of expense while and grants are not adequate to address all the repairs necessary for many properties. Based on available funding the City will look to Deferred Rehabilitation loans to address the needs of the elderly in the upcoming fiscal year.

Include the number of extremely low-income, low-income, and moderate-income persons served by each activity where information on income by family size is required to determine the eligibility of the activity.

 

 

 

 

 

Number  of Households Served

CDBG Actual

HOME Actual

Extremely Low-income

15

0

Low-income

1

0

Moderate-income

2

0

Total

18

0

Table 13 – Number of Households Served

 

 

Narrative Information

All City Housing programs are designed to serve individuals at or below the Low-to-Moderate income level. In addition, the majority of programs are designed to address the needs of the elderly and disabled. For instance, the Emergency Housing Repair Grant is targeted to elderly and disabled home owners with the goal of addressing specific repairs that address disabilities, as well as health and safety. Typical projects include wheel chair ramps and ADA bathroom and other issues of access. The demand for grant funds from those with disabilities exceeds available funding. By partnering with outside agencies the City has and hopes to continue to raise the effective funding of the CDBG program to a level commensurate with grant levels before reductions began.

The City has no programs designed to address rental property or “Worst Case Needs” of renters, specifically. However, the City does work with the One Roof organization to address the needs of the homeless. Therefore, the worst case needs of  the homeless are addressed. It should be noted the City receives no ESG funding.

 

 


CR-25 – Homeless and Other Special Needs 91.220(d, e); 91.320(d, e); 91.520(c)

Evaluate the jurisdiction’s progress in meeting its specific objectives for reducing and ending homelessness through:

Reaching out to homeless persons (especially unsheltered persons) and assessing their individual needs

The City of Bessemer works with One Roof, the area Continuum of Care, to reduce homeless numbers in our jurisdiction. Overall homeless numbers in the jurisdiction exhibited a declining trend form early calendar year 2017, when the number was 875, to the end of the CDBG fiscal year when numbers had dropped to 533 sheltered persons. While this is a recorded decrease of 342 sheltered people, it must be noted that the Continuum also recorded a loss of 554 available beds.

Addressing the emergency shelter and transitional housing needs of homeless persons

The emergency shelter bed count for calendar 2017 was 540 while the end of CDBG fiscal year count was only 431. The transitional bed count for 2017 was 304 and dropped to 219 in 2018. The change in ES and TH beds was a total loss of 194 temporary beds, and while this number is significant, it still does not account for the decrease of 342 sheltered people. The CoC is comfortable that the process of identifying the most vulnerable people through Coordinated Assessment and housing them combined with the availability of Rapid Rehousing dollars, is starting to make true differences in homeless numbers. 

Unfortunately, we have not seen corresponding decreases in the unsheltered population. Total number of unsheltered persons identified in 2017 was 217 and we showed only a 3 person decrease in 2018 with the identification of 214 unsheltered persons. This leads us to be concerned about the availability of affordable, low/no barrier housing that is immediately available for our population with the most barriers such as long/ exceedingly long term homelessness, felony backgrounds, mental illness and substance abuse. The changes in the chronic homeless numbers support this. We see that we had 31 chronically homeless people sheltered in 2017 but increased that number to 95 in 2018. We know that we had 92 chronically homeless people unsheltered in 2017 and decreased that number to only 24 in 2018. This shows us that we are able to get our chronically homeless into shelter, but that we are challenged to move them out into permanent housing.

Helping low-income individuals and families avoid becoming homeless, especially extremely low-income individuals and families and those who are:  likely to become homeless after being discharged from publicly funded institutions and systems of care (such as health care facilities, mental health facilities, foster care and other youth facilities, and corrections programs and institutions);  and,  receiving assistance from public or private agencies that address housing, health, social services, employment, education, or youth needs

This jurisdiction supports the Continuum efforts to keep people from becoming homeless after being discharged from institutions and systems of care. There are State Discharge Policies in place that strictly prohibit youth from being discharged from foster care and other youth facilities into homelessness, that prohibit State mental health facilities from discharging a person into homelessness, and that prohibit some correctional facilities from discharging into homelessness. The Continuum actively coordinates with Health Care entities to prohibit discharge into homelessness even though no official policy exists. The continuum is actively working to develop Medical Respite Care believing that the availability of this specialized housing for homeless persons would further the development of Health Care discharge policies.

The City of Bessemer also supports efforts of the Continuum to develop a Continuum-wide Coordinated Assessment. This fledgling program is run out of One Roof, the Continuum lead, and currently utilizes the VI-SPDAT 2.0 or the TAY-VI-SPDAT to evaluate and rank for vulnerability all homeless persons prior to placement into any CoC-funded projects. One Roof Coordinated Assessment is available by telephone and in person, thus making it accessible to the complete geography. The City of Bessemer believes that full implementation of the Coordinated Assessment, including the addition of the mainstream benefits providers, will further prevent homelessness.

Helping homeless persons (especially chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans and their families, and unaccompanied youth) make the transition to permanent housing and independent living, including shortening the period of time that individuals and families experience homelessness, facilitating access for homeless individuals and families to affordable housing units, and preventing individuals and families who were recently homeless from becoming homeless again

We saw the number of Unaccompanied Youth (under 25) go down from 125 in early 2017 to just 22 by the beginning of FY 2018. We know that with the federal push to identify and serve these young people we have done a better job of finding and counting them. From this dramatic decrease we also know that the Rapid Rehousing programs we have put in place are doing their job and decreasing the number of Unaccompanied Youth on our streets. We did see the number of Domestic Violence victims decrease from 135 in 2017 to 100 in 2018, but we also know that we lost Domestic Violence dedicated housing during this time, so do not believe this is a significant decrease.

We must increase the availability of affordable, low/no barrier, and immediately available permanent housing. That will both prevent some homelessness and end other homelessness.

 

CR-30 – Public Housing 91.220(h); 91.320(j)

Actions taken to address the needs of public housing

PHA GOAL #1: EXPAND THE SUPPLY OF ASSISTED HOUSING

The PHA established the following objectives to strive in meeting goal #1:

Leverage private or other public funds to create additional housing opportunities

Acquire or build units or developments

Progress Statement: BHA closed 1st RADs, in 2015 and received a Portfolio RAD

approval in 2015. RAD 2 was closed in 2016 and RAD III closed in 2017.

PHA GOAL #2: INCREASE ASSISTED HOUSING CHOICES

The PHA established the following objectives to strive in meeting goal #2

Implement voucher homeownership program

Implement public housing or other homeownership programs

Convert public housing to vouchers

Progress Statement:

It should be noted that one of the primary goals for public housing in general is to assist residents in transitioning to home ownership. The Bessemer Public Housing Authority has programs in place to teach residents about home ownwership. These programs include educational components, but they also facilitate saving for down payments and other practical aspects of the home ownership process. The City of Bessemer seeks to address the needs of Public Housing and the desire to assist residents in transitiong to housing, by making the CDBG Buy/Rehab/Sell housing program available to program graduates. This program provides mortgage loans to residents to purchase and rehabilitate houses in the City of Bessemer. Public housing residents with good credit who have taken responsible actions to become home owners are an excellent fit for the Buy/Rehab/Sell program and the program, by virtue of its ability to provide low interest loans to persons that might have difficulty securing bank loans, is a strong vehicle to help residents secure mortgages in situations where they might not otherwise be able to. The Bessemer Public Housing Authority refers eligible partiocipants to the City of Bessemer for program participation.

Actions taken to encourage public housing residents to become more involved in management and participate in homeownership

PHA GOAL #3: PROMOTE SELF-SUFFICIENCY AND ASSET DEVELOPMENT

OF ASSISTED HOUSEHOLDS

The PHA established the following objectives to strive in meeting goal #3

Increase the number and percentage of employed persons in assisted families

Provide or attract supportive services to improve assistance recipients’ employability

Progress Statement:

Expand FSS as a major 2017-2018 goal BHA

BHA will continue its ROSS Grant efforts and objective

BHA will expand FSS Program by increasing overall focus and adding strong link with United Way IDS.

The City of Bessemer has cooperated with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority to assist residents who participate in their home ownership transition program. The Bessemer Public Housing Authority refers resident who have completed the program to the Bessemer Economic and Community Development Department for their participation in the CDBG funded Buy/Rehab/Sell program. These participants, who are low to moderate in income, have saved money for a down payment and they have participated in home ownership and credit classes. As such the referrals from the Bessemer Public Housing Authority are excellent fits for the Buy/Rehab/Sell program, which is designed to provide housing for first time home buyers. The City has also conducted public housing seminars that included Public Housing Residents. These seminars teach basic home ownership, but they also explain CDBG housing programs that are available in Bessemer.

 

Actions taken to provide assistance to troubled PHAs

Actions taken to provide assistance to troubled PHAs

The Bessemer Public Housing Authority is not a troubled PHA. The City of Bessemer’s Economic and Community Development Department has a strong relationship with the PHA. The PHA has an ongoing program to help residents transition to permanent housing and the City of Bessemer, through CDBG Housing Programs, works actively with the PHA to assist as many persons as possible who are referred by the PHA. In addition the PHA and the Economic and Community Development Department regularly cooperate in bringing programs to the elderly and disabled citizens through public meetings and forums. The PHA, The City of Bessemer and Habitat for Humanity plan to work together to assist eligible PHA residents find permanent housing in the City of Bessemer.

CR-35 – Other Actions 91.220(j)-(k); 91.320(i)-(j)

Actions taken to remove or ameliorate the negative effects of public policies that serve as barriers to affordable housing such as land use controls, tax policies affecting land, zoning ordinances, building codes, fees and charges, growth limitations, and policies affecting the return on residential investment. 91.220 (j); 91.320 (i)

No actions have been or are necessary to remove or ameliorate the negative effects of public policies that serve as barriers to affordable housing at the local level. State laws regarding the ability of the City to gain control of properties from Clearance activities continue to need reform and the State Legislature has been on a trajectory to address that reform. The City maintains a coherant zoning plan with the ability to change as necessary. Building CODES are similar to the vast majority of Alabama cities. Fees and charges are moderate. The City encompasses more that 40 square miles of property that is suitable to develop. There are no policies negatively effecting return on residential development.

Actions taken to address obstacles to meeting underserved needs.  91.220(k); 91.320(j)

The deterioration of the infrastructure associated with low and moderate-income neighborhoods is viewed by the City as a contributing factor in creating blight and must be addressed in order to stabilize neighborhoods. The Clearance program now funded by the City of Bessemer ($250,000.00 in FY2012, FY2013, FY2014, FY2016 and FY2017) addresses the blight of residential and commercial structures and residential safety. 302 Blighted Structures have been demolished in the City of Bessemer since in 2011. The City provides a wide variety of CDBG funded Housing Loan and Grant programs designed to serve low and low-to-moderate income individuals with a focus on the elderly and disabled. The City provides housing grants designed to address housing repairs and improvements associated with disabilities. The grant program can, in many cases, allow homeowners to continue living indepentdently in their homes.The City also works to refer individuals to the Bessemer Public Housing Authority as necessary and the CIty partners with Habitat for Humanity to accomplish rehabilitation in situations that are not appropriate for CDBG funds.

