CITY OF BESSEMER, ALABAMA
Government

 

 

Executive Summary

 

ES‐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 also includes the proposed FY2015 Action Plan, which outlines the City’s Economic Development and Community Development needs and strategies relative to CDBG entitlement funds for FY2015 of $486,551.00, and projected Program Income of $274,712.00. Copies of the City’s 2015‐2019 Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development Programs, and FY2015 Action Plan will be available for inspection in the City’s Community Development Department, 1800 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 FY2015 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 FY2015 Action Plan and Consolidated Plan, the City of Bessemer’s Economic and Community Development Department worked with 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.              Summary of the objectives and outcomes identified in the Plan Needs Assessment Overview

 

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 to encourage business development and create jobs .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 improveneighborhood 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

 

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 FY2010‐ FY2015 Consolidated Plan 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 two programs: The Deferred 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. Given CDBG budget cuts of close to 30% it was not possible to provide as many Emergency Grants as hoped when the FY2010‐ FY2014 Consolidated Plan was designed. Later the necessity of repaying a large Section 108 Loan greatly impacted the availabity 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 unprogrammed funds from prior years to pay most of the remaining debt from a

$4,000,000.00 Section 108 loan and will pay that loan off with $22,000.00 in CDBG Entitlement funds in FY2015. The payoff of this Section 108 note will free over $300,000.00 in CDBG Entitlement Funds the City had been forced to committ from its CDBG grant each year since 2009. With the elimination of the Section 108 Loan as a major expense, using unprogrammed 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 utilized CDBG funds over the past five years for Clearance, but the City also provided considerable funding for clearance activities. 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 Rehabilitaion/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 focus on the Rehabilitation Loan program for significant rehab needs and Emergency Grants for medically related repairs. The City administerd a Economic Development/Job Creation program during the period of

the FY2010‐FY2014 Consolidated Plan. The primary goal of Economic Development Loans is job creation. Job creation through loans to large companies proved very successful and less so to smaller and start up companies. As a result the City will focus on loans to companies with the ability to create large numbers of jobs. However, the City still plans to provide loans to smaller businesses by limiting the amount of each loan. The City ran a successful, ongoing summer youth program called Camp Bessemer that was


funded jointly from general funds and and CDBG Public Service funds. The City plans to continue this program throughout the period of this Consolidated Plan. The City also administered an NSP grant designed to buy, rehabilitate and sell abandoned and foreclosed houses. The NSP program will close early in FY2015. The City has been successful in many Public Facility projects. The City plans to continue Park improvements, and is in process with a state of the art Re‐Cycling center it budgeted $100,000.00 for. The Recycling Center involves the use of State Grant funds, City funds and CDBG funds. The City will close out its NSP grant in FY2015.

 

4.              Summary of citizen participation process and consultation process

 

The City of Bessemer has undertaken, throughout the development of its FY2015 Action Plan and 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 FY2015‐2019 Consolidated Plan Action Plan, the City held public hearings on March 16th, 2015, March 23rd 2015, and March 30th, 2015 throughout the City. The purpose of the hearings was to obtain comments and proposals for the use of the City’s FY2015 consolidated formula allocation and to obtain 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 FY2015‐FY2019 Consolidated Plan and FY2015 Action Plan.

 

 

 

5.              Summary of public comments

 

In the three public meetings held to discuss the CDBG program and the upcoming Consolidated Plan citizens who commented asked for a renewed focus on Parks and Recreation and a continuation of existing Housing related programs. There was general consensus that a long term plan for park improvements would be well received. Citizens agreed with the present design for the use of Housing Revolving Loan funds and were in favor of an increased focus on the Emergency Grant program. Citizens also spoke to the need for clearance projects in their neighborhoods and their concern that they could loose insurance coverage if dilapidated were allowed to stand next to their properties. They were supportive of the City’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity relative to Clearance.

 

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

 

Comments centered around the existing consolidated plan. Most commentary was actually in the form of questions about how programs worked and eligibility related to those programs. Therefore, no comments or views were not accepted as to the kind of programs needed.


7.              Summary

 

,The City of Bessemer, over the course of the next five years 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 in each year of the FY2015‐FY2019 Consolidated Plan 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 that will utilize “Hardest Hit” funding for clearance will make a significant impact on the removal of blight from the City and that that same partnership 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 utilized significant unprogrammed funds from prior years to pay most of the remaining debt from a $4,000,000.00 Section 108 loan and will pay that loan off with $22,000.00 in CDBG Entitlement funds in FY2015. The payoff of this Section 108 note will free over

$300,000.00 annually in CDBG Entitlement Funds the City had been forced to committ from its CDBG grant each year since 2009. 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.


The Process

 

PR‐05 Lead & Responsible Agencies 24 CFR 91.200(b)

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

The following are the agencies/entities 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

 

The City of Bessemer’s Department of Economic and Community Development prepared the Consolidated 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 developmet 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

 

City of Bessemer Department of Economic and Community Development, 1800 3rd. Ave. North, Bessemer, AL 35020. Forrest R. Davis‐Director (fdavis@bessemeral.org), Abraham Ward‐Principal Housing Specialist (award@bessemeral.org), Doris Lewis‐Community Resource Officer (dlewis@bessemeral.org), Eddy Parsons‐Rehabilitaion Specialist and GIS Technician (eparsons@bessemeral.org). Phone: 205‐424‐4060, FAX: 205‐426‐8374.


PR‐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 2015‐2019 Consolidated 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 and the use of “hardest Hit Alabama” funding to remove blighted structures 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 memebers 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(I)).

 

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 briging more and better housing services and opportunities to the citzens 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 opprtunities 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 works 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. Do 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 s subgrantee 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 and evaluate outcomes, and develop funding, policies and procedures for the 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 has identified 100 homeless persons within the City of Bessemer. 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 subgrantee to assist in administering those funds. The City has consulted with One Roof to determine the nuimber 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 jurisdictions consultations with housing, social service agencies and other entities


Table 2 – Agencies, groups, organizations who participated

1

Agency/Group/Organization

GREATER BIRMINGHAM HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services ‐ Housing

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Housing Need Assessment

How was the Agency/Group/Organization consulted and 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.

2

Agency/Group/Organization

UAB West

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Services‐Health

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Non‐Homeless Special Needs

How was the Agency/Group/Organization consulted and 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.

3

Agency/Group/Organization

United Way of Central Alabama

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services ‐ Housing Service‐Fair Housing

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Housing Need Assessment

How was the Agency/Group/Organization consulted and 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

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Housing Need Assessment Public Housing Needs


 

How was the Agency/Group/Organization consulted and 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, Americans With Disabilities Act compliance, and the NSP program.

5

Agency/Group/Organization

One Roof, Inc

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Services‐homeless

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Homelessness Strategy

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

How was the Agency/Group/Organization consulted and 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 in particular.

6

Agency/Group/Organization

AIDS ALABAMA

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Services‐Persons with HIV/AIDS

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Homeless Needs ‐ Chronically homeless HIV/AIDS

How was the Agency/Group/Organization consulted and 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‐homeless Services ‐ Victims

What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

Homeless Needs ‐ Chronically homeless Homeless Needs ‐ Families with children Drug Addiction

How was the Agency/Group/Organization consulted and 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.


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

 

 

 

 

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 consultation related to the development of strategies

to address the needs of the homeless with particular emphasis on housing for homeless families.

Table 3 – Other local / regional / federal planning efforts

Describe cooperation and coordination with other public entities, including the State and any adjacent units of general local government, in the implementation of the Consolidated Plan (91.215(l))

 

The City consulted with the Jefferson County Community Development Department relative to the housing needs associated with the recent storm related disasters in Jefferson County and Bessemer. The City also consulted with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs relative to the effect NSP program and the National Disaster Resiliency Grant.

 

The City consulted with the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Environmental Protection Agency relative to Lead Based Paint regulations and their impact on housing as well as the need for public education relative to the dangers of lead based paint. And the City works with Jefferson County relative to asbestos testing and abatement.

 

Narrative (optional):

 

The City of Bessemer, The Bessemer Public Housing Authority, and the Jefferson County Community Development Department often work together to achieve goals that benefit their mutual constituents. All three agencies, along with other entities from Jefferson County, recently cooperated to submit an application to participate in the Disaster Resiliency Grant Program. The City also consulted with, and appreciates the contributions of, organizations like the Regional Planning Commission, the Birmingham Business Alliance and the Economic Development Association of Alabama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 11


 

PR‐15 Citizen Participation

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 March 16th, March 23rd and March 30th of 2015, to allow citizens to provide input relative to the Consolidated Plan for FY2015 thru FY2019. 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)

1

Public Meeting

Non‐

Three meetings were

Citizens who

The comments on

 

 

 

targeted/broad

held. There was no

commented

Clearance were well

 

 

community

attendance at the

focused on their

taken, but the City

 

 

 

first two meetings.

wish for renewed

uses general funds for

 

 

 

Two citizens

emphasis on Park

Clearance activities

 

 

 

attended the third

& Recreation

and is partnering with

 

 

 

meeting.

improvements and

Habitat for Humanity

 

 

 

 

Clearance.

to receive grant funds

 

 

 

 

 

for Clearance, thus the

 

 

 

 

 

use of CDBG for

 

 

 

 

 

Clearance is not

 

 

 

 

 

necessary.

2

Newspaper Ad

All Bessemer

The basic contents of

No written

NA

 

 

 

Citizens

the proposed

comments were

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan

receivedI. However

 

 

 

 

were advertised as

the advertising was

 

 

 

 

were the availability

effective in

 

 

 

 

of public meetings

notifying citizens of

 

 

 

 

and methods of

the three public

 

 

 

 

response.

meetings to be

 

 

 

 

 

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)

3

Internet Outreach

Non‐

The basic contents of

No written

NA

bessemeral.or

 

 

targeted/broad

the proposed

comments were

 

g

 

 

community

Consolidated Plan

received. However,

 

 

 

 

 

were advertised as

the advertising was

 

 

 

 

 

were the availability

effective in

 

 

 

 

 

of public meetings

notifying the public

 

 

 

 

 

and methods of

of meetings to be

 

 

 

 

 

response.

held.

 

 

Table 4 – Citizen Participation Outreach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 14


Needs Assessment

 

NA‐05 Overview

Needs Assessment Overview

 

The primary obstacle to meeting the needs of the community within the National Objectives of the CDBG program is a lack of adequate funding. Based on the trend of reduced funding every year for the last three years it is reasonable to assume that this is a trend that will continue and that the associated problems will grow as funding decreases. However, the City of Bessemer has taken measures to meet the need to remove slum and blight through the use of general funds and its recent partnership with Habitat for Humanity to carry out Clearance operations throughout the City. The consistent decrease in CDBG funding has resulted in staff reductions and the problems associated with that situation. While not a direct replacement for proper staffing the City has partnered with various agencies including Habitat for Humanity, UAB West, the United Way of Central Alabama and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority to attempt to maintain the services the citizens of Bessemer deserve.

 

Lead based paint rules and regulations limit the type and extent of rehabilitation services that can be offered due to the expense of lead based paint abatement. A large portion of the housing in Bessemer suffers from the presence of lead based paint. Over 70% of the housing in the City was constructed before 1979. Lead testing is exempted on all houses built after 1979. Lead base paint rules apply across all age groups regardless of that groups susceptibility to the dangers of lead based paint. In the last three years the cost of lead testing has doubled. Testing costs must, in many cases, be paid with Delivery Cost funds. Lead based paint rules create the need for additional funding.

 

A large area of the City is composed of an active flood plain. This causes the continued deterioration of houses located within that flood plain and, while simutaneously limiting the opportunities for housing rehabilitation because of rules and regulations associated with the flood plain. As such, the City has an exceptional need for funding to relocate the mostly elderly populationt out of the flood plain.


NA‐10 Housing Needs Assessment ‐ 24 CFR 91.205 (a,b,c)

Summary of Housing Needs

 

Characteristics that are linked to housing instability and an increased risk of homelessness include families classified as low‐income or extremely low‐income, deteriorated housing conditions, labor market conditions, and the availability of assistance services such as utility bill subsidy, food pantries, etc. A lack of safe, decent, affordable housing stock is also a characteristic of increased homelessness simply because there may not be adequate affordable units within a community to meet the need. The condition of the labor market influences whether or not people can become or continue to be employed. Higher levels of unemployment result in a higher potential to become homeless. The City of Bessemer has 8494 people living below the poverty line for a 31.4% rate. Obviously, income and the ability to procure and maintain housing go hand in hand. It is almost universally true that persons below the 50% of median income, or low income category, have a housing cost burden above 30% of their income.

 

 

 

Demographics

Base Year: 2000

Most Recent Year: 2011

% Change

Population

29,672

27,672

‐7%

Households

11,750

11,195

‐5%

Median Income

$23,066.00

$29,600.00

28%

Table 5 ‐ Housing Needs Assessment Demographics

 

Data Source:             2000 Census (Base Year), 2007‐2011 ACS (Most Recent Year)

 

 

 

Number of Households Table

 

 

0‐30%

HAMFI

>30‐50%

HAMFI

>50‐80%

HAMFI

>80‐100%

HAMFI

>100%

HAMFI

Total Households *

2,600

2,090

2,159

855

3,490

Small Family Households *

910

630

830

405

1,980

Large Family Households *

140

125

190

45

185

Household contains at least one

person 62‐74 years of age

 

480

 

580

 

649

 

225

 

599

Household contains at least one

person age 75 or older

 

435

 

405

 

405

 

84

 

345

Households with one or more

children 6 years old or younger *

 

475

 

270

 

345

 

115

 

340

* the highest income category for these family types is >80% HAMFI


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 6 ‐ Total Households Table


 


Housing Needs Summary Tables

 

1.   Housing Problems (Households with one of the listed needs)

 

 

Renter

Owner

0‐30% AMI

>30‐ 50%

AMI

>50‐ 80%

AMI

>80‐ 100%

AMI

Total

0‐30% AMI

>30‐ 50%

AMI

>50‐ 80%

AMI

>80‐ 100%

AMI

Total

NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS

Substandard

Housing ‐ Lacking complete plumbing or kitchen facilities

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

54

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

Severely

Overcrowded ‐ With >1.51 people per room (and complete kitchen and plumbing)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

Overcrowded ‐

With 1.01‐1.5 people per room (and none of the above problems)

 

 

 

 

 

 

50

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

80

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

30

Housing cost

burden greater than 50% of income (and none of the above problems)

 

 

 

 

 

 

960

 

 

 

 

 

 

255

 

 

 

 

 

 

105

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,320

 

 

 

 

 

 

580

 

 

 

 

 

 

395

 

 

 

 

 

 

145

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,130


 

Renter

Owner

0‐30% AMI

>30‐

50% AMI

>50‐

80% AMI

>80‐

100% AMI

Total

0‐30% AMI

>30‐

50% AMI

>50‐

80% AMI

>80‐

100% AMI

Total

Housing cost

burden greater than 30% of income (and none of the above problems)

 

 

 

 

 

 

190

 

 

 

 

 

 

385

 

 

 

 

 

 

219

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

794

 

 

 

 

 

 

60

 

 

 

 

 

 

215

 

 

 

 

 

 

470

 

 

 

 

 

 

225

 

 

 

 

 

 

970

Zero/negative

Income (and none of the above problems)

 

 

 

 

250

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

250

 

 

 

 

85

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

 

85


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 7 – Housing Problems Table


 

 

2.   Housing Problems 2 (Households with one or more Severe Housing Problems: Lacks kitchen or complete plumbing, severe overcrowding, severe cost burden)

 

 

Renter

Owner

0‐30% AMI

>30‐

50% AMI

>50‐

80% AMI

>80‐

100% AMI

Total

0‐

30% AMI

>30‐

50% AMI

>50‐

80% AMI

>80‐

100% AMI

Total

NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS

Having 1 or more of

four housing problems

 

 

1,065

 

 

270

 

 

125

 

 

4

 

 

1,464

 

 

595

 

 

395

 

 

160

 

 

30

 

 

1,180

Having none of four

housing problems

 

420

 

805

 

719

 

215

 

2,159

 

180

 

620

 

1,160

 

605

 

2,565

Household has

negative income, but none of the other housing problems

 

 

 

250

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

250

 

 

 

85

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

0

 

 

 

85


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 8 – Housing Problems 2


3.   Cost Burden > 30%

 

 

Renter

Owner

0‐30% AMI

>30‐ 50%

AMI

>50‐ 80%

AMI

Total

0‐30% AMI

>30‐ 50%

AMI

>50‐ 80%

AMI

Total

NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS

Small Related

520

280

115

915

170

210

225

605

Large Related

100

60

4

164

10

45

85

140

Elderly

230

109

104

443

375

335

240

950

Other

400

210

100

710

94

24

65

183

Total need by

income

1,250

659

323

2,232

649

614

615

1,878


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 9 – Cost Burden > 30%


 

 

4.   Cost Burden > 50%

 

 

Renter

Owner

0‐30% AMI

>30‐ 50%

AMI

>50‐ 80%

AMI

Total

0‐30% AMI

>30‐ 50%

AMI

>50‐ 80%

AMI

Total

NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS

Small Related

475

130

65

670

170

155

65

390

Large Related

80

25

0

105

10

35

0

45

Elderly

195

34

45

274

320

185

55

560

Other

315

80

0

395

90

20

30

140

Total need by

income

1,065

269

110

1,444

590

395

150

1,135


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 10 – Cost Burden > 50%


 

 

5.   Crowding (More than one person per room)

 

 

Renter

Owner

0‐

30% AMI

>30‐ 50%

AMI

>50‐ 80%

AMI

>80‐ 100%

AMI

Total

0‐

30% AMI

>30‐ 50%

AMI

>50‐ 80%

AMI

>80‐ 100%

AMI

Total

NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS

Single family

households

 

40

 

0

 

20

 

0

 

60

 

10

 

0

 

10

 

20

 

40


 

Renter

Owner

0‐

30% AMI

>30‐

50% AMI

>50‐

80% AMI

>80‐

100% AMI

Total

0‐

30% AMI

>30‐

50% AMI

>50‐

80% AMI

>80‐

100% AMI

Total

Multiple,

unrelated family households

 

 

14

 

 

10

 

 

0

 

 

0

 

 

24

 

 

0

 

 

0

 

 

0

 

 

0

 

 

0

Other, non‐family

households

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

Total need by

income

54

10

20

0

84

10

0

10

20

40


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 11 – Crowding Information – 1/2


 

 

 

Renter

Owner

0‐

>30‐

>50‐

Total

0‐

>30‐

>50‐

Total

30%

50%

80%

 

30%

50%

80%

 

AMI

AMI

AMI

 

AMI

AMI

AMI

 

Households with

Children Present

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0


 

Data Source Comments:

Table 12 – Crowding Information – 2/2


 

 

Describe the number and type of single person households in need of housing assistance.

 

Currently available data does not provide a way of determining the number and type of single person households alone that are in need of housing assistance. The Department of Economic and Community Development maintains a lengthy waiting list of clients who have requested some form of housing assistance and the Bessemer Public Housing Authority maintains a waiting list of people who have requested housing assistance through the programs that they offer. These lists fluctuate based on the availability of funds, but the need consistently exceeds availability. It is for these reasons that the City of Bessemer has taken measures to improve its housing stock in the targeted areas for homeowners and renters alike. Single persons that require housing assistance require special consideration due to the limited stock of housing units. According to 2013 American Community Survey Estimates, 31.4% of the households in the City of Bessemer live below the poverty level. It is reasonable to assume a significant portion of those living under the poverty level are single person households

 

 

 

Estimate the number and type of families in need of housing assistance who are disabled or victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.


The US Census data from 2009‐2013 indicates 3659 (15.7%) of all persons living in Bessemer under the age of 65 are disabled. Statistics are not available for the City of Bessemer relative to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking relative to housing.

 

 

 

What are the most common housing problems?

 

The most common housing problems encountered by the staff of the Department of Economic and Community Development involve deteriorating housing stock due to age and the ability of low income individuals to maintain their houses properly. Electrical system repairs, plumbing system repairs, foundation repairs, roof repairs and replacement, HVAC system repairs and issues related to for assistance is related to roofing repairs.

 

 

 

Are any populations/household types more affected than others by these problems?

 

The elderly, the disabled, those in the lowest income categories, and those living in flood plains are more often affected than other population types relative to housing problems. It is also true that the lower the income a household has the more likely housing problems will exist.

 

Describe the characteristics and needs of Low‐income individuals and families with children (especially extremely low‐income) who are currently housed but are at imminent risk of either residing in shelters or becoming unsheltered 91.205(c)/91.305(c)). Also discuss the needs of formerly homeless families and individuals who are receiving rapid re‐housing assistance and are nearing the termination of that assistance

 

Extremely Low and Low income families are always at greater risk of either residing in shelters or becoming unsheltered. Lower income often results in owned houses that cannot be repaired, or lost due to failure to meet mortgage payments. Those in rental properties also run the risk of eviction due to income problems. The Bessemer Public Housing Authority works to address the needs of many extremely low and low income persons through their public housing facilities. The City of Bessemer does not receive funding from HUD under the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re‐Housing Program.

 

If a jurisdiction provides estimates of the at‐risk population(s), it should also include a description of the operational definition of the at‐risk group and the methodology used to generate the estimates:

 

NA


Specify particular housing characteristics that have been linked with instability and an increased risk of homelessness

 

Characteristics that are linked to housing instability and an increased risk of homelessness include families classified as low‐income or extremely low income, deteriorated housing conditions, labor market conditions, and the availability of assistance services such as utility bill subsidy, food pantries lack of safe, decent affordable housing stock is also a characteristic of increased homelessness simply because there may not be adequate affordable units within a community to meet the need. The condition of the labor market influences whether or not people can become or continue to be employed. Higher levels of unemployment result in a higher potential to become homeless.

 

 

 

Discussion

 

34.1% of the 27,139 people living in Bessemer live below the poverty level. Approximately 63% of the total population has an income level at or below the low‐to‐moderate standard for the metro Birmingham/Hoover area which applys to Bessemer. The CDBG program of the City of Bessemer is designed to address as many of the outlined housing needs as possible. The limiting factor, from the perspective of the City, in meeting the established housing needs of the community is funding. Funding limits the number of projects and services that can be untertaken. Funding limits the available staff and thus the number and timeliness of projects that can be completed and undertaken. Of course, there would be no need for CDBG funding if houses were in good condition and the population was bankable. Education, Transportation, Jobs, there is a long list of causal factors relative to the condition of housing as it now exists. As long as these underlying conditions exist there will be a need for a safety net to maintain housing in a decent, safe and sanitary condition.


NA‐15 Disproportionately Greater Need: Housing Problems – 91.205 (b)(2)

Assess the need of any racial or ethnic group that has disproportionately greater need in comparison to the needs of that category of need as a whole.

Introduction

 

The Black/African American community in Bessemer has a disproportionately greater need relative to housing problems than other groups.

 

0%‐30% of Area Median Income

 

Housing Problems

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Jurisdiction as a whole

1,910

355

340

White

275

95

55

Black / African American

1,580

260

285

Asian

10

0

0

American Indian, Alaska Native

4

0

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

Hispanic

30

0

0


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 13 ‐ Disproportionally Greater Need 0 ‐ 30% AMI


 

*The four housing problems are:

  1. Lacks complete kitchen facilities, 2. Lacks complete plumbing facilities, 3. More than one person per room, 4.Cost Burden greater than 30%

 

 

30%‐50% of Area Median Income

 

Housing Problems

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Jurisdiction as a whole

1,265

825

0

White

245

295

0

Black / African American

1,015

530

0

Asian

0

0

0

American Indian, Alaska Native

0

0

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0


Housing Problems

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Hispanic

0

0

0


 

Data Source:

Table 14 ‐ Disproportionally Greater Need 30 ‐ 50% AMI

2007‐2011 CHAS


 

*The four housing problems are:

  1. Lacks complete kitchen facilities, 2. Lacks complete plumbing facilities, 3. More than one person per room, 4.Cost Burden greater than 30%

 

 

50%‐80% of Area Median Income

 

Housing Problems

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Jurisdiction as a whole

969

1,190

0

White

260

415

0

Black / African American

650

745

0

Asian

10

0

0

American Indian, Alaska Native

0

0

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

Hispanic

25

35

0


 

Data Source:

Table 15 ‐ Disproportionally Greater Need 50 ‐ 80% AMI

2007‐2011 CHAS


 

*The four housing problems are:

  1. Lacks complete kitchen facilities, 2. Lacks complete plumbing facilities, 3. More than one person per room, 4.Cost Burden greater than 30%

 

80%‐100% of Area Median Income

 

Housing Problems

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Jurisdiction as a whole

260

595

0

White

20

225

0

Black / African American

210

370

0


Housing Problems

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Asian

0

0

0

American Indian, Alaska Native

0

0

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

Hispanic

30

0

0


 

Data Source:

Table 16 ‐ Disproportionally Greater Need 80 ‐ 100% AMI

2007‐2011 CHAS


 

*The four housing problems are:

  1. Lacks complete kitchen facilities, 2. Lacks complete plumbing facilities, 3. More than one person per room, 4.Cost Burden greater than 30%

Discussion

 

All CDBG programs administered by the City are of the non‐targeted City‐Wide variety. Programs eligibility, relative to housing assistance, is based primarily on family income with other qualifications factoring in depending on the specific program type. The racial makeup of those receiving CDBG related services through the City of Bessemer have historically been in excess of 95% black/sfrican american.