 

Actions taken to reduce lead-based paint hazards. 91.220(k); 91.320(j)

The City of Bessemer follows all rules and regulations regarding the reduction of Lead Based Paint. The City provides testing in every instance where a painted surface could be disturbed by repairs or assumes the existence of lead based paint and proceeds appropriately. The City also notifies all participants of the dangers of lead based paint. Contractors working under the CDBG program are required to have all the certifications necessary to allow for the proper abatement of lead based paint hazards. The City has followed this policy consistently for many years.

Actions taken to reduce the number of poverty-level families. 91.220(k); 91.320(j)

The City has an active and aggressive economic development program that has attracted retail and industrial jobs. These jobs have a direct effect of improving the economic status of families throughout Bessemer. New Businesses such as the Dollar General distribution center, the Tannehill Promenade, Amsted Rail and Amazon have and will continue add literally thousands of jobs to the Bessemer economy. In the long term the City has invested in a Public Services project for youth job training known as Camp Bessemer. The City contributes approximately $125,000.00 annually to the program and an annual contribution of over $50,000.00  from CDBG funds is also made to the program. All the economic development activities of the City, including the acquisition of the Amazon Distribution Center and the Dollar General Distribution center contribute to the economic well being of every Bessemer citizen and improve the opportunities for employment.

Actions taken to develop institutional structure. 91.220(k); 91.320(j)

The City has taken action to more effectively utilize all the departments that could impact housing related matters and well as matters related to Public Service and Public Facilities. The Housing and Inspections Department inspects and identifies non-conforming CODE conditions and assures those conditions are rectified as part of the process involving Housing Rehabilitation Loans. Economic and Community Devolpent Department personnel are trained and licensed in Lead Based Paint procedures and the Environmental Review process. The Economic and Community Development Department also has personnel trained in GIS mapping systems to assist in the Environmental Review process. These steps have worked to provide a comprehensive approach to move a given project from inception to completion as efficiently as possible.

Actions taken to enhance coordination between public and private housing and social service agencies. 91.220(k); 91.320(j)

The City of Bessemer has addressed and plans to continue addressing the problems associated with the poor condition of its housing stock and the opportunities for home ownership with its CDBG Housing Program. The City, as a CDBG entitlement, has a broad and effective housing program designed to provide loans and grants to improve housing and to provide opportunities for home ownership. The City has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to implement a program to buy and demolish dilapidated housing. In addition, the City allocated $250,000.00 annually in General Funds to demolish blighted housing as part of it’s annual FY2017 budget.  The City has begun a partnership with Habitat for Humanity for housing rehabilitation and new construction. The partnership will serve to leverage City rehabilitation funds and take advantage of the properties acquired through demolition.  Recently the Authority undertook the complete renovation of two large multi-family facilities, demolished one entire multi-family complex and has begun the process of building 10 single family homes in a Bessemer subdivision. The Economic Development Department and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority actively work to provide opportunities for home ownership to persons transitioning from public housing.

Housing is an ongoing issue, but existing programs, initiatives and partnerships are and will continue to address those issues at an increasing rate.

Identify actions taken to overcome the effects of any impediments identified in the jurisdictions analysis of impediments to fair housing choice.  91.520(a)

Transportation: The City contributes to the Jefferson County Mass Transit System. The City has conducted transportation studies in the past and is presently in the process of participating in a study with the Regional Planning Commission in hope of facilitating the construction of a transit hub.

Employment/Economic Development: The City has attracted new business and help grow existing concerns. Incentives for attracting investment include such tools as tax abatements and Tax Increment Financing. The City recently landed an Amazon Fulfillment Center that is expected to create between 1500 and 3000 jobs. The Tannehill Promenade was a new development when the last CDBG Consolidated Plan and Fair Housing Plan was considered. The $100,000,000.00 development has provided hundreds of new jobs and has been an economic engine providing close to a 30% increase in the City’s tax base relative to FY 2010. Construction of the Dollar General Distribution Center has added approximately 600 jobs in its first phase and is expected to provide over 1000 jobs when completely implemented. The CSX Intermodal facility made great strides toward the revitalization of the old Pullman Standard facility and created 12 new jobs. The Tannehill Promenade continued to grow with the opening of the new Michaels store added in October of 2012 and Firehouse Subs was added in May of 2012. A new warehousing facility adjoining the new Norfolk Southern Intermodal facility adjacent to Bessemer will create more than 1000 jobs. The re-opening of the Amsted Rail/Griffin Wheel plant provided 150 jobs. Precision Grinding’s expansion resulted in 25 new jobs. The $50,000,000.00 US Pipe development added 100 jobs. The $21,000,000.00 Intertec development of 2013 is expected to add 100 jobs when it is complete. The City was also involved in bringing other businesses to Bessemer that brought upwards of $34,000,000.00 in development to the downtown area. Some of the more notable projects in process and in place include the conversion of the Masonry Arts Company to JB Processing, LLC with an expected 30 new jobs, the opening of Steyr Arms USA and the expansion of Milo’s Tea. The City is addressing needs associated with employment at an exceptional rate.

Poor Housing Stock: The City has allocated $250,000.00 annually in General Funds to demolish blighted housing during this Consolidated Planning period. The City is demolishing, on average, 120 houses per year.

The City has begun a partnership with Habitat for Humanity new housing construction. The partnership will serve to leverage City in-kind contributions and take advantage of the properties acquired through demolition. Habitat for Humanity will build ten new houses in Bessemer in October in 2018 and will build an additional five (5) homes later in the year. Habitat for Humanity are also working to build another 10 new houses in Bessemer in FY 2019.

Housing for the Disabled: The City works with its Police Department, Fire Department and institutions like the UAB West Hospital to identify homeowners who have housing needs relative to disabilities. The City routinely builds wheelchair ramps and makes repairs related to the American’s With Disabilities Act, as well as addressing many of the other needs of disabled persons, through its CDBG funded Emergency Housing Grant program. In many cases the repairs facilitated by the Emergency Housing Repair Grant program serve to allow the disabled to continue living in the own homes

Poor Credit Scores: The City has partnered with organizations to provide credit counseling services to CDBG loan applicants to address a primary impediment to Fair Housing.

Please see the Fair Housing attachment for complete details.

 

CR-40 – Monitoring 91.220 and 91.230

Describe the standards and procedures used to monitor activities carried out in furtherance of the plan and used to ensure long-term compliance with requirements of the programs involved, including minority business outreach and the comprehensive planning requirements

The City of Bessemer’s Department of Economic and Community Development reviews all annual plan goals and projects on a quarterly basis, with more frequent reviews on those items requiring additional oversight. The purpose of such monitoring reviews is to determine that all programs are being carried out in accordance with the Consolidated Plan, and to ensure that statutory and regulatory requirements, including Section 3 requirements, are being met. Special attention is given to maintaining an expenditure rate that exceeds HUD’s expectation of having no more than 1.5 years of grant funds available on the City’s federal treasury letter of credit on the annual test date. The City now requires determination of Section 3 status as part of the contractor application process. The City requires that Section 3 certification status is included on all of commercial and residental contractors and will monitor to ensure related regulations are followed as pertains to minority participation. The City will include preference for Section 3 certification in all commercial and residential contracts. Public Facility monitoring is conducted by City Engineering, Building Inspections and Economic & Community Development. Economic & Community Development conducts onsite inspections of Public Facilities projects, during construction, on a weekly basis. Economic Development projects are monitored by Building Inspections and the Economic & Community Development. Economic & Community Development conducts onsite inspections of Economic Development projects, during coonstruction, on a weekly basis. Job creation is monitored on a bi-annual basis for economic development projects. Housing Rehabilitation projects are monitored by Building Inspection and Economic & Community Development. Housing Rehabilitation projects are monitored on at least a weekly basis while they are under construction. Public Service projects are monitored by Economic & Community Development to assure that all activities are appropriately documented prior to disbursement of funds. 

 

 

 

Citizen Participation Plan 91.105(d); 91.115(d)

Describe the efforts to provide citizens with reasonable notice and an opportunity to comment on performance reports.

The City of Bessemer Economic and Community Development Department advertises CDBG activities in local newspapers, posts notices in public facilities and on public electric signage and posts notices on its web page to inform the public and provide a means for the public to comment during the Consolidated Plan and Action Plan development process and on the documents themselves. Advertising is also done to inform as to the availibility of performance reports like the CAPER. The City also holds public meetings to discuss the CDBG program in general and accomplishments within the CDBG program specifically. Documents like the Consolidated Plan, Action Plan and CAPER are posted online are made available at City Hall and the Public Library for public inspection. The City also posts signage in public buildings in English and Spanish and makes translations of any publically advertised document avaiable to citizens at their request. The City provides translation services as necessary. Accomodations for access those with disabilities who attend public meetings is met through compliance with the American’s with Disabilites Act for all public facilities used for meetings. At present City Hall, an American’s with Disabilities Act compliant facility, is used for public meetings. All future advertising efforts will include public service announcements on radio and television, to the extent possible, to provide reasonable notice and an opportunity to comment to those with sight impairments while those with hearing impairments are addressed through newspapers, public postings and the internet. Citizens are afforded the opportunity to comment during public meetings and in writing during the Consolidated and Action Plan processes. In addition to the aforementioned advertising methods all planned Action Plan and Consolidated planning meetings are announced during City Council meetings in open session. Copies of the Consolidated Plan, Action Plan and CAPER are maintained for public access in the Mayor’s Office, Economic and Community Development Office and Office of the City Clerk.

CR-45 – CDBG 91.520(c)

Specify the nature of, and reasons for, any changes in the jurisdiction’s program objectives and indications of how the jurisdiction would change its programs as a result of its experiences.

Given the reduction in funding in recent years and the demand for housing services Housing is likely to become a greater focus. As a result economic development programs funded by CDBG related revolving funds may be reduced or discontinued to provide additional funding for housing programs. Emergency Housing Repair Grants will continue to be a primary focus. Housing Rehabilitaion Loans and Reconstruction may increase as a result of the partnership with Habitat for Humanity and their ability to leverage funds. The City has moved Clearance projects from CDBG funding to funding by the General Fund. Clearance issues are also likely to be impacted by the City’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Does this Jurisdiction have any open Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) grants?

No

 [BEDI grantees]  Describe accomplishments and program outcomes during the last year.

 

 

CR-45 – CDBG 91.520(c)

Specify the nature of, and reasons for, any changes in the jurisdiction’s program objectives and indications of how the jurisdiction would change its programs as a result of its experiences.

Given the reduction in funding in recent years and the demand for housing services Housing is likely to become a greater focus. As a result economic development programs funded by CDBG related revolving funds may be reduced or discontinued to provide additional funding for housing programs. Emergency Housing Repair Grants will continue to be a primary focus. Housing Rehabilitaion Loans and Reconstruction may increase as a result of the partnership with Habitat for Humanity and their ability to leverage funds. The City has moved Clearance projects from CDBG funding to funding by the General Fund. Clearance issues are also likely to be impacted by the City’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

Does this Jurisdiction have any open Brownfields Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) grants?

No

[BEDI grantees]  Describe accomplishments and program outcomes during the last year.

 

 

 

0

Government

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

Fair housing activities include the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice and Actions to Overcome the Effects of Identified Impediments.

FAIR HOUSING PLAN UPDATE FOR THE CITY OF BESSEMER

FY 2017

This document is prepared in order to comply with the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The City, as a grantee, under various HUD programs, must certify that it “affirmatively furthers fair housing” within its jurisdiction. It is the policy of the City of Bessemer to promote fair housing choice and to eliminate policies or actions, which either deliberately or unintentionally have the effect of hampering the free exercise of housing choice for its citizens.

Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

During the preparation of the City of Bessemer’s 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan the Department of Economic and Community Development examined census data to determine racial patterns in the housing market. This analysis revealed the following:

■ All census tracts within the City contain a mixture of races. Census tracts range from 90%+ black, 5%+ white and 5% +other. However, there are many census tracts that are heavily mixed.

From this demographic review, it appears, upper income families, both black and white, left the city in significant numbers over the last fifteen years. Whites have decreased as a percentage of the City’s population.

Public Housing and Section 8 voucher programs were examined for housing patterns. Records of the Bessemer Housing Authority reveal that at any given time the housing units under their jurisdiction are approximately 95% occupied by black households and 5% by white households. This does not reveal a pattern of discrimination, considering the overall 70% black, 30% white, racial makeup of the City, but it may show the reluctance of low-income families to racially mix housing even when that housing is provided by government subsidy.

Another way to analyze fair housing is to review public policies, practices, and procedures involving housing and housing-related activities, including zoning and land use policies. The City of Bessemer follows the International Building Code Congress standards for building practices and health and safety regulations. The City also has no unreasonable land use controls or exclusivity zoning. Therefore, no City policy affecting fair housing is observed.

The analysis of housing affordability contained in the Consolidated Plan reveals that Bessemer has a very affordable housing stock. This housing, in many cases may need rehabilitation, but is surprisingly affordable, even on the upper end of the housing market. Bessemer’s property taxes and fees are among the lowest in the region and state law provides for tax breaks for the elderly. This fact places a burden on the City to maintain basic services because of low residential property values and the large numbers of elderly households paying no property taxes.

The economy of the City of Bessemer steadily improved since the recession of 2008 until 2015, when the latest consolidated plan was developed. In that same time frame unemployment has also improved. It is believed that a growth in new business and jobs can help to create a healthier demand for housing. As such economic development and opportunities for housing go together.

The perception of Bessemer as an undesirable place to live has been mitigated to some degree because of positive publicity resulting from economic growth. The City has, and will continue to encourage, an economically diverse housing market while at the same time continuing to meet the needs of its low-income residents. Housing assistance programs identified in the Consolidated Plan are intended to accomplish that objective.

Finally, the City has considered the nature and extent of fair housing complaints/suits and other data that may point to impediments in the City’s policy and goal of fair housing. Interviews with city departments and agencies dealing in housing revealed only one Fair Housing complaint filed within the City of Bessemer over the last five years and that complaint was dismissed.

 

Identified Impediments to Affordable Housing Choice

Lack of Transportation, Limited Employment Opportunities, Blighted Housing Stock and Credit Worthiness of Low to Moderate persons have been identified as the impediments to fair housing choice.

Transportation: Access to employment, medical services and social services are limited by the availability of public transportation. Limited access in any of these areas can limit fair housing choice by limiting access to employment. The present public transportation system is provided by Jefferson County’s MAXX System. The system serves many areas of the City, but some areas, especially those areas most heavily populated by the elderly, have accessibility problems.

Employment/Economic Development: The City of Bessemer’s 8.9% unemployment rate may relate to the general economic downturn of 2008 and the resultant slow economic recovery experienced throughout the United States in subsequent years, but it also related to a lack of job availability specific to the area. The need for new economic development activities and job creation is essential to fair housing choice.

Blighted Housing: The City of Bessemer’s housing stock is in generally poor condition. Foreclosed and abandoned properties number among the highest in Alabama with a HUD needs analysis score ranging from 16-19. Blighted housing in many areas of the City impacts not only quality of life, but access to insurance coverage, which, in turn, limits fair housing choice.

 

Credit Worthiness of Potential Homeowners:  Over the course of many years the City has determined that one of the main impediments to providing loans for housing relates to the credit worthiness of low to moderate income applicants.

 

Actions to Overcome Identified Impediments

Transportation:

In order to enhance the availability of transportation for low-to-moderate income persons, the elderly and the disabled, the City contributes to the Jefferson County Mass Transit System. In 2010 the City of Bessemer received a grant from the Regional Planning Commission for a study to determine transportation needs. That study was completed in FY2011.To date the City has not been successful in applying for grants to acquire buses for a transit system within the City. While a transportation hub that has been identified as a significant need the City has no means at present to fund a hub. However, the City continues to work with the Regional Planning Commission in the hope that such a project can be undertaken in the near future. Cuts in CDBG funding in recent years have severely limited the impact CDBG funds can have on transportation. The City must rely on grant funds and partnerships with other agencies for the funding necessary to improve transportation.

Employment/Economic Development:

Economic Development is the key to lowering the unemployment rate. Lower unemployment translates to an improved ability for Bessemer’s citizens to earn the income necessary to qualify for loans and improve housing choice. The City of Bessemer has worked diligently, and will continue, to attract new business and help grow existing concerns. The challenge for meeting underserved needs in creating job opportunities with livable wages has been great. Incentives for attracting investment include such tools as tax abatements and Tax Increment Financing. Present economic development initiatives are expected to result in several hundred new jobs for the City over the next five years. Taxpayers License Documents indicate 484 new small businesses have started up in Bessemer since June of 2014. This list lends credence to the fact that Bessemer’s economic development activities have provided many new opportunities for employment and that the City’s plan to lower unemployment through economic development has been successful to date. In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that unemployment in Bessemer has improved from a high of 17.2% in June of 2009 to a low of 8.9% in April of 2015. While continued economic development activities will always be necessary, those to date have been effective. Of course, the list of new businesses does not reflect business expansion, but new business growth and existing business expansion are related.

In addition to the above the City of Bessemer commits some $125,000.00 in General Funds and $53,661.87 in CDBG funds on an annual basis for youth job training programs in the belief that these programs will provide a better work force and lower unemployment in the long term.

Blighted Housing Stock:

The City of Bessemer has addressed and plans to continue addressing the problems associated with the poor condition of its housing stock and the opportunities for home ownership with its CDBG Housing Program. The City, as a CDBG entitlement, has a broad and effective housing program designed to provide loans and grants to improve housing and to provide opportunities for home ownership. The City has implemented a program to demolish dilapidated housing on a heretofore unseen scale. The City has allocated $250,000.00 annually, since 2012, in General Funds to demolish blighted housing. The City is demolishing, on average, 120 houses per year. The City has begun a partnership with Habitat for Humanity for housing rehabilitation and reconstruction. The partnership will serve to leverage City rehabilitation funds and take advantage of the properties acquired through demolition. The Bessemer Housing Authority issued 473 Section 8 Vouchers, 1070 public housing rental units and managed one 120 unit senior complex and one new 198 unit RAD multifamily facility in FY2016.

 

The City of Bessemer has not funded a specific Fair Housing Agency directly as a sub-recipient. The City has partnered with One Roof and Habitat for Humanity, but has not provided direct CDBG funding for either agency. One Roof and the City have been working to establish a method to provide temporary housing for the homeless from houses owned by the City. In this process the City has sought to provide houses for the homeless and One Roof would be the property manager for those houses.  The City and Habitat for Humanity anticipate working together on Housing Reconstruction and Rehabilitation programs for low to moderate persons. The City has agreed to provide short term construction loans from CDBG funds for both processes to Habitat for Humanity and will begin that process as soon as a developer agreement is signed and the appropriate substantial amendment is in place. In addition, the City has already partnered on a number of cases whereby Habitat for Humanity has either provided services for low to moderate income homeowners the City could not assist due to eligibility issues related to flood zones, or has combined Habitat for Humanity funds with CDBG funds to provide assistance for individuals who needed help beyond CDBG program limits. Basically, to this point, the City has used CDBG funding when possible and Habitat for Humanity has used their funding separately, but the City collaborated with Habitat for Humanity to provide services to specific Bessemer residents. While there is no direct “funding” of either organization by the City it is anticipated the construction loans mentioned will serve to assist Habitat for Humanity’s cash flow and leverage CDBG funds in the process and providing houses for One Roof to manage will serve to address the needs of Bessemer’s homeless. Fair Housing projects are all basically related to reconstruction or rehabilitation of housing.

 

In addition to the two agencies mentioned above the City has partnered with the United Way of Central Alabama to provide credit counseling for low to moderate individuals. This process is directly related to one of the main impediments to fair housing in the Bessemer community in that the number of individuals who have deficient credit scores that would otherwise be eligible under CDBG housing programs is significant. The United way provides credit scores for underwriting purposes to the City and they also provide housing counseling and credit counseling services to CDBG participants to help them become loan eligible.

 

The City will provide $50,000.00 in matching funds to the Alabama Assets Building Coalition in FY2017 in order to facilitate the provision of grant funds for first time homebuyers in the City of Bessemer. It is expected that some 21 families will be served. This program will be effective as soon as the appropriate substantial amendment is in place.

Housing is an ongoing issue, but existing programs, initiatives and partnerships are and will continue to address those issues at an increasing rate.

 

Credit Worthiness of Potential Homeowners:  The City has partnered with the United Way of Central Alabama to provide credit reporting and credit counseling for all CDBG loan program applicants. These services provide applicants with a plan to rehabilitate their credit. Habitat for Humanity will also provide underwriting services and credit counseling under a new, pending agreement.

 

0

Government

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Executive Summary

AP‐05 Executive Summary ‐ 24 CFR 91.200(c), 91.220(b)

  1. Introduction

    The City of Bessemer has developed a five year Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development Programs for program years 2015‐2019. This document comprises the planning and submission process for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). Inasmuch as an Annual Action Plan must be prepared for each year of the Consolidated Plan, the following includes the proposed FY2017 Action Plan, which outlines the City’s Economic Development and Community Development needs and strategies relative to CDBG entitlement funds for FY2017 of $515,279.00, and projected Program Income of $275,332.00. Copies of the City’s 2015‐2019 Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development Programs, and FY2017 Action Plan will be available for inspection in the City’s Community Development Department, 1700 3rd Ave. North, Bessemer, Alabama, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Economic and Community Development Department of the City of Bessemer served as the lead agency during the development of the FY2017 Consolidated Plan and Action Plan. Consolidated Plan rules developed by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) require all jurisdictions to consult and coordinate with appropriate agencies, and among its own departments, to assure that its Consolidated Plan is a comprehensive document that addresses statutory purposes. In an effort to meet these and other requirements in the development of its FY2017 Action Plan and Consolidated Plan, the City of Bessemer’s Economic and Community Development Department worked with the Bessemer Housing Authority to develop statistical information regarding public and assisted housing and a number of other agencies mentioned throughout this document relative to their expertise.

  2. Summarize the objectives and outcomes identified in the Plan

    This could be a restatement of items or a table listed elsewhere in the plan or a reference to another location. It may also contain any essential items from the housing and homeless needs assessment, the housing market analysis or the strategic plan.