Given that the population makeup of the city is over 70% black/african american and an even greater percentage of those in the extremely low and low income categories are black/african american the makeup of the univers served is understandable. It is, and has been the desire of the City to assist those who need help the most. The Department of Economic and Community Development conducts outreach to all sectors of the City on a consistent basis through public meetings, advertising and special seminars. It is believed that the more effective this outreach is the more nearly the universe of persons served will resemble those who need help the most.


NA‐20 Disproportionately Greater Need: Severe Housing Problems – 91.205 (b)(2)

Assess the need of any racial or ethnic group that has disproportionately greater need in comparison to the needs of that category of need as a whole.

Introduction

 

Over 70% of the population of Bessemer is black/african american. Of the black/african american population the need for housing assistance becomes more disproportionate as incomes fall into the extremely low and low income categories. Black/african americans in an overall sense constitute 84% of the individuals who need and qualify for CDBG related housing services. Historically over 95% of the universe seved through the City of Bessemer’s CDBG housing programs have been black/african american. However, it should be stressed that the number of black/african american families in the extremely low and low income categories works to create a situation where the 95% service rate is proportionate with need and CDBG housing program design.

 

0%‐30% of Area Median Income

 

Severe Housing Problems*

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Jurisdiction as a whole

1,660

600

340

White

225

150

55

Black / African American

1,385

455

285

Asian

10

0

0

American Indian, Alaska Native

4

0

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

Hispanic

30

0

0


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 17 – Severe Housing Problems 0 ‐ 30% AMI


 

*The four severe housing problems are:

  1. Lacks complete kitchen facilities, 2. Lacks complete plumbing facilities, 3. More than 1.5 persons per room, 4.Cost Burden over 50%

30%‐50% of Area Median Income

 

Severe Housing Problems*

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Jurisdiction as a whole

665

1,430

0

White

125

415

0

Black / African American

535

1,010

0

Asian

0

0

0

American Indian, Alaska Native

0

0

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

Hispanic

0

0

0


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 18 – Severe Housing Problems 30 ‐ 50% AMI


 

*The four severe housing problems are:

  1. Lacks complete kitchen facilities, 2. Lacks complete plumbing facilities, 3. More than 1.5 persons per room, 4.Cost Burden over 50%

 

 

50%‐80% of Area Median Income

 

Severe Housing Problems*

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Jurisdiction as a whole

285

1,879

0

White

75

600

0

Black / African American

200

1,195

0

Asian

10

0

0

American Indian, Alaska Native

0

0

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

Hispanic

0

60

0


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 19 – Severe Housing Problems 50 ‐ 80% AMI


 

*The four severe housing problems are:

  1. Lacks complete kitchen facilities, 2. Lacks complete plumbing facilities, 3. More than 1.5 persons per room, 4.Cost Burden over 50%

80%‐100% of Area Median Income

 

Severe Housing Problems*

Has one or more of four housing problems

Has none of the four housing problems

Household has no/negative income, but none of the other

housing problems

Jurisdiction as a whole

35

820

0

White

4

240

0

Black / African American

30

550

0

Asian

0

0

0

American Indian, Alaska Native

0

0

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

Hispanic

0

30

0


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 20 – Severe Housing Problems 80 ‐ 100% AMI


 

*The four severe housing problems are:

  1. Lacks complete kitchen facilities, Lacks complete plumbing facilities, 3. More than 1.5 persons per room, 4.Cost Burden over 50%

 

 

Discussion


NA‐25 Disproportionately Greater Need: Housing Cost Burdens – 91.205 (b)(2)

Assess the need of any racial or ethnic group that has disproportionately greater need in comparison to the needs of that category of need as a whole.

Introduction:

 

Over 70% of the population of Bessemer is black/african american. Of the black/african american population the need for housing assistance becomes more disproportionate as incomes fall into the extremely low and low income categories. Black/african americans in an overall sense constitute 84% of the individuals who need and qualify for CDBG related housing services. Historically over 95% of the universe seved through the City of Bessemer’s CDBG housing programs have been black/african american. However, it should be stressed that the number of black/african american families in the extremely low and low income categories works to create a situation where the 95% service rate is proportionate with need and CDBG housing program design. It should be noted that the Cost Burden for housing rises proportionatly as income declines. In almost every case the cost of housing for a family in the low or extremely low income category is in excess of the 30% of income and in most cases the burden is much greater than that. It is a challenge to design programs that can address the needs of the low and extremely low income housing owners because of the cost burden. The City addresses the problems of the elderly and disabled in this category of need through the Emergency Grant Program, but there is a massive need for assistance to stabilize housing and bring it into a safe and sanitary condition that cannot be met because of funding levels and demand for services.

 

Housing Cost Burden

 

Housing Cost Burden

<=30%

30‐50%

>50%

No / negative income (not

computed)

Jurisdiction as a whole

3,020

1,774

2,580

340

White

2,390

430

450

55

Black / African

American

 

3,835

 

1,450

 

2,095

 

285

Asian

0

10

20

0

American Indian,

Alaska Native

 

0

 

0

 

4

 

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

0

Hispanic

60

55

30

0


 

Data Source:

2007‐2011 CHAS

Table 21 – Greater Need: Housing Cost Burdens AMI


 

 

Discussion:


NA‐30 Disproportionately Greater Need: Discussion – 91.205(b)(2)

Are there any Income categories in which a racial or ethnic group has disproportionately greater need than the needs of that income category as a whole?

 

Based on an analysis of the CHAS data provided, it appears that those families who identified as being Black/African American had a disproportionately greater need at each of the income categories.

However, the need increases as income decreases. The housing problems considered included structures that either lack complete kitchen facilities, lack complete plumbing facilities, house more than one person per room, or present a cost Burden greater than 30%. The housing problem may be any one or more of these four problems. When severe housing problems were considered, a disproportionate need is noted in 0%‐30% of Area Median Income category and the 50%‐80% of Area Median Income category. In the 80%‐100% of Area Median Income category Black/African Americans also had exhibited a disproportionately greater need and supports the overall trend, but the statistical universe was much smaller than the 30% and 50% categories and could be considered inconclusive.

 

 

 

If they have needs not identified above, what are those needs?

 

The needs of families such as those illustrated above who have significant housing problems are either related to the structure itself, overcrowding, cost burden, or a combination of those factors.

 

Are any of those racial or ethnic groups located in specific areas or neighborhoods in your community?

 

Of the City’s population of 27,456, 71.4% or 19,546 are black/african american. Due to the spread of the population in general and the overall need for housing assistance in particular CDBG programs have been designed to serve on a city wide basis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 31


 

NA‐35 Public Housing – 91.205(b)

Introduction

 

The Bessemer Public Housing Authority (BPHA) has proven to be an exceptionally forward thinking unit with results that speak for themselves. The BPHA manages 1230 occupied public housing units, 473 Section 8 vouchers and 70 VASH. The BPHA recently became the first PHA in Alabama to complete the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) process. As a result the BPHA has been able to undertake an $8,708,663.00 FHA insured 221 (d)(4) loanrehabilitation project to convert 198 Public Housing Units to Project Based Rental Assistance Affordable Housing ( Long Term Project Based Section 8 Rental Assistance) in their Davis/Asbury Howard Apartments. The BPHA along with the City of Bessemer and Jefferson County have applied for Disaster Resiliency Grant Funds to construct 37 single family houses and other related infrastructure on PHA property.

 

Totals in Use

 

Program Type

 

Certificate

Mod‐ Rehab

Public Housing

Vouchers

Total

Project ‐

based

Tenant ‐

based

Special Purpose Voucher

Veterans Affairs Supportive

Housing

Family Unification Program

Disabled

*

# of units vouchers in use

0

0

1,104

505

0

459

45

0

0

Table 22 ‐ Public Housing by Program Type

*includes Non‐Elderly Disabled, Mainstream One‐Year, Mainstream Five‐year, and Nursing Home Transition

 

Data Source:              PIC (PIH Information Center)


 

Characteristics of Residents

 

 

Program Type

 

Certificate

Mod‐ Rehab

Public Housing

Vouchers

Total

Project ‐

based

Tenant ‐

based

Special Purpose Voucher

Veterans Affairs Supportive

Housing

Family Unification Program

Average Annual Income

0

0

9,848

10,897

0

10,737

12,579

0

Average length of stay

0

0

8

4

0

4

0

0

Average Household size

0

0

2

2

0

2

1

0

# Homeless at admission

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

# of Elderly Program Participants

(>62)

 

0

 

0

 

214

 

18

 

0

 

13

 

5

 

0

# of Disabled Families

0

0

258

127

0

103

23

0

# of Families requesting

accessibility features

 

0

 

0

 

1,104

 

505

 

0

 

459

 

45

 

0

# of HIV/AIDS program

participants

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

# of DV victims

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Table 23 – Characteristics of Public Housing Residents by Program Type

 

 

Data Source:              PIC (PIH Information Center)


 

Race of Residents

 

Program Type

Race

Certificate

Mod‐ Rehab

Public Housing

Vouchers

Total

Project ‐

based

Tenant ‐

based

Special Purpose Voucher

Veterans Affairs Supportive

Housing

Family Unification Program

Disabled

*

White

0

0

49

24

0

11

13

0

0

Black/African American

0

0

1,055

480

0

447

32

0

0

Asian

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

American Indian/Alaska

Native

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

1

 

0

 

1

 

0

 

0

 

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Other

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

*includes Non‐Elderly Disabled, Mainstream One‐Year, Mainstream Five‐year, and Nursing Home Transition

Table 24 – Race of Public Housing Residents by Program Type

Data Source:              PIC (PIH Information Center)

 

 

Ethnicity of Residents

 

Program Type

Ethnicity

Certificate

Mod‐ Rehab

Public Housing

Vouchers

Total

Project ‐

based

Tenant ‐

based

Special Purpose Voucher

Veterans Affairs Supportive

Housing

Family Unification Program

Disabled

*

Hispanic

0

0

2

4

0

4

0

0

0

Not Hispanic

0

0

1,102

501

0

455

45

0

0

*includes Non‐Elderly Disabled, Mainstream One‐Year, Mainstream Five‐year, and Nursing Home Transition

Table 25 – Ethnicity of Public Housing Residents by Program Type


 

Data Source:              PIC (PIH Information Center)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 35


Section 504 Needs Assessment: Describe the needs of public housing tenants and applicants on the waiting list for accessible units:

 

More than 25% of the people who need Public Housing are disabled. The great majority, over 72%, have children and most, 87%, are in the category of extremely low income persons.

 

Most immediate needs of residents of Public Housing and Housing Choice voucher holders

 

630 are on the Public Housing waiting list. 87% of those are extremely low income, 10% are very income, 5% are low income. 49% on the Public Housing list have children. 6% on the Public Housing list are elderly and 26% are composed of families with disabilities. Of those on the Public Housing list 5% are white and 95% are black.

 

Section 8: 623 are on the Section 8 waiting list. Of those 82% are extremely Low income, 14% are very low income, 4% are low income. 72% have children, 2% are elderly and 25% have disibilities. 4%

are white and 96% are black.

 

How do these needs compare to the housing needs of the population at large

 

Most of those in need of public housing assistance are of low to very low or extremely low income status. In general there is a greater need for accomodations based on the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act

 

Discussion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 36


 

NA‐40 Homeless Needs Assessment – 91.205(c)

Introduction:

 

The City of Bessemer does not receive ESG funds and has no other funding directed to homelessness at this time. Census data does not provide an estimate of homeless individuals. One Roof, the Continuum of Care, reports 100 total homeless persons in Bessemer. They also indicate that one primary concern is the large number of homeless families that exist. However, homeless families, according to One Roof, are a problem County wide. The City of Bessemer, by all indications, does not have a large or persistent homeless population. The Bessemer Housing Authority and local service agencies agree that the homeless in Bessemer represent persons or families displaced by fire, change in economic conditions or domestic violence. Fortunately, the Continuum and local organizations like the Foundry are available for the homeless.