    The City’s Community Development Objectives include the utilization of CDBG funds for: 1) Public Facilities, and Public Services to improve the general quality of life in the community, and 2) To foster neighborhood stability through Historic Rehabilitation, Housing Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Permanent Relocation, Temporary Relocation and Refinancing with the goal of increased housing production and home ownership for families at and below low‐to‐moderate income levels., and 3) To utilize Economic Development Loans and Grants to encourage business development, slum and blight

    removal and job creation. The projected use of funds stated herein has been developed so as to give maximum priority to activities that will benefit families at, and below, the low‐to‐moderate income level or aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight. In addition, the projected use of funds is consistent with the City’s established strategy of stabilizing the City’s housing stock and reversing negative trends associated with urban decay and blight. The City’s strategy for community development has three basic goals:1)To improve neighborhood stability through physical improvements and housing rehabilitation; 2) Improve the economic life of the City by encouraging business development and jobs, and 3) To cause increased production and home ownership for families at all income levels at or below the low to moderate income level. The City intends to continue its efforts to obtain available federal, state, local, and private funding, to provide for community wide improvements in each of the areas outlined above in as many communities and neighborhoods as funding permits. Of the formula grant programs the City only receives CDBG funding. Therefore, this document only relates to CDBG Entitlement funds and Revolving Loan funds. However, the City is investigating the possibility of an ESG program for the direct benefit of the homeless in concert with the local continuum of care and the possible use of CDBG funds in that area of service.

  3. Evaluation of past performance

    This is an evaluation of past performance that helped lead the grantee to choose its goals or projects.

    The City of Bessemer has a large low and low to moderate income elderly population. As a result there is great need for home repairs related to the needs of the elderly and disabled. The focus of the FY2015 and FY2016 Action Plans was to address the needs of the elderly relative to housing with a focus on repairs that met the definitions of the American’s With Disabilities ACT. The performance of the City relative to the elderly was accomplished in the main by three programs: The Deferred Loan

    program, the Rehabilitation Loan program and the Emergency Grant program. In addition to those programs the City utilized its Housing Revolving Loan Fund to provide funding for its Buy/Rehab/Sell program and Rehabilitation/Refinance program to make significant rehabilitation possible for several new and existing homeowners. The necessity of repaying a large Section 108 Loan greatly impacted the availability of CDBG funds for housing programs. However, the Emergency Grant met the needs of many citizens and a back log of applicants exists relative to the funds available. The City utilized significant un‐ programmed funds from prior years to pay most of the remaining debt from a $4,000,000.00 Section 108 loan and paid that loan off with $22,000.00 in CDBG Entitlement funds in FY2016. The payoff of this Section 108 note freed over $300,000.00 in CDBG Entitlement Funds the City had been forced to commit from its CDBG grant each year since 2009. With the elimination of the Section 108 Loan as a major expense, using un‐programmed funds from prior years, more CDBG funds will be targeted to the Emergency Grant program. The City’s new partnership with Habitat for Humanity is expected to allow for service to more elderly citizens by removing blight and improving neighborhoods through Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. The City did not utilize CDBG funds during FY2015 or FY2016 for Clearance. However, the City provided $250,000.00 in General funding for clearance activities in both

    fiscal years. The decision by the City to address Clearance with General Funds and a grant through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity will free CDBG funds for use in both Housing and Parks and Recreation. The City was successful in the utilization of both a Buy/Rehab/Sell and Rehabilitation/Rehab program. Unfortunately these programs are more expensive on a per unit basis than standard rehabilitation programs and lower the number of participants who can be served. Therefore, the City will continue to focus on the Rehabilitation Loan program for significant rehab needs and Emergency Grants for medically related repairs. The City administered an Economic Development/Job Creation program during the period of the FY2015 and FY2016 Action Plan. The primary goal of Economic Development Loans is job creation. The City ran a successful, ongoing summer youth program called Camp Bessemer that was funded jointly from general funds and CDBG Public Service funds. The City plans to continue this program throughout the period of the Consolidated Plan. The City has been successful in many Public Facility projects. The City plans to continue Park improvements, and recently completed a state of the art Re‐Cycling center it budgeted $100,000.00 for in prior program years. The Recycling Center involved the use of State Grant funds, City funds and CDBG funds.

  4. Summary of Citizen Participation Process and consultation process

    Summary from citizen participation section of plan.

    The City of Bessemer has undertaken, throughout the development of its FY2017 Action Plan and 2015‐ 2019 Consolidated Plan, an open, credible, and broad‐based effort to involve and solicit the participation of community and neighborhood leaders, and residents of their needs and the types of services that they would like to see established or improved throughout the City. In an effort to broaden public participation in the development of the FY2017 Action Plan, the City held three public hearings for the Citizens of Bessemer and a hearing befor the Bessemer City Council. The purpose of the hearings was to obtain comments and proposals for the use of the City’s projected FY2017 Consolidated Formula Allocation and to obtain the views of citizens, public agencies, and other interested parties on the housing and community development needs of the City. Citizens were also afforded the opportunity to

    1) identify housing and community development needs and priorities; 2) review proposed uses of funds; and 3) comment on, and review the City’s program performance. All comments, priorities, and proposals received were considered in the development of the City’s FY2017 Action Plan.

  5. Summary of public comments

    This could be a brief narrative summary or reference an attached document from the Citizen Participation section of the Con Plan.

    Public comments during the open City Council meeting included support for Park improvements and support for matching funds to support transportation studies that could lead to the construction of a new transportation hub in the downtown area. Public Facilities projects for the paving of streets was also advocated. There was also support for a large, annual Public Facilities and Park projects in each City neighborhood. It was advocated that the City undertake one major project per year per Council District

    rather than several smaller projects scattered over all seven Council Districts. There were favorable comments relative to efforts to remove slum and blight in the National Historic District and support for activities that would revitalize downtown Bessemer.

  6. Summary of comments or views not accepted and the reasons for not accepting them

    No views or comments were rejected. All comments were considered for present and future Action Plans.

  7. Summary

The City of Bessemer, over the course of FY2017 will continue to focus on the needs of housing for the elderly with new CDBG grant funds while continuing to provide loans to assist in the repair of existing housing stock through its revolving loan fund. In addition, the City has committed CDBG funds for Parks and Recreation and for Public Services that enhance the educational and employment opportunities of the City’s youth. It is anticipated that a partnership with Habitat for Humanity will also allow the City to undertake a greater number of housing projects with both its CDBG grant funds and revolving loan funds. The City of Bessemer utilizes a variety of community planning sources, stakeholder input, and program performance from prior years for the planning and development of its Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plans. The essential purpose of the Consolidated Plan and all subsequent Annual Action Plans is to provide a guide for the usage of the limited funds available and to focus on projects and objectives that will result in the greatest positive impact possible on the community.

Annual Action Plan 5

2017

PR‐05 Lead & Responsible Agencies – 91.200(b)

1. Agency/entity responsible for preparing/administering the Consolidated Plan

Describe the agency/entity responsible for preparing the Consolidated Plan and those responsible for administration of each grant program and funding source.

Agency Role

Name

Department/Agency

   

CDBG Administrator

BESSEMER

Economic & Community Development Department

Table 1 – Responsible Agencies

Narrative (optional)

The City of Bessemer’s Department of Economic and Community Development prepared this Action Plan. The Department is also responsible for the execution, design and management of all CDBG programs. The City cooperated with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority in development of Fair Housing policies, practices and goals and is cooperating with the One Roof organization to study the need for ESG funds, their use, and possible policies and practices relative to the needs of the homeless. The Bessemer Public Housing Authority is the Lead Agency in administering the City’s Section 8 and Public Housing Programs. One Roof is the Lead Agency in the Continuum of Care in Jefferson County and the municipalities therein.

Consolidated Plan Public Contact Information

Annual Action Plan 6

2017

AP‐10 Consultation – 91.100, 91.200(b), 91.215(l)

  1. Introduction

    The City of Bessemer through Department of Economic and Community Development has endeavored to consult with public and private agencies at every level to develop the FY2017 Action Plan. Of particular importance is the Bessemer Public Housing Authority, which works very closely with the Department of Economic and Community Development. The City consulted with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority relative to the leveraging of federal funds for housing, Housing programs in

    General and to the provision of educational and Public Services for the citizens of Bessemer. The City has also consulted with the Jefferson County Community Development Department relative to disaster relief and housing. The City has consulted with Habitat for Humanity relative to the needs of first time home buyers and blight removal throughout the City. The City also consulted with Habitat for Humanity relative to reconstruction and rehabilitation programs. The City consulted with the “One Roof” organization relative to the needs of the homeless. The City also consulted with members of the faith based community to determine the needs and priorities that should be established relative to housing rehabilitation. The City consulted with the Alabama Department of Public Health in its design of Lead Based Paint programs and the Foundry relative to the homeless and other needs including services related to drug addiction. In addition the City consulted with UAB West relative to the needs of the disabled and the delivery mechanisms associate with the Emergency Housing Repair Grant program.

    Provide a concise summary of the jurisdiction’s activities to enhance coordination between public and assisted housing providers and private and governmental health, mental health and service agencies (91.215(l))

    The City of Bessemer, through its Department of Economic and Community Development has formed a partnership with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority that has proved to be successful in bringing more and better housing services and opportunities to the citizens of Bessemer. In 2009 the City and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority successfully partnered to win an NSP 1 grant. The City and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority partnered in 2015 to apply for funds through the National Resilience Grant competition. The City also partnered with the Jefferson County Community Development Department in its application for the National Resilience Grant competition. The City has partnered with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority to provide educational opportunities relative to health and housing to the citizens of Bessemer. The City has also partnered with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority to work with them on a program to transition public housing residents to privately owned housing through its CDBG Housing program. The City has worked with UAB Medical Center West to provide assistance to individuals who qualify for the City’s CDBG funded Emergency Grant program. The City has worked with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to administer an NSP grant. The City has partnered with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Environmental Protection Agency to sponsor seminars on Lead Based paint for both citizens and contractors. The City has also worked with the JCCEO to help it identify eligible participants in Bessemer to participate in their

    “Weatherization” program. To date approximately 300 residents of the City of Bessemer have been able to take advantage of the Weatherization Program.

    Describe coordination with the Continuum of Care and efforts to address the needs of homeless persons (particularly chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans, and unaccompanied youth) and persons at risk of homelessness.

    The City is working with the “One Roof” organization to develop policies and practices to address the needs of the homeless and to apply for ESG funding. One roof has identified 100 chronically homeless persons within the City of Bessemer. Of those persons, many are part of homeless families. The City and One Roof are working to develop programs that can provide houses for these families. The City and One Roof hope to establish a relationship that will allow the City to acquire ESG funding whereby One Roof will serve as a sub‐grantee to assist in administering those funds.

    Describe consultation with the Continuum(s) of Care that serves the jurisdiction’s area in determining how to allocate ESG funds, develop performance standards for and evaluate outcomes of projects and activities assisted by ESG funds, and develop funding, policies and procedures for the operation and administration of HMIS

    The City does not receive ESG funds. However, the City is working with the “One Roof” organization to develop policies and practices to address the needs of the homeless and to apply for ESG funding. One roof identified approximately 100 homeless persons within the City of Bessemer in 2016. Of those persons, many are families. The City and One Roof are working to develop programs that can provide houses for these families. The City and One Roof hope to establish a relationship that will allow the City to acquire ESG funding whereby One Roof could serve as a sub‐grantee to assist in administering those funds. The City has consulted with One Roof to determine the number of homeless and need for services for the homeless in Bessemer. The City does not now receive ESG funding.