 

Homeless Needs Assessment

 

Population

Estimate the # of persons experiencing homelessness on a given night

Estimate the # experiencing homelessness

each year

Estimate the # becoming homeless

each year

Estimate the # exiting homelessness

each year

Estimate the # of days persons experience

homelessness

 

Sheltered

Unsheltered

 

 

 

 

Persons in Households with Adult(s)

and Child(ren)

 

0

 

28

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

Persons in Households with Only

Children

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

Persons in Households with Only

Adults

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

Chronically Homeless Individuals

3

59

0

0

0

0

Chronically Homeless Families

0

0

0

0

0

0

Veterans

0

10

0

0

0

0

Unaccompanied Child

0

0

0

0

0

0

Persons with HIV

0

0

0

0

0

0

Table 26 ‐ Homeless Needs Assessment


 

 

 

Data Source Comments:        Data provided by One Roof, the Continuum of Care

 

 


Indicate if the homeless population is:

Has No Rural Homeless


 

 

 

 

 

 

If data is not available for the categories “number of persons becoming and exiting homelessness each year,” and “number of days that persons experience homelessness,” describe these categories for each homeless population type (including chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans and their families, and unaccompanied youth):

 

Of the 100 homeless Iidentified by One Roof 37 are now in rental units, 16 are in emergency shelter, 9 are in substance abuse centers, 6 are in transitional housing, 6 are in a house they own, 1 is in a hospital, 6 are in a permanent shelter and 12 are living with family or friends. Only 3 persons were considered unsheltered. It appears the homeless situation in Bessemer is in a constant astate of flux with persons and conditions ever changing.However it also seems that One Roof is having a positive effect in that most of Bessemer’s homeless now have a roof over their heads. The Foundry is a long standing Bessemer organization that impacts individuals in a positive way to prevent them from becoming homeless. Some of the good work done by the Foundry is shown in the section on Non‐Homeless SpecI al needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 38


Nature and Extent of Homelessness: (Optional)

 

Race:

Sheltered:

Unsheltered (optional)

White

28

0

Black or African American

64

0

Asian

0

0

American Indian or Alaska

Native

 

0

 

0

Pacific Islander

0

0

Ethnicity:

Sheltered:

Unsheltered (optional)

Hispanic

0

0

Not Hispanic

0

0

Data Source

Comments:                    Of the 100 homeless identified in Bessemer three were unsheltered.

 

 

Estimate the number and type of families in need of housing assistance for families with children and the families of veterans.

 

If Bessemer statistics are consistent with those of Jefferson County 28% of the homeless are composed of family groups. 10% of the homeless would be composed of veterans.

 

Describe the Nature and Extent of Homelessness by Racial and Ethnic Group.

 

Direct statistics by race and ethnic group are not available specifically for the City of Bessemer. However, if Bessemer, which is located in Jefferson County, follows the same pattern as Jefferson County 64% of the homeless are black and 28% are white, with other groups making up the 8% balance. Given that the largest population group after black & white is hispanic, at 4.1%, it is reasonable to assume hispanics could represent 8% of the homeless population.

 

Describe the Nature and Extent of Unsheltered and Sheltered Homelessness.

 

Of the 100 persons identified as homeless in Bessemer by One Roof, three were identified as occupying a place not suitable for habitation. The remainder were considered sheltered. While the three persons identified as unsheltered are important the total number is statistically insignificant and can not be used to project or predict anything related to the unsheltered homeless.

 

Discussion:

 

All statistical analysis is based on the 100 persons identified as homeless in Bessemer by the one roof organization. Bessemers homeless population is not persistent, but is transitional. It is not known if the


number of homeless at 100 is relatively consistent or not. All statistics were derived from a Point In Time survey conducted by One Roof and other organizations on January 25th, 2012.


NA‐45 Non‐Homeless Special Needs Assessment ‐ 91.205 (b,d)

Introduction:

 

Due to funding levels the City of Bessemer has no programs other than the public services previously that are designed mentioned designed to address Non‐Homeless Special Needs. However, the Emergency Housing Grant program is designed to meet the needs of those with special needs due to medical conditions and disabilities. The Emergency Grant program supplies wheelchair ramps, ADA accessibility improvements, installation of special medical equipment and any other housing modification directly related to a medical condition or disability. The City has no specific CDBG program for this situation, but the Foundry Ministries, a local service organization has a significant presence in Bessemer and in the County relative to drug rehabilitation and homeless prevention. It is believed, based on the comments of participants, that the Emergency Grant program has made it possible for those with disabilities to live at home rather than become homeless.

 

 

 

 

Describe the characteristics of special needs populations in your community:

 

Elderly citizens, those with medical needs and the disabled compose the largest groups with special needs. As is the case in many communities some have special needs due to drug addiction. The elderly make up close to 17% of the entire population, but make up a much larger percentage of those with special needs.

 

What are the housing and supportive service needs of these populations and how are these needs determined?

 

The City addresses the housing needs of the special needs population directly with the Emergency Housing Grant program. Eligibility for such grants are limited to those 62 and older with a certified disability or long term medical condition. The City works with the faith based community and with UAB West to connect with those in need. The CIty also conducts public meetings to inform the public of the availabilty of programs to help those in need. The Foundry Ministries specializes in meeting the needs of those suffering from and recovering from drug addiction.

 

Discuss the size and characteristics of the population with HIV/AIDS and their families within the Eligible Metropolitan Statistical Area:

 

Aids Alabama, a long time HOPWA recipient devoted to helping people with HIV/AIDS, related the following statistics relative to the population with AIDs from the Alabama Department of Public Health.. There are no specific statistics for the City of Bessemer relative to the HIV/AIDS population. However, Bessemer is located in Jefferson County and the following statistics are from Jefferson County. Jefferson


County has one of the largest populations of persons with HIV/AIDS in the United States.There are 547,191 people in Jefferson County. There are 3,244 verified cases of HIV/AIDS in Jefferson County. The HIV/AIDS incidence rate per 100,000 in Jefferson County is 529.9. The population of Bessemer is 27,139. (.005299 x 27,139= 160.89). Using the rate per 100,000 in Jefferson County as a baseline the incidence of HIV AIDS in Bessemer should be 160.89 persons.

 

Discussion:

 

The City does not receive HOPWA funds and had no specific program for HIV/AIDS. However, the Emergency Grant program would apply to those in need because of HIV/AIDS. No statistics are available specifically for Bessemer. However, AIDS Alabama is a state wide organization that works to meet the housing and other needs of those with HIV/AIDS and to help prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The Foundry is a local organization that works with many who qualify for “Special Needs:

 

The Foundry sponsors a significant Recovery and Re‐Entry Programs: Meals per week: 279,066, Nights of lodging: 93,022, Heath services assistance: 714 individuals, Clothing assistance vouchers: $10,940 worth of merchandise, Social Services(legal, ID, etc) 1,769 individuals, Employment Readiness: 388,835 hours, Rescue for Community, Meals served to low income and homeless ‐ 7,016, Hours of training to community residents‐ 416, Food Boxes Distributed‐ 860, Clothing assistance ‐ , Medical Assistance‐ 1,841 individuals, Transient nights of lodging‐ 780 nights

 

Individuals in Shelter Care through One Roof‐ 44 individuals in 2014 currently have an open case status.


NA‐50 Non‐Housing Community Development Needs – 91.215 (f)

Describe the jurisdiction’s need for Public Facilities:

 

The City of Bessemer has a broad need for Public Facility improvements. The City is constructing the City’s first Recreation Center and a new City Hall, both with City funds. The City is committed to continue provide numerous improvements throughout the City related to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and has been in the process of extensive ADA improvements throughout the City since 2009.

Nevertheless, the expense is great and the need is unmet. During the FY2010‐FY2014 Consolidated Plan CDBG funds were used to provide ADA improvements at the Civic Center and Public Library. Streets need paving, municipal buildings need ADA improvements, Parks need extensive improvements while the need for public improvements, at parks, for children with special needs is exceptional. Small neighborhood parks are also needed as is signage and walking trails. The City may receive grant funds for a Rails to Trails project, but funding will be needed for the expected 20% match. The City needs funding to assist in relocating families from an extensive flood plain and converting that flood plain into a greenway or a series of parks. The City has a large historic district and multiple structure of historic importance. Several Structures, such as the Lincoln Theater, one of the last existing unrestored African‐ American theaters existant in the State of Alabama, are important to the City and are in need of Public Improvements to restore building, pave streets, replace sidewalks, etc. The Bessemer Airport is also a City asset that is underutilized. The Bessemer Airport Authority and the Department Of Economic and Community Development are working to devise plans that can make the Airport more effective as an economic development engine while providing much needed services to the public.

 

How were these needs determined?

 

Comments from citizens during interviews, Citizen comments during council meetings, the comments of City Council memebers and the Mayor relative to their view of the conditions of the city and their constituents provided a starting point to study the condition of the City. Department Heads throughout the City, including Street and Sanitation, Fire, Police and Parks & recreation indicated the need for public improvements. In addition drive by surveys of housing stock, Parks and other venues by Economic and Community Development staff provided additional data. Studies by Birmingham’s Regional Planning Commission and studies by Auburn Universitie’s School of Architecture worked to identify needs. The City also completed an Urban Renewal Plan that identified the needs of the community in detail.

 

 

 

Describe the jurisdiction’s need for Public Improvements:

 

Inasmuch as Public Facilities and Public Improvements fall under the same rule relative to the use of CDBG funds, what holds true for Public Facilities holds true for Public Improvements. Please see the narrative above under Public Facilities.

 

How were these needs determined?


The determination for Public Facilities and Public improvements are one in the same. Comments from citizens during council meetings, the comments of City Council memebers and the Mayor relative to their view of the conditions of the city provided a starting point to study the condition of the City.

Department Heads throughout the City, including Street and Sanitation, Fire, Police and Parks & recreation indicated the need for public improvements. In addition drive by surveys of housing stock, Parks and other venues by Economic and Community Development staff provided additional data.

Studies by Birmingham’s Regional Planning Commission and studies by Auburn University’s School of Architecture worked to identify needs and make suggestions about addressing those needs. The City also completed an Urban Renewal Plan that identified the needs of the community in detail.

 

 

 

Describe the jurisdiction’s need for Public Services:

 

The City has multiple needs relative to Public Services. For many years the City has provided funding supplemented with CDBG funds to address the educational and job training needs of the City’s youth through a summer program called Camp Bessemer. In addition to CDBG funds the City contributes significant dollars from its general fund. In addition, the City and Public Housing Authority have partnered and plan to continue to partner to hold public wellnes forums for the elderly residents of the Public Housing Authority and other elderly residents of the City. With a large low and low to moderate income population the need for public services for the youth and elderly of the City is great. Given the decreasing size of the Cityt’s entitlement grant, and the 15% limit on Public Services, the impact of any CDBG sponsored Public Service program is limited.

 

How were these needs determined?

 

The Public Service projects designed by the City of Bessemer’s Economic and Community Development staff with the approval of the City Council and Mayor, were designed to address major, statistically proveable deficiencies various populations in the City lived with on a daily basis. Camp Bessemer was designed to provide job skills and on the job training for youth, but it was also designed to give youth higher goals and a greater understanding of the possibilities life had to offer. Camp Bessemer is an exercise in creating a solid, inquisitive work force with goals that elevate rather than maintain the status quo. The Bessemer Public Housing Authority and the Department of Economic and Community Development worked together to determine the needs of those in public housing that could be addressed by Public Services.


Housing Market Analysis

 

MA‐05 Overview

Housing Market Analysis Overview:

 

Since 2007 the population of the City has decreased from 28,976 to 27,139. The number of occupied housing units increased from 11,805 to 12,576. The composition of the population has

changed from 70.0% black, 29.4% white, and 1.5% other to 75.2% black, 18.7 white, 4.1% hispanic and 2% other. In 2007, of the City’s 11,805 occupied housing units, 7420 (62.9%) were owner occupied and 4385 (37.1%) were renter occupied, while 2136 were unoccupied. In the latest census, of the 12,576 occupied houses, 5555 houses (44.17%) are owner occupied, and 4652 (36.99%) are occupied by renters. There are 2369 unoccupied houses in Bessemer. Clearly the collapse of the economy in 2008 exacted a significant toll on homeownership in the City. Of the houses that are unoccupied as many as 50% are the result of foreclosure. Unfortunately, as many as 50% of the total number of vacant houses are blighted and are candidates for demolition. The City presently averages 120 demolitions a year. It is anticipated that the City’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity has the potential to raise that number significantly. As blight is removed property value will improve. As property values improve the cost of rehabilitation becomes more reasonable relative to the after rehab value of a given property. The age and condition of the housing in the City of Bessemer presents a problem that cannot be adequately addressed given the present assets of the revolving fund. Revolving Loan funds at present projected levels can be expected to provide approximately 35 housing rehabilitation projects over the course of the 2015‐2019 Consolidated Plan. These loans will likely be limited to individual in the low‐to‐moderate income category. This is due to the average cost of $35,000.00 to bring a house to a CODE conforming condition. Persons in the low to extremely low income category do not have adequate income to borrow $35,000.00. Therefore, grants to address pressing medically related needs are the most effective way to reach a large nuber of people and serve those who need help the most. With 34.1% of the population living below the poverty line and a 13% unemployment rate it is difficult for families to meet the monthly payments required by loans. Therefore, economic development is of paramount importance if only to move families from extremely low and low income to low to moderate income. All these factors establish the real world value of houses and the practicality of an effective rehab program to fit market conditions.