  2. Describe Agencies, groups, organizations and others who participated in the process and describe the jurisdiction’s consultations with housing, social service agencies and other entities

Annual Action Plan 8

2017

Table 2 – Agencies, groups, organizations who participated

1

Agency/Group/Organization

GREATER BIRMINGHAM HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services ‐ Housing Service‐Fair Housing Business and Civic Leaders Foundation

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Housing Need Assessment

Homeless Needs ‐ Families with children Market Analysis

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

The Greater Birmingham Habitat for Humanity was consulted directly relative to blighted housing clearance, housing reconstruction and housing needs in general, with emphasis on first time home buyers. The agency was also consulted relative to adding housing services for Veterans.

2

Agency/Group/Organization

UAB West

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services‐Persons with Disabilities Services‐Health

Services ‐ Victims Business and Civic Leaders Major Employer

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Homelessness Strategy Non‐Homeless Special Needs Homeless Prevention for the Disabled

 

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

UAB West was consulted directly relative to the needs of the disabled and the special needs of those with medical conditions who qualify for Emergency Grants related to disability or medical condition. In addition UAB West was consulted relative to identifying disabled persons in need of special housing repairs related to the Americans with Disabilities Act that can prevent homelessness.

3

Agency/Group/Organization

United Way of Central Alabama

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services ‐ Housing Services‐Education Service‐Fair Housing Business and Civic Leaders

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Housing Need Assessment

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization

was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

The City consulted with The United Way of Central Alabama directly and consistently relative to Credit Counseling and the Credit related needs of all Rehabilitation Loan applicants.

4

Agency/Group/Organization

Bessemer Public Housing Authority

Agency/Group/Organization Type

PHA

Services ‐ Housing Services‐Children Services‐Elderly Persons Services‐homeless

Other government ‐ Local

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Housing Need Assessment Public Housing Needs

 

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

The City consulted with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority directly and consistently relative to housing for first time home buyers, Fair Housing, Affordable Housing, Disaster Resiliency Grant, Clearance, Public Services for the Elderly, and Americans With Disabilities Act compliance.

5

Agency/Group/Organization

One Roof, Inc

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services ‐ Housing Services‐Children Services‐Elderly Persons Services‐Persons with Disabilities Services‐Persons with HIV/AIDS

Services‐Victims of Domestic Violence Services‐homeless

Service‐Fair Housing Services ‐ Victims Civic Leaders

Homelessness Strategy

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Housing Need Assessment

Homeless Needs ‐ Chronically homeless Homeless Needs ‐ Families with children Homelessness Needs ‐ Veterans Homelessness Needs ‐ Unaccompanied youth Homelessness Strategy

 

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

One Roof was consulted directly relative to the needs of the homeless in the community in general and the needs of homeless Families and Youth in particular. The City has a relationship with One Roof and seeks to provide housing for the homeless. One Roof has direct programs to address all types and causes of homelessness. However, the City does not receive ESG funding and as such, has no direct means of providing for the homeless outside the scope of CDBG Housing programs.

6

Agency/Group/Organization

AIDS ALABAMA

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Services‐Persons with HIV/AIDS Services‐Health

Services ‐ Victims Civic Leaders

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Homeless Needs ‐ Chronically homeless Homelessness Needs ‐ Unaccompanied youth HOPWA Strategy

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

AIDS Alabama was consulted for statistical information.

7

Agency/Group/Organization

The Foundry

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Services‐Children Services‐homeless Services‐Employment Services ‐ Victims Civic Leaders

 

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Homeless Needs ‐ Chronically homeless Homeless Needs ‐ Families with children Homelessness Needs ‐ Veterans Homelessness Needs ‐ Unaccompanied youth Homelessness Strategy

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

The agency was consulted relative to the services for the homeless they provide as well as other community services. The Foundry provides services for those recovering from addiction. As such the Foundry has outreach to all forms of homelessness including Youth and Families.

8

Agency/Group/Organization

Alabama Department of Public Health

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services ‐ Housing Services‐Children Services‐Health Services ‐ Victims Health Agency

Other government ‐ State

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Housing Need Assessment Market Analysis Lead‐based Paint Strategy

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization

was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

The agency was consulted relative to lead testing and the impact of lead on children and adults.This agency has conducted seminars on lead paint for the City of Bessemer and local citizens and contractors.

9

Agency/Group/Organization

EPA

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing Service‐Fair Housing

Other government ‐ Federal

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Lead‐based Paint Strategy Disaster Assistance

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

The agency presented to local contractors and consulted with Economic and Community Development staff relative to the manner in which lead based paint must be addressed in Housing Rehabilitation programs operated by the City of Bessemer.

10

Agency/Group/Organization

Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Other government ‐ State Civic Leaders

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

NSP Program

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization

was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

ADECA has an ongoing relationship with the City of Bessemer relative to the NSP program. ADECA consults on Housing relative to that program.

11

Agency/Group/Organization

Department of Community and Economic Development, Jefferson County Commission

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Other government ‐ County Civic Leaders

Business and Civic Leaders

 

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Public Housing Needs

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of

the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

Consulted with this agency relative to grants for the construction of public housing. Also consult in cases of disaster mitigation.

12

Agency/Group/Organization

City of Bessemer Fire Department

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services ‐ Housing Services‐Children Services‐Elderly Persons Services‐Persons with Disabilities Services ‐ Victims

Other government ‐ Local

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Non‐Homeless Special Needs Disaster Relief

Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

The Bessemer Fire Department takes an active role in identifying individuals in need of assistance. They are ideally suited to learn who the citizens with needs are and they refer them the the Department of Economic and Community Development for help. They have also participated in constructing wheel chair ramps as part of the outreach of their department.

Identify any Agency Types not consulted and provide rationale for not consulting

Specialized Mental Health Facilities, Foster Care and Corrections programs were not consulted. However, One Roof and the Foundry address all aspects of Homelessness and it is believed they have the programs, knowledge and expertise to advise on homelessness in a universal sense.

UAB West was consulted and they do provide information to the City relative to Families, the Disabled and Youth that the City can assist through housing programs that can mitigate homelessness.

Other local/regional/state/federal planning efforts considered when preparing the Plan

Name of Plan

Lead

Organization

How do the goals of your Strategic Plan overlap with the goals of each plan?

Continuum of Care

One Roof

The goals of the strategic plan overlap with those of One Roof in that the City seeks to provide

housing for the homeless by providing vacant houses, under City control, to One Roof to be managed for the use of the homeless. The City also partners with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority to assist in transitioning those in Public Housing to permanent housing.

Table 3 – Other local / regional / federal planning efforts

Narrative (optional)

AP‐12 Participation – 91.105, 91.200(c)

1. Summary of citizen participation process/Efforts made to broaden citizen participation Summarize citizen participation process and how it impacted goal‐setting

The City of Bessemer has established a Citizen Participation process that comports with all HUD rules and regulations. The purpose of the process, relative to CDBG, is to assure that citizens, to the greatest extent possible, have a voice in program design and expenditure goals and targets. Three meetings were held on July 12 th , July 13th and July 17th of 2017, to allow citizens to provide input relative to the Action Plan for FY2017. Citizens were encouraged to comment on all aspects of the CDBG program and to indicate the programs they would like to see in place in the Consolidated Plan.

Citizen Participation Outreach

Sort Orde r

Mode of Outreac h

Target of Outreac h

Summary of response/attendanc

e

Summary of comments receive

d

Summary of comment s not accepted

and reasons

URL (If

applicable)

    

Comments were

  
    

received during the

 
    

City Council

 
    

meeting indicating

 
    

the need for

 
    

funding in city

 
    

parks and the

 
    

general support for

 
    

funding relative to

 

1

Public Meeting

Non‐ targeted/broad community

Three public meetings were held and a presentation was made before an open meeting of the Bessemer City Council.

studies related to

transportation grants, and housing. It was mentioned that one large Public Facilities or Park &

Recreation project

All comments were accepted as constructive and will be considered going forward.

    

per year, rather

 
    

than several small

 
    

ones, undertaken

 
    

with CDBG funds

 
    

would be a good

 
    

idea.The new

 
    

Historic Facade

 
    

grant program was

 
    

discussed in detail.

 

Sort Orde r

Mode of Outreac h

Target of Outreac h

Summary of response/attendanc

e

Summary of comments receive

d

Summary of comment s not accepted

and reasons

URL (If

applicable)

   

The basic contents of

No written

comments were received. However the advertising was effective in notifying citizens of the three public meetings to be held.

  
   

the proposed

 
   

Consolidated Plan

 

2

Newspaper Ad

Bessemer Citizens

were advertised as

were the availability

NA

   

of public meetings

 
   

and methods of

 
   

response.

 
   

The basic contents of

No written

  
   

the proposed

comments were

  

3

Internet Outreach

Non‐ targeted/broad community

Consolidated Plan

were advertised as were the availability of public meetings

received. However,

the advertising was effective in notifying the public

NA

bessemeral.or g

   

and methods of

of meetings to be

  
   

response.

held.

  

Sort Orde r

Mode of Outreac h

Target of Outreac h

Summary of response/attendanc

e

Summary of comments receive

d

Summary of comment s not accepted

and reasons

URL (If

applicable)

    

Comments were

  
   

The proposed Action

received relative to

 
   

Plan was presented

the value of

 
   

to the City Council in

funding for City

 
   

open Council

Parks and

 
   

session. The Council

matching funds for

 

4

Public Hearing

General Public

meeting was

attended by all Council members, the Mayor, Executive

transportation

studies. Some Council members were interested in

All comments were received as reasonable and constructive.

   

staff and the general

devoting CDBG

 
   

public. The Council

funds to public

 
   

voted to approve the

works projects like

 
   

Action Plan as

drainage, street

 
   

submitted.

paving and

 
    

sidewalks.

 

Table 4 – Citizen Participation Outreach

Expected Resources

AP‐15 Expected Resources – 91.220(c)(1,2)

Introduction

The City of Bessemer’s Economic and Community Development Department manages the CDBG Entitlement grant and a Revolving Loan fund for Housing and for Economic Development. The City recently partnered with Habitat for Humanity to implement a significant blight removal program that, unlike standard Clearance programs, will provide buildable lots for City housing programs. The City is also working with FEMA to ascertain the possibility of a significant permanent relocation program for properties in a problematic flood plain. CDBG Entitlement grants cuts in recent years have resulted in staff reductions and in the refocusing of housing programs involving grants for emergency medical issues, but the use of revolving funds in concert with the partnership with Habitat for Humanity offer the opportunity to leverage funds and maintain

services at an acceptible level.

Anticipated Resources

Program

Source

Uses of Funds

Expected Amount Available Year 1

Expected

Narrative Description

 

of Funds

 

Annual

Program

Prior Year

Total:

Amount

 
   

Allocation:

Income:

Resources:

$

Available

 
   

$

$

$

 

Remainder

 
       

of ConPlan

 
       

$

 

CDBG

public ‐

federal

Acquisition

Admin and Planning Economic Development Housing Public Improvements Public Services

515,279

275,332

0

790,611

1,581,222

The expected amount available for

FY2017 includes the CDBG Entitlement Grant and projected program income receipts expected during the fiscal year.

Table 5 ‐ Expected Resources – Priority Table

Explain how federal funds will leverage those additional resources (private, state and local funds), including a description of how matching requirements will be satisfied

Annual Action Plan 23

2017

If appropriate, describe publically owned land or property located within the jurisdiction that may be used to address the needs identified in the plan

It is anticipated that the partnership with Habitat for Humanity will provide numerous buildable lots for reconstruction purposes within three years. The City does not own buildable property at this time. The City reprocesses foreclosures as necessary to meet the needs of low to moderate income individuals.