MA‐10 Number of Housing Units – 91.210(a)&(b)(2)

Introduction

 

31.4% of the City of Bessemer households live below the Poverty Line. Approximately 40% of that population own and live in single family housing. The condition of housing, in these specific cases, relates to the owners ability, financially, to maintain own and maintain a given house. As cost rise above 30% of the income of an extremely low income owner the burden to maintain increases exponentially. At the 50% point blight can be the expected result. The typical cost to bring a house into a CODE conforming condition is in excess of $35,000.00 with monthly P&I ranging from $241.00 to $337.00. The added cost of insurance and taxes, along with P&I, places the homeowner whose income is below the poverty line in an untenable position. Therefore, fully one third of the population cannot be assisted through loan programs based on market conditions. Of course, those in the extremely low income and low income category can be assisted with grants, but those grants are directed to the elimination of problems related to a disability or long‐term medical condition rather than the elimination of CODE violations. The situation relative to the remainer of the population can be delt with by CDBG Housing Rehabilitation loans, assuming a given house can be brought to CODE, without exceeding program cost limits, but the CDBG fund allocation is not adequate to adderss even 50% of the needs of the community.

 

All residential properties by number of units

 

Property Type

Number

%

1‐unit detached structure

10,108

76%

1‐unit, attached structure

228

2%

2‐4 units

1,346

10%

5‐19 units

1,026

8%

20 or more units

298

2%

Mobile Home, boat, RV, van, etc

308

2%

Total

13,314

100%


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

 

 

Unit Size by Tenure

Table 27 – Residential Properties by Unit Number


 

 

Owners

Renters

Number

%

Number

%

No bedroom

10

0%

97

2%

1 bedroom

107

2%

810

18%

2 bedrooms

1,507

23%

1,903

42%

3 or more bedrooms

5,075

76%

1,686

38%

Total

6,699

101%

4,496

100%


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

Table 28 – Unit Size by Tenure


 

Describe the number and targeting (income level/type of family served) of units assisted with federal, state, and local programs.

 

The 2015‐2019 Consolidated Plan anticipates the the significant rehabilitation of 35 houses and the minor rehabilitaion of 179 houses through the Emergency Grant program given present income projections. All participants must be at or below low to moderate income levels for loan and grant programs. The loan program anticipates eligibility will be limited to those at 80% of median income. The grant program anticipates that most successful applicants will have income levels below 50% of median for the area.

 

Provide an assessment of units expected to be lost from the affordable housing inventory for any reason, such as expiration of Section 8 contracts.

 

The affordable housing inventory decreases as houses fall into disrepair and fail to meet the housing code. There are no projects intended to eliminate housing other than Clearance programs designed to eliminate housing deteriorated beyond the point of reasonable repair. Therefore, no change is expected in a negative sense.

 

Does the availability of housing units meet the needs of the population?

 

The availability of CODE conforming, affordable housing in Bessemer does not meet the housing needs of the population. Adequate housing stock exists, but the condition of those houses is generally substandard and the cost to buy and repair is usually above 30% of income for many applicants. Loans are generally made to homeowners who do not have mortgages on their property.

 

Describe the need for specific types of housing:

 

Housing that meets or can meet the specifications of the Americans With Disabilities Act are in short supply. There is a large elderly population and accessibility is a strong need. Small houses on level lots that are energy efficient are ideal for many.

 

Discussion

 

WIth over 1300 forclosures and abandoned, blighted houses in excess of 1000, according to dashboard surveys, the blight in the Bessemer community negatively effects property values. One area in a flood zone has close to 300 houses in substandard condition. The City hopes to impact blight significantly with its ongoing, locally funded clearance program and through its partnership with Habitat for Humanity. In addition the Bessemer Public Housing Authority os improving two large multi‐family facilities employing a RAD grant. The City, The Bessemer Public Housing Authority and Jefferson County have partnered to apply for a Disaster Resiliency grant to build 37 sigle family, detached houses.


MA‐15 Housing Market Analysis: Cost of Housing ‐ 91.210(a)

Introduction

 

The most recent Census data indicates there are 12,576 housing units in Bessemer. Of those housing units 5555 or 44% are owner occupied and 37% are renter occupied. The remaining 19% of houses that could be occupied are vacant. The median house value in Bessemer is $88,500.00. The following section will describe the cost of housing, fair market rents, housing trends, general affordability and housing inventory in Bessemer. It should be noted that the Rehabiliation Loan Program, funded from the Housing Revolving Loan Fund, has a maximum loan amount of $40,000.00 and the Emergency Grant program is generally limited to $5,000.00. The Rehabilitation Loan Program requires houses to be brought to a CODE conforming condition. Based on the projected after rehabilitation value of homes relative to the actual cost of rehabilitation it is not unusual for loans to be denied because Loan to Value Ratios would exceed 100%. While the CIty desirs to preserve and improve its existing housing stock it is often not practical. The City is investigating the possibility of working with non‐profits like Habitat for Humanity to determine if Reconstruction could become a solid way forward.

 

Cost of Housing

 

 

Base Year: 2000

Most Recent Year: 2011

% Change

Median Home Value

56,400

86,800

54%

Median Contract Rent

245

383

56%

Table 29 – Cost of Housing

 

Data Source:         2000 Census (Base Year), 2007‐2011 ACS (Most Recent Year)

 

 

Rent Paid

Number

%

Less than $500

3,093

68.8%

$500‐999

1,293

28.7%

$1,000‐1,499

15

0.3%

$1,500‐1,999

38

0.9%

$2,000 or more

57

1.3%

Total

4,496

100.0%

Table 30 ‐ Rent Paid

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

 

 

Housing Affordability

 

% Units affordable to Households

earning

Renter

Owner

30% HAMFI

675

No Data

50% HAMFI

2,025

1,565


% Units affordable to Households

earning

Renter

Owner

80% HAMFI

3,590

3,035

100% HAMFI

No Data

3,739

Total

6,290

8,339


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 CHAS

 

 

 

Monthly Rent

Table 31 – Housing Affordability


 

Monthly Rent ($)

Efficiency (no

bedroom)

1 Bedroom

2 Bedroom

3 Bedroom

4 Bedroom

Fair Market Rent

0

0

0

0

0

High HOME Rent

0

0

0

0

0

Low HOME Rent

0

0

0

0

0


 

Data Source Comments:

Table 32 – Monthly Rent


 

 

Is there sufficient housing for households at all income levels?

 

No. The availability of housing is not adequate at all levels due to the deteriorated,

substandard condition of existing housing and the ability of those who need housing to afford it. It should be noted that there is a large universe of individuals interested in homes, but few who are bankable. This is especially try at the extremely low and low income levels. The City has partnered with the United Way of Central Alabama to assist citizens with credit counseling to set an applicant on a course that can allow them to successfully apply for both private and government mortgage and rehabilitation funding. The City also works with the Bessemer Public Housing Authority under their Housing Transition program which takes public housing residents through training to become homeowners. Nevertheless, demand for standard housing exceeds supply at this time.

 

How is affordability of housing likely to change considering changes to home values and/or rents?

 

The economic crash of 2008 did effectively lower the value of housing in Bessemer, but it also effectively lowered the overall financial status of the population. With a poverty rate of 34.1% and a large segment of the population at or below the low to moderate income level it does not appear that affordability will improve in any projected time frame. The City has an active program designed to assist first time home buyers, but funds are too limited to impact the overall trend in the City at large. Lower home can only cause change in the market if it is the only change in the market. Of course, the market consists of supply and demand. Demand can increase if the financial ability to purchase stays the same while prices go down or if prices stay the same and the financial ability to buy increases. Unfortunately, the economic crash of 2008 and the extremely long and slow recovery have had little effect on affordability.


The economic crash of 2008 did effectively lower the value of housing in Bessemer, but it also effectively lowered the overall financial status of the population. With a poverty rate of 34.1% and a large segment of the population at or below the low to moderate income level it does not appear that affordability will improve in any projected time frame. The City has an active program designed to assist first time home buyers, but funds are too limited to impact the overall trend in the City at large. Lower home can only cause change in the market if it is the only change in the market. Of course, the market consists of supply and demand. Demand can increase if the financial ability to purchase stays the same while prices go down or if prices stay the same and the financial ability to buy increases. Unfortunately, the economic crash of 2008 and the extremely long and slow recovery have had little effect on affordability.

 

 

 

How do HOME rents / Fair Market Rent compare to Area Median Rent? How might this impact your strategy to produce or preserve affordable housing?

 

The City of Bessemer does not receive HOME funds. The median rent in Bessemer, according to US City Facts, is $390.00. The fair market rent for a 1 BR apartment is $545.00 for a 1 bedroom unit and $652.00 for a 2 bedroom unit. The City of Bessemer’s CDBG Program does not address rental units. The Bessemer Public Housing Authority manages several housing communities with rental rates based on income defined by Section 8 housing limits.

 

Discussion


MA‐20 Housing Market Analysis: Condition of Housing – 91.210(a)

Introduction

 

Based on a review of the 2011‐2013 American Community Survey, the supply of housing units within the City of Bessemer is comprised of primarily single‐family, detached structures (79.3%). Multi‐Family housing (3 or 4 units) comprises the next highest percentage at 20.7%. The median value of owner occupied housing in the City of Bessemer is $88,500.00. The City has carried out an aggressive Clearance program funded in part by CDBG funds and City General Funds, to remove blight, increase property value, lower insurance rates for homeowners and eliminate public safety hazards. The City recently partnered with Habitat for Humanity to receive “Hardest‐Hit” funding that will serve to eliminate many more blighted housing units. USA City Facts indicates the typical house in Bessemer has 6 rooms.

Median owner costs are $1,057.00. At any given time only 1.2% of all housing is for sale. The removal of blighted housing and proper maintenance of vacant lots will positively effect property values.

 

Definitions

 

The definition of substandard housing used by the City of Bessemer is housing that does not meet International Housing CODE of 2005 standards. That is, substandard housing poses a risk to the health, or is dangerous to the health, safety or general well‐being of its occupants or its neighbors and public. Generally, housing that is less than 50% deteriorated is considered a possible candidate for rehabilitation. The City uses the International Housing Code of 2005 as adopted in 2008.

 

The City of Bessemer defines “Standard Housing” as housing that conforms to the International Property Maintenance CODE.

 

 

Condition of Units

 

Condition of Units

Owner‐Occupied

Renter‐Occupied

Number

%

Number

%

With one selected Condition

2,282

34%

2,211

49%

With two selected Conditions

47

1%

124

3%

With three selected Conditions

0

0%

0

0%

With four selected Conditions

0

0%

0

0%

No selected Conditions

4,370

65%

2,161

48%

Total

6,699

100%

4,496

100%


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

Table 33 ‐ Condition of Units


Year Unit Built

 

Year Unit Built

Owner‐Occupied

Renter‐Occupied

Number

%

Number

%

2000 or later

810

12%

268

6%

1980‐1999

786

12%

628

14%

1950‐1979

3,453

52%

2,945

66%

Before 1950

1,650

25%

655

15%

Total

6,699

101%

4,496

101%

Table 34 – Year Unit Built

Data Source:    2007‐2011 CHAS

 

 

Risk of Lead‐Based Paint Hazard

Risk of Lead‐Based Paint Hazard

Owner‐Occupied

Renter‐Occupied

Number

%

Number

%

Total Number of Units Built Before 1980

5,103

76%

3,600

80%

Housing Units build before 1980 with children present

340

5%

120

3%

Table 35 – Risk of Lead‐Based Paint

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS (Total Units) 2007‐2011 CHAS (Units with Children present)

 

 

Vacant Units

 

 

Suitable for

Rehabilitation

Not Suitable for

Rehabilitation

Total

Vacant Units

200

100

300

Abandoned Vacant Units

0

0

0

REO Properties

0

0

0

Abandoned REO Properties

0

0

0

Table 36 ‐ Vacant Units

Alternate Data Source Name:

Vacant Houses

Data Source Comments:

 

 

Need for Owner and Rental Rehabilitation

 

The need for housing rehabilitation is exceptionally high. All CDBG programs related to rehabilitation are limited to owner occupied, single family housing. More than 70% of the City’s housing was constructed before 1979. The City maintains a housing assistance application list in excess of 200 applications. All such houses are substandard and fail to meet the CODE in some fashion. Given the age of the housing in Bessemer Lead Based Paint is a critical concern. Lead and the large inventory of substandard housing in Bessemer point to an exceptional need for rehabilitation services. According to surveys by the City’s CODE inspectors conservatively estimate that there are in excess of 200 vacant houses in the City and no


more than 50% of those are candidates for rehabilitation. The need for rehabilitation easily exceeds the available resources of the City’s CDBG program.

 

Estimated Number of Housing Units Occupied by Low or Moderate Income Families with LBP Hazards

 

There were 10,814 occupied housing units in Bessemer in 2013 according to the American Fact Finder. 78% of those units were built before 1979. Therefore 8434 houses in Bessemer are subject to lead based paint. It is reasonable to assume that those at or under the low to moderate income level would have a tendencey to occupy older houses based on expense. Therefore, it is likely that more than 78% of low to moderate income individuals live in houses with lead based paint.

 

Discussion

 

With the incidence of lead based paint in the City at or above 78%, it is City policy to test every home where rehabilitation might disturb a painted surface, or in cases where rehabilitation costs exceded

$5,000.00. It is also City policy to abate lead based paint rather than conduct interim controls. The City of Bessemer has developed an ongoing Clearance program using City funds and has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to utilize Hardest Hit grant funds to increase the effectiveness of the process.

Blight removal should increase property values and quality of life in the City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 53


 

MA‐25 Public and Assisted Housing – 91.210(b)

Introduction

 

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.

 

 

 

Totals Number of Units

 

Program Type

 

Certificate

Mod‐Rehab

Public Housing

Vouchers

Total

Project ‐based

Tenant ‐based

Special Purpose Voucher

Veterans Affairs Supportive

Housing

Family Unification Program

Disabled

*

# of units vouchers

available

 

 

 

1,186

 

539

 

 

 

423

 

0

 

0

# of accessible units

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*includes Non‐Elderly Disabled, Mainstream One‐Year, Mainstream Five‐year, and Nursing Home Transition


 

Data Source:    PIC (PIH Information Center)

Table 37 – Total Number of Units by Program Type


 

 

Describe the supply of public housing developments:

 

Describe the number and physical condition of public housing units in the jurisdiction, including those that are participating in an approved Public Housing Agency Plan:

 

<p style=”margin: 0in 0in 0pt 0.25in; line‐height: normal;”><span style=”mso‐fareast‐font‐family: ‘Times New Roman’; mso‐ascii‐font‐family: Calibri; mso‐hansi‐font‐family: Calibri; mso‐bidi‐font‐family: ‘Times New Roman’;”><font face=”Calibri” size=”3″>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.</font></span></p>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 55


Public Housing Condition

 

Public Housing Development

Average Inspection Score

 

 

Table 38 ‐ Public Housing Condition

 

 

Describe the restoration and revitalization needs of public housing units in the jurisdiction:

 

The Bessemer Public Housing Authority began remodeling two major complexes on 8/27/15

with $8,708,663.00 in improvements, funded througha a RAD grant. Another project involving some 37 single family houses will begin construction soon based on the date funding is received.

 

Describe the public housing agency’s strategy for improving the living environment of low‐ and moderate‐income families residing in public housing:

 

In order to address the shortage of Public Housing the PHA will maximize the number of affordable units available to the PHA within its current resources by: employing maintenance and management policies to minimize the number of public housing units off‐line Reducing turnover time for vacated public housing units Seeking replacement of public housing units lost to the inventory through mixed finance development. Participating in Consolidated Plan development process to ensure coordination with broader community strategies. The PHA shall increase the number of affordable housing units by: Applying for additional section 8 vouchers should they become available Leveraging affordable housing resources in the community through the creation of mixed‐finance housing. Applying for any HUD affordable Housing Demonstrations

 

 

 

Discussion:

 

The PHA has been largely successful in meeting the objectives mentioned in its 2010 Action Plan. The PHA has built a solid partnership with the City of Bessemer’s Department of Economic and Community Development and other area agencies.It implemented voucher homeownership programs, converted public housing to vouchers and implemented other home ownership programs. The PHA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 56


 

MA‐30 Homeless Facilities and Services – 91.210(c)

Introduction

 

The City of Bessemer does not receive ESG funds and does not direct CDBG funds to the direct benefit of the homeless. However, the Continuum of Care through the One Roof organization works throughout Jefferson County to address the needs of the homeless. The Foundry, a service ministry directed toward the problems associated with drug addiction also works to prevent homelessnes and to reintegrate persons into society.

 

Facilities and Housing Targeted to Homeless Households

 

 

Emergency Shelter Beds

Transitional

Housing Beds

Permanent Supportive Housing

Beds

Year Round Beds (Current & New)

Voucher /

Seasonal / Overflow Beds

Current & New

Current & New

Under Development

Households with Adult(s) and

Child(ren)

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

0

Households with Only Adults

0

0

0

0

0

Chronically Homeless Households

0

0

0

0

0

Veterans

0

0

0

0

0

Unaccompanied Youth

0

0

0

0

0


 

Data Source Comments:

Table 39 ‐ Facilities and Housing Targeted to Homeless Households


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 57


Describe mainstream services, such as health, mental health, and employment services to the extent those services are use to complement services targeted to homeless persons

 

The Foundry provides the following:

 

 

 

Recovery and Re‐Entry Programs |

 

 

 

Meals per week: 279,066

 

 

 

Nights of lodging: 93,022

 

 

 

Heath services assistance: 714 individuals

 

 

 

Clothing assistance vouchers: $10,940 worth of merchandise

 

 

 

The Foundry provides the folowing related services: Social Services(legal, ID, etc) 1,769 individuals, Employment Readiness: 388,835 hours

 

 

 

Rescue for Community:Meals served to low income and homeless ‐ 7,016, Hours of training to community residents‐ 416, Food Boxes Distributed‐ 860, Medical Assistance‐ 1,841 individuals, Transient nights of lodging‐ 780 nights

 

 

 

 

 

List and describe services and facilities that meet the needs of homeless persons, particularly chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans and their families, and unaccompanied youth. If the services and facilities are listed on screen SP‐40 Institutional Delivery Structure or screen MA‐35 Special Needs Facilities and Services, describe how these facilities and services specifically address the needs of these populations.


The Continuum of Care directed by “One Roof” coordinates the efforts of a number of groups that help the homeless throughout jefferson county. Those organizations include:


MA‐35 Special Needs Facilities and Services – 91.210(d)

Introduction

 

The City of Bessemer does not receive CDBG funding adequate to address special needs facilities. The City can and does utilize Public Services funding to reach youth through job training and education.

 

 

 

Including the elderly, frail elderly, persons with disabilities (mental, physical, developmental), persons with alcohol or other drug addictions, persons with HIV/AIDS and their families, public housing residents and any other categories the jurisdiction may specify, and describe their supportive housing needs

 

The City has an active program to remove barriers to the disabled specified in the Americans WIth Disability act. The City also uses CDBG funds to address issues associate with the Americans with Disabilities act.

 

Describe programs for ensuring that persons returning from mental and physical health institutions receive appropriate supportive housing

 

UAB Medical West works with the City to identify candidates for Emergency Housing Repair Grants. Emergency Grants are available to disabled persons and elderly persons.

 

Specify the activities that the jurisdiction plans to undertake during the next year to address the housing and supportive services needs identified in accordance with 91.215(e) with respect to persons who are not homeless but have other special needs. Link to one‐year goals. 91.315(e)

 

The City will continue to utilize the Emergency Grant program to provide structural alterations that allow the diabled to continue living in their homes.

 

For entitlement/consortia grantees: Specify the activities that the jurisdiction plans to undertake during the next year to address the housing and supportive services needs identified in accordance with 91.215(e) with respect to persons who are not homeless but have other special needs. Link to one‐year goals. (91.220(2))

 

The City utilizes its Emergency Housing Repair Grant program to provide services to homeowners who have needs related to disabilities and long term medical conditions. The Emergency Housing Grant can be used for ADA compliance, Accessibility and other expenses associated with the installation of equipemt related to health care needs.


MA‐40 Barriers to Affordable Housing – 91.210(e)

Negative Effects of Public Policies on Affordable Housing and Residential Investment

 

There are no local or state level policies negatively 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 61


 

MA‐45 Non‐Housing Community Development Assets – 91.215 (f)

Introduction

 

The City of Bessemer is a Community that, in the not too distant past, centered its economic on heavy industry with companies like Railroad Car manufacturer Pullman Standard. In the 1980’s the industrial base was severely diminished, including Pullman Standard which went out of business. Today the City has recovered from many of those loses and the economy is more diverse. Large industrial plants like US Pipe and Foundry’ Ductile Iron Pipe Plant and Amsted Rail have located in the community as have large retail developments like the Tannehill Promenade, Distribution Centers like Dollar General and a strong presence by the automotive retail industry. UAB West hospital is one of the communities largest employers. The workforce continues to be capable in the sector of heavy industry, but like available businesses has become more diverse.

 

Economic Development Market Analysis Business Activity

Business by Sector

Number of

Workers

Number of Jobs

Share of Workers

%

Share of Jobs

%

Jobs less workers

%

Agriculture, Mining, Oil & Gas Extraction

68

117

1

1

0

Arts, Entertainment, Accommodations

1,079

1,619

15

14

‐1

Construction

319

659

4

6

2

Education and Health Care Services

1,369

1,544

19

13

‐6

Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate

644

718

9

6

‐3

Information

194

257

3

2

‐1

Manufacturing

884

973

12

8

‐4

Other Services

266

516

4

4

0

Professional, Scientific, Management Services

459

473

6

4

‐2

Public Administration

1

0

0

0

0

Retail Trade

1,369

2,645

19

23

4

Transportation and Warehousing

329

895

4

8

4

Wholesale Trade

411

1,212

6

10

4


 

Business by Sector

Number of

Workers

Number of Jobs

Share of Workers

%

Share of Jobs

%

Jobs less workers

%

Total

7,392

11,628

‐‐

‐‐

‐‐

Table 40 ‐ Business Activity

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS (Workers), 2011 Longitudinal Employer‐Household Dynamics (Jobs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 63


Labor Force


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Population in the Civilian Labor Force

11,884

Civilian Employed Population 16 years and

over

 

10,348

Unemployment Rate

12.92

Unemployment Rate for Ages 16‐24

36.18

Unemployment Rate for Ages 25‐65

6.75

 

 

Table 41 ‐ Labor Force


 

 

Occupations by Sector                                                                Number of People

Management, business and financial

1,293

Farming, fisheries and forestry occupations

509

Service

1,144

Sales and office

3,541

Construction, extraction, maintenance and

repair

 

582

Production, transportation and material

moving

 

774


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

 

 

Travel Time

Table 42 – Occupations by Sector


 

Travel Time

Number

Percentage

< 30 Minutes

6,593

65%

30‐59 Minutes

3,124

31%

60 or More Minutes

408

4%

Total

10,125

100%


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

 

 

Education:

Table 43 ‐ Travel Time


 

Educational Attainment by Employment Status (Population 16 and Older)

 

Educational Attainment

In Labor Force

 

Civilian Employed

Unemployed

Not in Labor

Force

Less than high school graduate

903

275

1,227


Educational Attainment

In Labor Force

 

Civilian Employed

Unemployed

Not in Labor

Force

High school graduate (includes

equivalency)

 

2,681

 

335

 

1,807

Some college or Associate’s degree

3,558

311

1,225

Bachelor’s degree or higher

1,544

51

453


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

Table 44 ‐ Educational Attainment by Employment Status


 

 

Educational Attainment by Age

 

 

Age

18–24 yrs

25–34 yrs

35–44 yrs

45–65 yrs

65+ yrs

Less than 9th grade

8

127

152

308

594

9th to 12th grade, no diploma

521

544

436

838

916

High school graduate, GED, or

alternative

 

900

 

1,139

 

1,069

 

2,644

 

1,772

Some college, no degree

891

815

914

2,147

709

Associate’s degree

52

205

405

608

76

Bachelor’s degree

199

419

374

594

167

Graduate or professional degree

0

165

68

428

114


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

Table 45 ‐ Educational Attainment by Age


 

 

Educational Attainment – Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months

 

Educational Attainment

Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months

Less than high school graduate

13,078

High school graduate (includes equivalency)

25,956

Some college or Associate’s degree

27,678

Bachelor’s degree

41,538

Graduate or professional degree

48,710


 

Data Source:    2007‐2011 ACS

Table 46 – Median Earnings in the Past 12 Months


 

 

 

Based on the Business Activity table above, what are the major employment sectors within your jurisdiction?