Discussion

Annual Action Plan 24

2017

Annual Goals and Objectives

AP‐20 Annual Goals and Objectives

Goals Summary Information

Sort

Order

Goal Name

Start

Year

End

Year

Category

Geographic

Area

Needs Addressed

Funding

Goal Outcome Indicator

1

Emergency

Housing Repair Grants

2015

2019

Affordable

Housing Non‐Homeless Special Needs

 

Emergency

Repair Grants

 

Homeowner Housing Added: 35

Household Housing Unit

2

Public Services

2015

2019

Non‐Housing

Community Development

 

Public Services

CDBG:

$53,662

Public service activities other than

Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit: 75 Persons Assisted

3

Public Facilities

2015

2019

Non‐Housing

Community Development

 

Public Facilities

CDBG:

$50,000

Public Facility or Infrastructure

Activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit: 29000 Persons Assisted

4

Housing

Rehabilitation Loans

2015

2019

Affordable

Housing

 

Housing

Rehabilitation Loans

CDBG:

$120,266

Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated:

12 Household Housing Unit

5

Economic

Development Loan

2015

2019

  

Economic

Development

CDBG:

$100,000

Facade treatment/business building

rehabilitation: 5 Business Jobs created/retained: 5 Jobs

Businesses assisted: 5 Businesses Assisted

Table 6 – Goals Summary

Goal Descriptions

1

Goal Name

Emergency Housing Repair Grants

Goal Description

Provides emergency home repair and improvement assistance to elderly, low‐to‐moderate income, homeowners or disabled low‐to‐moderate income homeowners, regardless of age, and dependent resident family members who are disabled. The program may also be used for assistance to Veterans with qualified for the Veteran’s Foundation Grant. Participants must be 62 years of age or older or permanently disabled except for the aforementioned Veterans, who must be low‐to mod. Priority is given to repairs directly related to a certified disability or to direct threats to safety. Funding for FY2017 is allocated from prior year’s funding remaining from the CDBG Entitlement. Properties located in a flood plain are not eligible.

Typical repairs and improvements include construction of wheel chair ramps, and ADA related improvements and repairs. Other repairs may be made to address health and safety. House painting within lead based paint guidelines may be undertaken as may roofing and other structural issues. Lead paint may be addressed, up to the program limit, for dependent children 12 years of age and younger. The program does not address storm damage or other repairs typically addressed by homeowner’s insurance. Provides for up to $5000.00 in the form of a grant. All projects will be completed by independent licensed contractors through a bid process or through Habitat for Humanity as designated by the Director.

The Program limit may be exceeded at discretion of the Director for health and safety benefit. Funds derive from CDBG Entitlement.

2

Goal Name

Public Services

Goal Description

Provides for activities directed toward improving the community’s public services and facilities, including, but not limited to those concerned with education, the arts and cultural development activities and mentoring. Includes labor, salaries, supplies and materials. 24 CFR 570.201 (D)

Camp Bessemer is a Youth Jobs & Training program provided with CDBG and local funding for youth from low to moderate income families

3

Goal Name

Public Facilities

Goal Description

 

4

Goal Name

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Goal Description

Please see attached FY2017 Housing Plan Narrative for complete description of all available Housing Loan and Housing programs.

All funding derives from Program Income projected from Housing Revolving Loan Funds in the coming fiscal year.

5

Goal Name

Economic Development Loan

Goal Description

Provides for business retention, expansion and recruitment for the City with emphasis on historic commercial revitalization of the National Historic District. To provide

Commercial property owners with first mortgage loans for historic restoration through facade and general CODE related repairs of commercial buildings. Loans are based on Low‐Mod job creation. Loans require a minimum of one new, permanent job created for each $35,000.00 loaned. Projects must provide for the creation of at least three full time, permanent jobs for low to moderate income persons within three years of the loan closing date. Job creation is a condition of the mortgage such that failure to create the required jobs must result in foreclosure. Loan availability based on available funding and job creation relative to loan amount. Priority given to loans that create the greatest number of jobs per dollar loaned. Underwriting considers the after rehabilitation value of the structure rehabilitated, business plan, personal investment of the property owner and cash flow necessary to repay the loan as well as provide the required job creation.

This category also includes Grants for Slum and Blight Removal associated with commercial structures within the National Historic District:

To provide grants to commercial property owners in the National Historic business district or commercial property on the National Historic register for Slum and Blight removal pursuant to the historic restoration of building facades, historic building components, historic rehabilitation in general and Fire and Building CODE improvements in compliance with State of Alabama Historic requirements. Provides grants of up to 20% of the total project cost expenditure of the property owner. However, the grant total may not exceed $100,000.00 for any given project. 24 CFR 570.202(a)(3).

$100,000.00 is provided for Loans from projected program income and $156,730.39 is provided for Grants from the entitlement.

Annual Action Plan 28

2017

Projects

AP‐35 Projects – 91.220(d)

Introduction

The City of Bessemer employs a comprehensive housing program. The housing program includes both loans and grants. In addition to housing the City has an Economic Development Loan program funded through a CDBG related Revolving Loan Fund and a grant program for slum and blight removal relative to historic rehabilitation in the commercial area of the National Histric Distrct. The City plans to conduct improvements at all City Parks over the next three years with the use of both federal and local funding. The City recently completed a new Recreation Center and a new City Hall utilizing City funds. The City has a long established summer youth jobs and training program called Camp Bessemer that is paid for by City funds and CDBG Public Service funds. The City irecently completed a project to create a state of the art Recycling Center. The City plans an extensive upgrade to signage in the community using both City and CDBG funds. And the City contemplates the creation of a fund focusing on first time home ownership.

Projects

#

Project Name

1

Public Services ‐ Camp Bessemer

2

Park & Recreation

3

Emergency Housing Repair Grant

4

Housing Activities

5

Economic Development Loan

6

Signage

7

Historic Facade Improvement Grant

8

Program Administration

9

Delivery Costs

Table 7 ‐ Project Information

Describe the reasons for allocation priorities and any obstacles to addressing underserved needs

Decent, safe and sanitary housing for the elderly and disabled is a priority need in Bessemer. Transportation continues to be a priority need for both employment and daily activities. City Parks are a priority given the usage levels of existing parks. Funding availabity continues to be the primary obstacle to addressing underserved needs.

Annual Action Plan 30

2017

AP‐38 Project Summary

Project Summary Information

Annual Action Plan 31

2017

1

Project Name

Public Services ‐ Camp Bessemer

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Public Services

Needs Addressed

Public Services

Funding

CDBG: $53,662

Description

Camp Bessemer is a summer jobs trading program fon Bessemer youth. Youth are given jobs in their area of interest and are paid an hourly wage. It is typical to serve 75 youth in this program

Target Date

5/31/2018

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

75 persons are projected to benefit.

Location Description

Bessemer

Planned Activities

On the job training activities related to actual jobs are planned. Youth are assigned, based on their area of interest, to different departments to do actual work and to participate in on the job training.

2

Project Name

Park & Recreation

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Public Facilities

Needs Addressed

Public Facilities

Funding

CDBG: $26,831

Description

General Park improvements, through the use of Public Facilities funding, throughout the City.

Target Date

5/31/2018

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

This is a projectt designed to impact the quality of City Parks. Every citizen could potentially benefit.

Location Description

1700 3rd Ave. North

Planned Activities

General improvements to City Parks.

3

Project Name

Emergency Housing Repair Grant

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Emergency Housing Repair Grants

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation Loans Emergency Repair Grants

Funding

:

Description

Housing rehabilitation program designed to provide grants of up to

$5,000.00 to address housing repair needs related to health and safety as well as housing repair needs directly associated with medical disabilities. Funding derived from prior remaining years CDBG entitlement funding.

Target Date

5/31/2017

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

It is estimated that 35 families will benefit from the Emergency Repair Grant program. Please note no new funding is provided in this category. Unspent prior year’s CDBG Entitlement funds will be used to continue the project.

Location Description

1700 3rd Ave. North. This is a City‐Wide program.

Planned Activities

Housing repairs associated with disabilities, medical conditions or health and safety.

4

Project Name

Housing Activities

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Funding

CDBG: $120,266

Description

Housing Rehabilitation loans are of three types. All require that a given house be brought to a CODE conforming condition. All have a 3% to 6% interest rate and terms may go to 30 years. One program involves only rehab. One involves refinancing to make rehabilitation affordable and one involves a loan to purchase and rehabilitate a house. The goal of all three is a CODE conforming, affordable structure for a low to moderate income, or lower, person. FY2017 is to be funded from projected Program Income.

Target Date

5/31/2018

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

It is estimated that 12 families will receive assistance through various Housing Loan Programs.

 

Location Description

1700 3rd. Ave. North. This is a City ‐wide program.

Planned Activities

Housing Rehabilitation Loans that will bring houses into CODE compliance.

5

Project Name

Economic Development Loan

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Economic Development Loan

Needs Addressed

Economic Development

Funding

CDBG: $100,000

Description

Loans funded from the Revolving Loan Fund for Economic Development. Loans to business to allow businesses to create jobs for low to moderate income persons.

Target Date

5/31/2017

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

NA

Location Description

10700 3rd. Ave. North. This is a city‐wide program.

Planned Activities

It is generally not possible to plan specific economic development projects. Applications for such projects are received on an ongoing basis and are address a quickly as possible. Please note funding is derived from projected program income.

6

Project Name

Signage

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Public Facilities

Needs Addressed

Public Facilities

Funding

CDBG: $50,000

Description

To provide funds to construct City entrance signage and to provide signage for the National Historic District.

Target Date

5/31/2018

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

This is a City ‐Wide project. All the citizens of Bessemer are expected to benefit from this project.

 

Location Description

Downtown Bessemer ‐ National Historic District. Entrance to City on Hwy. 150 and Entrance to City of 18th Street.

Planned Activities

Construct signs for City entrances and provide signage for the National Historic District.

7

Project Name

Historic Facade Improvement Grant

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Economic Development Loan

Needs Addressed

Economic Development

Funding

CDBG: $156,730

Description

Grants of up to $100,000.00 to remove slum and blight relative to commercial buildings in the city’s National Historic District. Participants must spend at least five times the amount of the grant they receive on the rehabilitation of a structure in the National Historic District.

Target Date

5/31/2018

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

NA

Location Description

Lincoln Theater, 19th Street and 1st Ave. North., the McClellan1904 2nd Ave. North, and other projects in the Historic District not yet identified.

Planned Activities

(1) The complete restoration of the Lincoln Theater, including the facade of the building. (2) The restoration of the McClellan Building, including the installation of awnings, and other buildings in the National Historic District as funding allows.

8

Project Name

Program Administration

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Emergency Housing Repair Grants Housing Rehabilitation Loans Economic Development Loan Public Services

Public Facilities

 

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation Loans Lead Paint

Emergency Repair Grants Public Services

Public Facilities Economic Development

Funding

CDBG: $158,122

Description

Costs for staff time and overhead costs for planning and general administration of the CDBG program.

Target Date

5/31/2018

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

All persons impacted by CDBG related programs.

Location Description

City of Bessemer

Planned Activities

Administration of all CDBG related programs.