 

Health Care, Inbdustrial Manufacturing, Arts, Entertainment and Accomodations, Retail Trade, Warehousing & Distribution and Transportation and Education are major employment sectors in the City


of Bessemer. The goverment sector is also a large employer including the Alabama Department of Human Resources which is located in Bessemer.

 

Describe the workforce and infrastructure needs of the business community:

 

The community continues to need a workforce that is capable in the industrial sector, but it also needs workers in the technological and medical sectors. As technology improves and the infrastructure of business diversifies the demand for a more educated and diverse workforce has followed. There is a large need for high school graduates to work in warehousing facilities.

 

Describe any major changes that may have an economic impact, such as planned local or regional public or private sector investments or initiatives that have affected or may affect job and business growth opportunities during the planning period. Describe any needs for workforce development, business support or infrastructure these changes may create.

 

The economic downturn in 2008 effected industrial employment and limited investment in new business across the board. In recent years the City has been successful in attracting large employers like Dollar General, Amsted rail, the Colonial Promenade. The Dollar General Location is a 1,000,000 square foot warehouse that expects to eventually employ close to 1000 people. The Colonial Promenade is a

$100,000,000.00 retail development and Amsted Rail is a manufacturing facility for train car suspensions and parts that will provide a large number of high paying jobs. Workforce development is of paramount importance to employers. In many cases, specifically Amstead Rail, the State of Alabama assisted in work force training to incentivize industry.

 

How do the skills and education of the current workforce correspond to employment opportunities in the jurisdiction?

 

The skills and education level of the workforce correspond well to available employment in many areas. Employers like Dollar General say the pool of qualified workers fit their needs well. However, the universe of available workers with college degrees is limited in relation to the more technologically demanding jobs coming online. Retail positions are a good match to many high school graduates as are warehousing jobs. The Promenade, along with numerous other retail developments and Dollar General are good examples of natural fits for the Bessemer workforce.

 

Describe any current workforce training initiatives, including those supported by Workforce Investment Boards, community colleges and other organizations. Describe how these efforts will support the jurisdiction’s Consolidated Plan.

 

The State of Alabama actively participates in workforce training for a variety of more technical industries. The State conducted workforce training for Amsted Rail as part of an incentive package to


attract the major rail suspension manufacturer to the City. Lawson State Community College is active in seeking to design and provide workforce training that fits local and regional needs.

 

Does your jurisdiction participate in a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)?

 

No

 

If so, what economic development initiatives are you undertaking that may be coordinated with the Consolidated Plan? If not, describe other local/regional plans or initiatives that impact economic growth.

 

The City offers tax incentives for new business and business expansion. The City has participated in structuring Bond funding to attract business and goverment offices like the Alabama Department Of Human Resources. The City maintains an Economic Development Revolving Loan fund to attract new business and encouage the expansion of existing business with the primary goal of creating jobs for low to moderate income persons.

 

Discussion

 

The City of Bessemer continually works to bring in new business and help existing business expand. The City employs programs for economic development that take advantage of CDBG funding for job creation, State assistance for job training and many other important areas related to economic development. The City has historically worked with new and existing businesses to provide incentives when warranted. The process of economic development is a fluid, competitive one. The City of Bessemer has been on the forefront of economic development in Jefferson County for the last few years and should maintain that position if it is successful in landing pending economic development projects. The City works with the State of Alabama’s Department of Commerce, the Birmingham Business Alliance, the Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham, consultants and developers to attract as many businesses as possible.


MA‐50 Needs and Market Analysis Discussion

Are there areas where households with multiple housing problems are concentrated? (include a definition of “concentration”)

 

Households with multiple housing problems exist throughout the City in significant numbers. One area of the City known as the Pipe Shop has a heavy concentration of non‐CODE conforming housing.

However, the same are is in a 100 year flood plain. Flooding is consistent and almost every house in the area has signifigant water damage. Houses in this area are not practical to rehabilitate with CDBG funds because of associated flood insurance requirements and the low after rehab value of each house. It is most accurate to say that City housing programs must be designed to address housing rehabilitation on a City Wide basis. Concentartion of suibstandard housing outside the flood zone are limited. However, the housing occupied by the 34.1% of Bessemer residents who live below the poverty line are subject to multiple problems. It is this pervasive spread of housing with exceptional problems that causes the City to refrain from targeting specific areas.

 

Are there any areas in the jurisdiction where racial or ethnic minorities or low‐income families are concentrated? (include a definition of “concentration”)

 

The population spread throughout Bessemer is generally diverse. However, there are limited areas of the City where a specific racial group may predominate. There is a large flood zone on the north side of the City that exibits concentrations of ethnic minorities.

 

What are the characteristics of the market in these areas/neighborhoods?

 

Market characteristics are similar throughout the City with the exception of flood zones. In these areas the condition of housing is worse based on flood damage. In addition, significant rehabilitation in flood zones in not practical due to property value restrictions flooding causes. These neighborhoods are trapped by the conditions brought about by flooding. Permanent Relocation would seem to be the only viable, lonkg term objective. These neighborhoods consist of a variety of housing types including single family homeowner units, single family rental units, multi‐family rental units, duplex rental units, vacant housing, and dilapidated housing. While the majority of the housing in these areas are homeowner occupied, there is a significant number of rental units as well. Local realtors have indicated that there are many current renters who wish to become homeowners but they do not have money for a down payment on a home purchase and/or have severe credit problems that prevent them from successfully obtaining a home loan. In some cases people can afford the monthly mortgage and utilities, but must turn to relatives for assistance with down payment and closing costs. For those who do not have the benefit of relatives or friends who can assist them, they must remain renters without much hope of becoming homeowners. The City continues to work to design programs that can assist those with the ability to become homeowners through down payment assistance and other similar programs.


 

 

 

 

Are there any community assets in these areas/neighborhoods?

 

Every area of the City has assets that are important. Insofar as areas in the flood zone the overiding factor is the impact of the flood zone’s existence on property values and property condition. Many of the citizens who live in these areas, along with their neighborhood and political leaders, are very active in trying to make where they live the best it can be.

 

Are there other strategic opportunities in any of these areas?

 

It is generally believed that the best process for areas in the flood zone would be to relocated families from the flood zone and to then convert the flood zone to a greenway or a park. The property is well situated to function well as a greenway and the families living in the flood zone would benefit greatly by living in areas that did not have the disadvantages associated with the flood zone.


Strategic Plan

 

SP‐05 Overview

Strategic Plan Overview

 

The Community Developments Objectives are to enhance neighborhood stability, to utilize CDBG funds for physical improvement, Historic Rehabilitation, Housing Rehabilitation and Reconstruction, to encourage Business and Job development, to provide educational opportunities, to enhance access to Park & Recreation facilities, to provide educational opportunities through improved Public Services and to create increased housing production and home ownership for families at all income levels. The projected use of funds stated herein has been developed to give maximum priority to activities which will benefit low and moderate families 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 and reversing negative trends associated with urban decay and blight. The City’s strategy for community development has three basic goals: 1:To encourage neighborhood stability through physical improvement and housing rehabilitation: 2) improve the economic life to the City by encouraging business development and jobs, and 3) provide increased production and home ownership for families at all income levels. 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 outline above in as many communities and neighborhoods as funding permits.The FY2015 Action Plan and 2FY015‐FY2019 Consolidated Plan provides detailed sources and uses of funds and state the activities the City will be undertake. Activities include; Housing Programs, Public Services, Parks and Recreation, Public Improvements and Economic Development.


SP‐10 Geographic Priorities – 91.215 (a)(1)

Geographic Area

 

Table 47 ‐ Geographic Priority Areas

 

General Allocation Priorities

 

Describe the basis for allocating investments geographically within the jurisdiction (or within the EMSA for HOPWA)

 

CDBG funds are allocated on a City‐Wide basis. All housing program eligibility is based on the income eligibity of the homeowner. Economic Development Loans are based on job creation. Public Services and Public Facilities are also City‐Wide by design.


SP‐25 Priority Needs ‐ 91.215(a)(2)

Priority Needs

 

Table 48 – Priority Needs Summary

1

Priority Need Name

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Priority Level

High

Population

Low Moderate Large Families

Families with Children Elderly

Geographic Areas

Affected

 

Associated Goals

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Description

Housing Rehabilitation Loans is a category designed 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. The Category of Housing Rehabilitation Loans includes The Buy/Rehab/Sell program and the Refinance/Rehabilitaion program.

The Refinance/Rehabilitation program addresses the need to make rehabilitation possible through restructuring debt. The Buy/Rehab/Sell program makes homeownership abvailable to first time home owners while rehabilitating existing housing stock. It should be noted that Housing Reconstruction is also included in the Housing Rehabilitation Loan category. Housing Reconstruction Loans allow for the construction of housing on lots where houses have existed in the past.

Basis for Relative

Priority

The City has a large inventory of older houses owned by individuals at or below the low‐to‐moderate income level. Maintaining these houses in a decent, safe and sanitary condition is a high priority.

2

Priority Need Name

Lead Paint


 

Priority Level

High

Population

Extremely Low Low Moderate Large Families

Families with Children Elderly

Geographic

Areas Affected

 

Associated Goals

Emergency Housing Repair Grants Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Description

To provide Lead Based Paint testing and abatement assistance to low and low to moderate income households with children under seven (7) years of age whose homes contain hazardous levels of lead paint or where children up to twelve (12) years of age have elevated blood lead levels. To provide temporary relocation, as necessary, to facilitate lead abatement procedures. Lead Paint abatement and testing applies across all housing rehabilitation programs whether funded from the Revolving Loan Fund or from the CDBG Entitlement as a grant. Temporary Relocation falls under this category as it may be necessary to relocate families during construction due the dangers associated with lead paint removal.

Basis for Relative Priority

Close to 90% of all the rehabilitation work done through CDBG programs in the City of Bessemer is done on houses built prior to 1979. The City must follow all lead based paint regulations in the rehabilitation process. The lead paint program is designed to meet those requirements.

3

Priority Need Name

Emergency Repair Grants

Priority Level

High

Population

Extremely Low Low Moderate Elderly

Persons with Physical Disabilities

Geographic

Areas Affected

 

Associated Goals

Emergency Housing Repair Grants


 

Description

Emergency Repair Grants are funded from the CDBG Entitlement. It is a housing rehabilitation program and it has many of the same goals as the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program, but it differs in scope and funding source. The program is designed to address the needs of the elderly and disabled by providing 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.

Basis for

Relative Priority

The City has a large elderly/disabled population in income categories at and below 80% of median income. The City receives more applications for Emergency Grant related services than can be accomodated by available funding.

4

Priority Need Name

Public Services

Priority Level

High

Population

Extremely Low Low Moderate

Non‐housing Community Development Other

Geographic

Areas Affected

 

Associated Goals

Public Services

Description

Provide public services (including labor, supplies, and materials) that are directed toward improving the community’s educational and job training opportunities.

Including, but not limited to, those concerned with education, job training and recreational needs carried out by the City or other public or private non‐profit entities. To provide educational programs for low and low to moderate income elderly and children. To enhance educational opportunities on a city wide basis.

Basis for Relative Priority

The City has provided a job training program for its youth for many years. The Camp Bessemer program, under the Public Services category, is paid for by a combination of City General Funds and some annual funding from the CDBG program. 31.4% of the population of the City live below the poverty level. Camp Bessemer is directed toward the needs of those in the low‐to‐moderate income category.

5

Priority Need Name

Public Facilities


 

Priority Level

High

Population

Extremely Low Low Moderate Middle

Non‐housing Community Development

Geographic

Areas Affected

 

Associated Goals

Public Facilities

Description

Provide support to Public Facilities and Improvements including, but not limited to, acquisition, construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or installation of public facilities and improvements carried out by the City or other public or private nonprofit entities. To address city wide compliance with the American’s With Disabilities Act and other eligible facility improvements.