9

Project Name

Delivery Costs

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Emergency Housing Repair Grants Housing Rehabilitation Loans Economic Development Loan Public Facilities

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation Loans Lead Paint

Emergency Repair Grants Public Facilities Economic Development

Funding

CDBG: $125,000

Description

Delivery Costs are allowable costs incurred for implementing and carrying out eligible CDBG activities. Delivery costs cover the cost of staff directly carrying out the activity in addition to equipment and supplies that are necessary for successful completion of the activity. Delivery Costs must be allocable to a CDBG assisted activity or an activity that is CDBG eligible, meets a national objective and meets other CDBG program requirements.

Target Date

5/31/2018

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

All families serviced in CDBG related programs.

Location Description

City of Bessemer

Planned Activities

Delivery Cost funds will cover expenses related to staff salaries, equipment, and overhead associated with taking CDBG activities for their beginning to their conclusion.

AP‐50 Geographic Distribution – 91.220(f)

Description of the geographic areas of the entitlement (including areas of low‐income and minority concentration) where assistance will be directed

All CDBG programs of the City of Bessemer are designed to serve the City as a whole. The City, as a whole, qualifies relative to low‐mod service based on the income levels of the citizens of Bessemer. Over 70% of the City’s population falls below the low‐to‐moderate income level with over 50% in the very low income category. All areas of the City are addressed because all areas are populated by those at or below the low‐to‐moderate income level. The Historic Facade Grant program is designed to impact the National Historic District, but it also applies to any structure in the City listed on the National Historic Register.

Geographic Distribution

Target Area

Percentage of Funds

  

Table 8 ‐ Geographic Distribution

Rationale for the priorities for allocating investments geographically

The need for programs that comport with the National Objective of the Community Development Block Grant program, throughout the City of Bessemer, are great. The City directs most of its funding toward the elderly and disabled and seeks to help those most in need of help. Therefore, the City has designed its program on a City Wide basis.

Discussion

The same basic needs in housing, Parks and Public Facilities exist throughout Bessemer. Of great concern is a large concentration of substandard housing located in a flood plain called the Pipe Shop. Houses in the area are generally owned by the elderly and are not practical to repair given the constant threat of water damage and the relative value of the property. The City would like to develop a multi‐

year, permanent relocation program for the residents of the flood zone, demolish the substandard housing and create green ways, but funding levels for CDBG have dropped each of the last three fiscal years making such a project impossible without grants from other sources like FEMA.

Affordable Housing

AP‐55 Affordable Housing – 91.220(g)

Introduction

The City has a comprehensive housing program design. The only limit to the program relative to service to the citizens of Bessemer is funding. Funding for housing programs is broken down into two sources. CDBG Entitlement funds are used for the Emergency Housing Repair Grant program and Revolving Loan funds are used for projects involving loans for Housing Rehabilitation, the Buy/Rehab/ Sell Program, the Refinance/Rehabilitation program, Deferred Loan Program, Reconstruction Program and others described in the attached Action Plan Narrative. The City seeks to leverage its CDBG funds by forming partnerships with agencies like Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, the Veteran’s Administration, the Bessemer Public Housing Authority and One Roof.

One Year Goals for the Number of Households to be Supported

Homeless

0

Non‐Homeless

35

Special‐Needs

0

Total

35

Table 9 ‐ One Year Goals for Affordable Housing by Support Requirement

One Year Goals for the Number of Households Supported Through

Rental Assistance

0

The Production of New Units

0

Rehab of Existing Units

35

Acquisition of Existing Units

0

Total

35

Table 10 ‐ One Year Goals for Affordable Housing by Support Type

Discussion

Emergency Housing Repair Grants are designed to facilitate housing repairs related to the disability or medical condition of the owner. They may also be used to address health and safety related repairs. Housing Rehabilitation loans are a broad category of programs designed to bring houses to a CODE conforming condition within a structure that is affordable for low to moderate income persons. Please see the attached narrative describing all Housing related programs for further details.

AP‐60 Public Housing 91.220(h)

Introduction

The Housing Authority of the City of Bessemer (BHA) manages 1,070 public housing rental units at seven

(7) AMPS and administers 473 Section 8 vouchers and 70 VASH vouchers. In addition, BHA manages one

  1. bond financed 120 unit Senior Complex and a new 198 unit RAD Multifamily. The first of the developments was built in 1976 and the last was built in 1998. Because of various changes in federal housing policy, it is imperative that BHA engage new comprehensive strategies to accomplish its mission:

    The Mission of the Housing Authority of the City of Bessemer is to increase the supply of, and maintain existing affordable rental housing; to encourage homeownership for low‐income households and to promote training, educational opportunities and asset independence in a way that improves the health and civic and community vitality of Bessemer, Alabama.

    Actions planned during the next year to address the needs to public housing

    To pursue varying and flexible partnerships and funding opportunities to develop additional affordable housing both for rental and homeownership. Increase efforts to broaden the BHA Commissioners policy making ability through information sharing, training and workshops culminating with the creation of an Annual Board/Staff Strategic Planning Workshops. Develop an enhanced real estate Asset Management model to provide for the direction of capital funds in a rational manner, including the potential submission of the Capital Funds Financing Program (CFFP) application. Focus and expand the current Family Self Sufficiency program with an emphasis on educational advancement, homeownership training, job training and asset independence. Develop additional partnerships with other authorities, municipalities, private entities, financial institutions to leverage funding for the benefit of residents and communities. Explore Section 32 Public Housing Homeownership and other public/private mini neighborhood small ownership opportunities. Develop a lease/purchase program for the purpose of extending low‐income homeownership for residents who otherwise are unable to purchase at present, but will be able to in the next few years in conjunction with the City of Bessemer’s Community Development Plans. Increase awareness of the impact of Green Energy Conservation; develop cost saving measures and public/private partnerships to enhance energy efficient developments. Initiate at least one (1) new affordable housing development with an emphasis on creating an affordable, mixed‐ financed housing community at Hillside; apply for Tax Credits from the Alabama Housing Finance Authority and other private financings. Expand efforts of the Bessemer Housing & Development Corporation, a BHA non‐profit instrumentality formed in 2009 to impact neighborhood revitalization throughout the City of Bessemer. Strengthen program operations and fiscal management with the goal being High Performer designation in public housing, and continue to expand all aspects of Voucher Management included in the 2009 High Performance Rating.

    Actions to encourage public housing residents to become more involved in management and

    participate in homeownership

    The Bessemer Public Housing Authority has a program whereby one Public Housing resident sets on the Housing Authority’s Board of Directors. The Bessemer Public Housing Authority has also established a program designed to help transition Public Housing residents into homeownership. The program teaches various financial and life skills necessary to become a homeowner. The City of Bessemer cooperates in this effort to assist in the process when possible. The Agency will expand its FSS program to facilitate a Homeownership program for both Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher

    residents. The PHA will also develop a Lease Purchase Program for qualified residents and other income eligible.

    If the PHA is designated as troubled, describe the manner in which financial assistance will be provided or other assistance

    NA

    Discussion

    The Mission of the Housing Authority of the City of Bessemer is to increase the supply of, and maintain existing affordable rental housing; to encourage homeownership for low‐income households and to promote training, educational opportunities and asset independence in a way that improves the health and civic and community vitality of Bessemer, Alabama.

    AP‐65 Homeless and Other Special Needs Activities – 91.220(i)

    Introduction

    The City of Bessemer receives no ESG funding or funding of any type designated to address the needs of the homeless. The City is considering application for ESG funds. The City does use CDBG funds through its Emergency Housing Repair Grant Program to conduct repairs that would allow a disabled person to continue living in their home. However, the City does work with agencies like One Roof, the Foundry, the Veteran’s Administration and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority to combat Homelessness.

    Describe the jurisdictions one‐year goals and actions for reducing and ending homelessness including

    Reaching out to homeless persons (especially unsheltered persons) and assessing their individual needs

    The City is working with One Roof and The Foundry to establish a working relationship that will facilitate outreach to the homeless. It is estimated that the total number of homeless in the City at any given time is 100. However, a review of the situation relative to each of the 100 presently identified shows all

    but about three percent are sheltered at any given time. This is a tribute to the non‐profits and the Continuum of Care.

    Addressing the emergency shelter and transitional housing needs of homeless persons

    The City has no funding for emergency shelter and transitional housing needs. However, the City is working with One Roof to investigate the possibilities of ESG funding and the use of houses in the City’s inventory that could be used to provide housing for the homeless on both a temporary and permanent basis.

    Helping homeless persons (especially chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans and their families, and unaccompanied youth) make the transition to permanent housing and independent living, including shortening the period of time that individuals and families experience homelessness, facilitating access for homeless individuals and families to affordable housing units, and preventing individuals and families who were recently homeless from becoming homeless again

    The City provides low cost loans to repair houses under its Buy/Rehab/Sell program that could be used to assist a qualifying homeless person. The City works with the United Way of Central Alabama to assist those with credit problems and place them in a plan that can lead to home ownership. In addition the existing housing repair programs of the City act to prevent families from becoming homeless.

    Helping low‐income individuals and families avoid becoming homeless, especially extremely

    low‐income individuals and families and those who are: being discharged from publicly funded institutions and systems of care (such as health care facilities, mental health facilities, foster care and other youth facilities, and corrections programs and institutions); or, receiving assistance from public or private agencies that address housing, health, social services, employment, education, or youth needs.

    The CDBG funded Emergency Housing Repair Grant program is designed to remove barriers associated with the disabilities and medical condition of homeowners. In many cases housing is not accessible for those with disabilities. Eliminating those accessibility issues can allow a person to live in a house that would not work for them otherwise. The City works with UAB West to address the needs of the disabled or those with long term medical issues, when they are discharged from UAB West. These programs often make it possible for an elderly or disabled person to continue living in their own home.

    Discussion

    The City would be interested in the possibility of ESG funding and using some of its housing inventory for the homeless if arrangements could be made with the Continuum of Care and local service providers to manage homeless outreach.

    AP‐75 Barriers to affordable housing – 91.220(j)

    Introduction:

    There are no local or state level policies impacting affordable housing and residential development. The City of Bessemer follows standard housing CODES, and the guidelines of the County Health Department relative to residential housing. Fire protection is maintained at the highest possible level as is police protection. As a result insurance rates are reasonable. Property tax rates are among the lowest in the country.

    Actions it planned to remove or ameliorate the negative effects of public policies that serve as barriers to affordable housing such as land use controls, tax policies affecting land, zoning ordinances, building codes, fees and charges, growth limitations, and policies affecting the return on residential investment

    No action is necessary relative to public policy. However, the City has implemented plans to provide more and better housing for low to moderate income individuals through the use of CDBG funds.

    Discussion:

    Homeownership is more achievable in the Southeastern United States than any other area in the nation. Local, County and State government policies in Alabama encourage homeownership. Building CODEs are industry standard as is zoning. Fees and charges associated with new construction and rehabilitation are reasonable and have no appreciable effect on homeownership opportunities. The cost of housing in Alabama is far lower than in many other areas and it follows that families can more readily afford to buy houses in the State of Alabama than most other areas of the USA.

    Please see the attached copy of the Fair Housing Plan for FY2017 in the unique attachment section of this document.

    AP‐85 Other Actions – 91.220(k)

    Introduction:

    The basic premise behind the design of the City of Bessemer’s Consolidated/Action Plan is to provide, as closely as possible, a holistic approach to the needs of the low to moderate income persons in the community. Each program under the housing umbrella, whether federally funded or funded by the CIty itself works to provide clean and safe neighborhoods, Housing Stock revitalization and compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act to improve the quality of life of those in need. In addition the City uses CDBG funds to provide loans to local business with the National Objective of creating jobs, and Grants to remove Slum and Blight while promoting historic restoration in and economic development. Employment, like many of the functions undertaken by the City through its CDBG program is a key factor in the ability to own a home. Fair Housing is a focus of the City and addressing problems associated with transportation and economic development are important to maximizing the opportunity for home ownership in the City of Bessemer.

    Actions planned to address obstacles to meeting underserved needs

    The City has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to remove slum and blight throughout the City. The City also plans to partner with Habitat for Humanity to facilitate Housing Reconstruction projects that will revitalize neighborhoods and improve the opportunity for the citizens of Bessemer to own their own homes. The ongoing partnership with the Bessemer Housing Authority should begin to provide housing ownership opportunities to individuals who are working to transition from public housing to homeownership. The City will continue to provide grants and loans to make house more livable and to give families an opportunity to realize the advantages of homeownership.

    Actions planned to foster and maintain affordable housing

    The City will continue loan and grant programs designed to remove barriers to residents and to bring houses into a CODE conforming condition. These programs have proven to allow families to have a higher quality of life in a safer environment. As mentioned above, the City will partner with other agencies like Habitat for Humanity and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority to reduce duplication of effort while facilitating the opportunity for citizens to own their own home.

    Actions planned to reduce lead‐based paint hazards

    The City of Bessemer tests all houses built before 1979 for lead based paint if a painted surface will be disturbed in the rehabilitation process. The City also routinely tests if projects exceed $5,000.00 in total cost. The City maintains a policy that lead based paint must be abated if addressed. The City has sponsored, and will continue to sponsor, public meetings and seminars with the Alabama Department of Health to inform the public of the dangers of lead based paint and to educate contractors in required procedures. All participants receive a booklet explaining the dangers of lead based paint. The City

    follows all EPA and HUD regulations relative to the treatment and abatement of lead based paint. Lead based paint is always a consideration in the rehabilitation process.

    Actions planned to reduce the number of poverty‐level families

    Job creation through the City’s Economic Development Program and well as the expansion of the tax base through economic development will serve to reduce poverty levels. Housing programs, with their focus on energy efficiency and cost reduction, through programs like the Rehabilitation Loan Program known as Buy/Rehab/ Sell and Refinance/Rehabilitation work to make housing safer and more affordable.

    Actions planned to develop institutional structure

    The City of Bessemer and other community development and housing organizations have achieved institutional structure through their commitment to community involvement and continued support. Community development and housing initiative programs are administered through the Department of Economic and Community Development. This also allows for continued institutional knowledge with respect to successful means and tactics in the preparation and administration of grants and grant applications. The City of Bessemer and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority have partnered in recent years to ensure the continued success and growth of the community as a whole. Through these collaborative efforts, an emphasis is placed on the needs of the community while avoiding duplicated efforts by the individual entities. These collaborative efforts have proven to be successful and the City looks to partner with other entities to achieve the same goals and will continue to strive for improved institutional structure.

    Actions planned to enhance coordination between public and private housing and social service agencies

    The City is committed to focusing efforts to ensure the coordination of stakeholders and continual improvements to the programmatic delivery system. The City will continue to look for ways to enhance coordination in the implementation of the Consolidated Plan through its established partnerships with Community and Development Services, the Bessemer Public Housing Authority, and the Jefferson County Community Development Department.

    The City will work with One Roof, the Continuum of Care to promote a communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; to seek out funding for efforts that seek to address homelessness in Bessemer and to support methods to assist in the rehousing of homeless individuals. The City will continue its commitment to the development of a viable Economic Infrastructure through the support of Incentive Programs Economic Development Loan Program and other incentives. The City is also committed to continuing the implementation of its Camp Bessemer program to promote economic opportunity for Bessemer Youth. The City will continue to coordinate with local stakeholders to support

    economic development through the creation of jobs and educational opportunities for neighborhood residents living throughout the City.

    Discussion:

    Program Specific Requirements

    AP‐90 Program Specific Requirements – 91.220(l)(1,2,4)

    Introduction:

    The City of Bessemer only receives CDBG funding. All funding mentioned in this Action Plan are derivatives of CDBG Entitlement funds or CDBG related Housing Revolving Loan funds.

    Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) Reference 24 CFR 91.220(l)(1)

    Projects planned with all CDBG funds expected to be available during the year are identified in the Projects Table. The following identifies program income that is available for use that is included in projects to be carried out.

    1. The total amount of program income that will have been received before the start of the next program year and that has not yet been reprogrammed 0

    2. The amount of proceeds from section 108 loan guarantees that will be used during the year to address the priority needs and specific objectives identified in the grantee’s strategic plan. 0

    3. The amount of surplus funds from urban renewal settlements 0

    4. The amount of any grant funds returned to the line of credit for which the planned use has not been included in a prior statement or plan 0

    5. The amount of income from float‐funded activities 0

Total Program Income: 0

Other CDBG Requirements

  1. The amount of urgent need activities 0

  2. The estimated percentage of CDBG funds that will be used for activities that benefit persons of low and moderate income.Overall Benefit ‐ A consecutive period of one, two or three years may be used to determine that a minimum overall benefit of 70% of CDBG funds is used to benefit persons of low and moderate

income. Specify the years covered that include this Annual Action Plan. 100.00%

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Reference 91.220(l)(4)

  1. Include written standards for providing ESG assistance (may include as attachment)

  2. If the Continuum of Care has established centralized or coordinated assessment system that meets HUD requirements, describe that centralized or coordinated assessment system.

  3. Identify the process for making sub‐awards and describe how the ESG allocation available to private nonprofit organizations (including community and faith‐based organizations).

  4. If the jurisdiction is unable to meet the homeless participation requirement in 24 CFR 576.405(a), the jurisdiction must specify its plan for reaching out to and consulting with homeless or formerly homeless individuals in considering policies and funding decisions regarding facilities and services funded under ESG.

  5. Describe performance standards for evaluating ESG.

Housing Trust Fund (HTF) Reference 24 CFR 91.220(l)(5)

  1. Distribution of Funds

    1. Describe the eligibility requirements for recipients of HTF funds (as defined in 24 CFR § 93.2).

    2. Describe the jurisdiction’s application requirements for eligible recipients to apply for HTF funds.

    3. Describe the selection criteria that the jurisdiction will use to select applications submitted by eligible recipients.

    4. Describe the jurisdiction’s required priority for funding based on geographic distribution, which is a description of the geographic areas of the State (including areas of low‐income and minority concentration) in which it will direct assistance during the ensuing program year.

    5. Describe the jurisdiction’s required priority for funding based on the applicant’s ability to obligate HTF funds and undertake eligible activities in a timely manner.

    6. Describe the jurisdiction’s required priority for funding based on the extent to which rents for units in the rental project are affordable to extremely low‐income families.

    7. Describe the jurisdiction’s required priority for funding based on the financial feasibility of the project beyond the required 30‐year period.

    8. Describe the jurisdiction’s required priority for funding based on the merits of the application in meeting the priority housing needs of the jurisdiction (such as housing that is accessible to transit or employment centers, housing that includes green building and sustainable development features, or housing that serves special needs populations).

    9. Describe the jurisdiction’s required priority for funding based on the location of existing affordable housing.

    10. Describe the jurisdiction’s required priority for funding based on the extent to which the application makes use of non‐federal funding sources.

  2. Does the jurisdiction’s application require the applicant to include a description of the eligible activities to be conducted with HTF funds?

  3. Does the jurisdiction’s application require that each eligible recipient certify that housing units assisted with HTF funds will comply with HTF requirements?

  4. Performance Goals and Benchmarks. The jurisdiction has met the requirement to provide for performance goals, consistent with the jurisdiction’s goals established under 24 CFR 91.215(b)(2), by including HTF in its housing goals in the housing table on the SP‐45 Goals and AP‐20 Annual Goals and Objectives screens.

  5. Rehabilitation Standards. The jurisdiction must establish rehabilitation standards for all HTF‐assisted housing rehabilitation activities that set forth the requirements that the housing must meet upon project completion. The jurisdiction’s description of its standards must be in sufficient detail to determine the required rehabilitation work including methods and materials. The standards may refer to applicable codes or they may establish requirements that exceed the minimum requirements of the codes. The jurisdiction must attach its rehabilitation standards below. If the jurisdiction will not use HTF funds for the rehabilitation of housing, enter “N/A”.

    In addition, the rehabilitation standards must address each of the following: health and safety; major systems; lead‐based paint; accessibility; disaster mitigation (where relevant); state and local codes, ordinances, and zoning requirements; Uniform Physical Condition Standards; and Capital Needs Assessments (if applicable).

  6. Resale or Recapture Guidelines. Below, the jurisdiction must enter (or attach) a description of the guidelines that will be used for resale or recapture of HTF funds when used to assist first‐time homebuyers. If the jurisdiction will not use HTF funds to assist first‐time homebuyers, enter “N/A”.

  7. HTF Affordable Homeownership Limits. If the jurisdiction intends to use HTF funds for homebuyer assistance and does not use the HTF affordable homeownership limits for the area provided by HUD, it must determine 95 percent of the median area purchase price and set forth the information in accordance with §93.305. If the jurisdiction will not use HTF funds to assist first‐time homebuyers, enter “N/A”.

  8. Limited Beneficiaries or Preferences. Describe how the jurisdiction will limit the beneficiaries or give preferences to a particular segment of the extremely low‐ or very low‐income population to serve unmet needs identified in its consolidated plan or annual action plan. If the jurisdiction will not limit the beneficiaries or give preferences to a particular segment of the extremely low‐ or very low‐income

    population, enter “N/A.”

    Any limitation or preference must not violate nondiscrimination requirements in § 93.350, and the jurisdiction must not limit or give preferences to students. The jurisdiction may permit rental housing owners to limit tenants or give a preference in accordance with § 93.303 only if such limitation or preference is described in the action plan.

  9. Refinancing of Existing Debt. Enter or attach the jurisdiction’s refinancing guidelines below. The guidelines describe the conditions under which the jurisdiction will refinance existing rental housing project debt. The jurisdiction’s refinancing guidelines must, at minimum, demonstrate that rehabilitation is the primary eligible activity and ensure that this requirement is met by establishing a minimum level of rehabilitation per unit or a required ratio between rehabilitation and refinancing. If the jurisdiction will not refinance existing debt, enter “N/A.”

Discussion:

It is expected that the overall minimum benefit of 70% of CDBG funds to benefit low to moderate income will be realized between FY2015 and FY2017 under the FY2015‐FY2019 Consolidated Plan. All housing programs are designed to achieve 100% low mod benefit.

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Government
The city of Bessemer will host its annual Christmas Parade this Saturday, Dec. 9, starting at 2 p.m. in Historic Downtown Bessemer. The theme of this year’s parade is “A Storybook Christmas”. Come join us for marching bands, floats by various churches and community organizations, candy, and a visitor or two from the North Pole. The Bessemer Christmas Parade is one of the largest in our area. For more information on the parade, visit http://www.bessemerchamber.com/.
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