Basis for Relative

Priority

The City is in the process of a process to make City infrastructure compatible with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

6

Priority Need Name

Economic Development

Priority Level

High

Population

Extremely Low Low Moderate Large Families

Families with Children Elderly

Public Housing Residents

Non‐housing Community Development

Geographic

Areas Affected

 

Associated Goals

Economic Development Loan


 

Description

Designed to promote and strengthen the Economic Base and the Business climate through the creation and retention of jobs, support of a healthy and diversified economy and to contribute to the long term economic growth and vitality of the community by significant Historic Rehabilitation, CODE related improvements, removal of Slum and Blight and assistance with equipment acquisition. To conduct special economic development activities through grants to attract business and promote job creation. To provide for repayment of outstanding Section 108 Loans. The primary objective of Economic Development Loans is to facilitate job creation for low to moderate income persons.

Basis for

Relative Priority

The City has an unemployment rate near 13%. Job creation in such an environment is a necessity and is general economic development.

 

 

Narrative (Optional)

 

All CDBG programs administered by the City of Bessemer are done so on a City ‐Wide basis. There is no geographic targeting.


SP‐30 Influence of Market Conditions – 91.215 (b)

Influence of Market Conditions

 

Affordable

Housing Type

Market Characteristics that will influence

the use of funds available for housing type

Tenant Based

Rental Assistance (TBRA)

Tenant Based Rental Assistance is not part of the City of Bessemer’s

Consolidated or Action Plans. All housing related programs are designed for homeowners or home owwnership. However, the Bessemer Public Housing Authority manages an extensive groupd of rental properties for low to moderate income individuals.

TBRA for Non‐

Homeless Special Needs

The City does not have a Tenant Based Rental Assistance program for Non‐

Homeless Special Needs.

New Unit

Production

The City of Bessemer does not anticipate new construction through its CDBG

program. However, the City intends to partner with Habitat for Humanity to build several new homes during the time frame of this Consolidated Plan.

Locating properties with clear title has been problematic. However, the new clearance program conducted by Habitat for Humanity is expected to provide a number of buildable lots with clear title. It is expected that the use of CDBG funds will be limited to projects falling under the catgory of Reconstruction.

Income and credit worthiness are direct impediments to the success of new construction in the Bessemer community. Market conditions of note include income levels and credit. As the economy has improved income levels have increased, but issues related to credit remain. The City has partnered with the United Way of Central Alabama for credit counseling in hope that the pool of eligible home buyers can be increased.


Affordable

Housing Type

Market Characteristics that will influence

the use of funds available for housing type

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is a key, ongoing part of the CDBG program of the City of

Bessemer. The City has two types of programs to address rehabilitation needs. Emergency Grants from entitlement funds and rehabilitation Loans from revolving loan funds. The City has a large population of elderly and diabled residents who, for the most part, own their homes mortgage free. Many fall in the very low income category, with only social security as an income source, thus grants are the most practical solution. Loans for the elderly, as a general rule, are limited to Deferred Loans that are not repaid as long as the homeowner maintains title to the home. These are limited due to available funding and the lack of consistend program income generated to replenish the Housing Revolving Loan Fund. The blighted condition of many properties due to forclosure limits the practicality of major rehabilitation projects. However, new construction through Reconstruction is a workable alternative. The City has partnered with Habitat for Humanity and will use general funds to leverage limited CDBG funds for Reconstruction projects during the period of this Consolidated Plan. The value of housing, collateral value, credit and income are the Market Forces that limit the universe of eligible homebuyers. The City has partnered with the United Way of Central Alabama for credit counseling in hope that the pool of eligible home buyers can be increased. Housing values have not significantly improved since 2008, but income has improved. Collateral values are a significant impediment relative to rehabilitation projects that

require a structure to brought to a Housing CODE conforming condition.

Acquisition,

including preservation

The City supports historic rehabilitation. At present, a study, funded through

the CDBG program, is underway to ascertain the viability of the preservation of the Lincoln Theater. The City has a great deal of beautiful, historic architecture, but low CDBG funding levels prevents the preservation of most of those structure with CDBG funds. Where CDBG funds are used the City complies with all State regulations related to historic structures. Market conditions have depressed the value of most historic housing and the cost for proper rehabilitation and the necessity for CODE conformance limits the possibility of the use of CDBG funds.

Table 49 – Influence of Market Conditions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 78


 

SP‐35 Anticipated Resources ‐ 91.215(a)(4), 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 signifigant blight removal program that, unlike standard Clearance programs, will provide buildable lots for City housing programs. The City has also taken part in the application process for a Disaster Resiliency grant, along with Jefferson County, which would provide significant home ownership opportunities for Bessemer’s citizens. The City will close out its involvement with the NSP program this summer. 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 a good 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

 

 

 

 

$

$

$

 

Reminder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

of ConPlan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

CDBG

public ‐

federal

Acquisition

Admin and Planning Economic Development Housing Public Improvements Public Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

486,551

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

274,712

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

898,052

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,659,315

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,044,892

The City anticipated no more than the

present annual funding amount to be available for the balance of the FY2015 through FY2019 Consolidated Plan.

Table 50 ‐ Anticipated Resources


 

 

 

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

 

The City has committed general funds to supply administrative funds for the partnership with Habitat for Humanity to remove blighted structures throughout the City.

 

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.

 

Discussion

 

With recent entitlement cuts the City of Bessemer’s CDBG program has become focused on meeting the needs of as many people as possible through the Emergency Grant program. The City recently agreed to partner with UAB West relative to the Emergency Grant program. UAB West will provide contact data and referrals for their patients who are program eligible. This should result in a more focused program and a much high annual number The City is actively pursuing of individuals served. The goal is to help those who need the help most. The partnership with Habitat for Humanity will allow the City to use the funds that are saved on Clearance activities for other housing related activities. If the City is successful in its Disaster Resiliency grant application ober 37 new structures will be available for the citizens of Bessemer in general, and transitioning residents of the Bessemer Public Housing Authority in particular. The City is also actively pursuing grant funds through the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission for funds to develop a rails‐to‐trails project that will interface with the City’s new Recreation Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 80


SP‐40 Institutional Delivery Structure – 91.215(k)

Explain the institutional structure through which the jurisdiction will carry out its consolidated plan including private industry, non‐profit organizations, and public institutions.

 

Responsible Entity

Responsible Entity

Type

Role

Geographic Area

Served

BESSEMER

Government

Economic

Development Non‐homeless special needs

Ownership Planning neighborhood improvements public facilities public services

Jurisdiction

Bessemer Public

Housing Authority

 

Public Housing

Rental

Jurisdiction

Table 51 ‐ Institutional Delivery Structure

Assess of Strengths and Gaps in the Institutional Delivery System

 

The City of Bessemer, through its Department of Economic and Community Development, provides a comprehensive housing program designed to addres the specific needs of those who are elderly or disabled, as well as the general need for housing rehabilitation. The housing program has beed successfully administered for many years. The Department also provides management of the City’s Economic Development (Job Creation) program. The structural design of the Department of Economic and Community Development is strong and program design is comprehensive. Program delivery is limited only by funding availability and the limits a lack of funding can limit staff size. The City has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to improve the removal of blight and to enhance the future delivery of housing programs.

 

Availability of services targeted to homeless persons and persons with HIV and mainstream services

 

Homelessness Prevention

Services

Available in the

Community

Targeted to

Homeless

Targeted to People

with HIV

Homelessness Prevention Services

Counseling/Advocacy

 

 

 

Legal Assistance

 

 

 

Mortgage Assistance

 

 

 

Rental Assistance

 

 

 

Utilities Assistance

 

 

 


Street Outreach Services

Law Enforcement

 

 

 

Mobile Clinics

 

 

 

Other Street Outreach Services

 

 

 

Supportive Services

Alcohol & Drug Abuse

 

 

 

Child Care

 

 

 

Education

 

 

 

Employment and Employment

Training

 

 

 

Healthcare

 

 

 

HIV/AIDS

 

 

 

Life Skills

 

 

 

Mental Health Counseling

 

 

 

Transportation

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

Table 52 ‐ Homeless Prevention Services Summary

Describe how the service delivery system including, but not limited to, the services listed above meet the needs of homeless persons (particularly chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans and their families, and unaccompanied youth)

 

The City does not receive ESG funds. However, the City is exploring the possibility of providing housing that could be used by the One Roof organization to provide temporary housing for homeless families.

 

Describe the strengths and gaps of the service delivery system for special needs population and persons experiencing homelessness, including, but not limited to, the services listed above

 

The City is exploring the possibility of providing temporary housing for homeless families in concert with the One Roof organization, but has no othe homeless outreach programs.

 

Provide a summary of the strategy for overcoming gaps in the institutional structure and service delivery system for carrying out a strategy to address priority needs

 

The City hopes to apply for ESG funding and to partner with the One Roof organization to design programs and services that will address the needs of the homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 82


 

SP‐45 Goals Summary – 91.215(a)(4)

 

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

 

Lead Paint

Emergency Repair Grants

CDBG:

$879,000

Homeowner Housing

Rehabilitated:

179 Household Housing Unit

2

Housing

Rehabilitation Loans

2015

2019

Affordable Housing

 

Housing

Rehabilitation Loans

Lead Paint

CDBG:

$1,051,000

Homeowner Housing

Rehabilitated:

35 Household Housing Unit

3

Economic

Development Loan

2015

2019

 

 

Economic

Development

CDBG:

$274,712

Businesses assisted:

8 Businesses Assisted

4

Public Services

2015

2019

Non‐Housing

Community Development

 

Public Services

CDBG:

$250,000

Public service activities other

than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit:

375 Persons Assisted

5

Public Facilities

2015

2019

Non‐Housing

Community Development

 

Public Facilities

CDBG:

$150,000

Public Facility or Infrastructure

Activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit:

27000 Persons Assisted

Table 53 – 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. Participants must be 62 years of age or older or permanently disabled. Priority is given to repairs directly related to a certified disability or to direct threats to safety. 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. Work may be done through licensed contractors utilizing a bid process or through a non‐profit organization based on the cost of materials plus a set percentage fee for labor. Program limit may be exceeded at discretion of the Director for health and safety. Properties in flood plains are not eligible. 100% low mod benefit. One time, lifetime, benefit. Funds derive from CDBG Entitlement.

2

Goal Name

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Goal Description

There are several programs that fall under the Rehabilitation Loan category of the Consolidated plan. All are designed to bring houses into a CODE conforming condition or to address health and safety issues. Funding for these programs comes exclusively from the Housing Revolving Loan Fund. The typical loan has an interest rate of 3% and a term designed to make payments affordable. Standard underwriting procedures apply. Progams include Rehabilitation Loans, Deferred Loans, Homebuyers Assistance Loans, Rehabilitation Refinancing, Buy/Rehab/Sell, Relocation, Reconstruction and Down Payment Assistance.

3

Goal Name

Economic Development Loan

Goal Description

Business loans with the National Objective of job creation for low to moderate income persons.


 

4

Goal Name

Public Services

Goal Description

The City has chosen to direct $50,000.00 per year from the Public Service category to fund “Camp Bessemer”. Camp Bessemer is a Youth job training, education and employment project. The City also provides funding for Camp Bessemer from its general fund. Funding to be provided each year of the five year COnsolidated Plan.

5

Goal Name

Public Facilities

Goal Description

The City has decided to direct $50,00.00 in FY2015 and $25,000.00 for every year of the new Consolidated Plan to the improvement of Parks throughout the City.

Estimate the number of extremely low‐income, low‐income, and moderate‐income families to whom the jurisdiction will provide affordable housing as defined by HOME 91.315(b)(2)

 

Over the course of the FY2015‐FY2019 Consolidated Plan it is the goal of the City to provide Emergency Grants to rehabilitate approximately 179 houses and to provide loans from the revolving loan fund to rehabilitate approximately 35 houses. Emergency Grants are targeted to participants at or below the low‐to‐moderate income level. It is estimated that 30% of funding will go to low‐to‐moderate income persons, and 70% will go to low or extremely low‐income persons. Economic Development Loans are funded from the Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 85


SP‐50 Public Housing Accessibility and Involvement – 91.215(c)

Need to Increase the Number of Accessible Units (if Required by a Section 504 Voluntary Compliance Agreement)

 

The PHA established objectives to strive to meet its goal of complying with 504 and the American’s With Disabilities Act including: 1.Providing additional accessible units for applicants and residents with mobility disabilities as required at all existing and newly developed residential sites and common areas.

  1. Provide 504 and ADA compliance for Main Office and all common areas, To employ effective maintenance and management polocies to minimize the number of housing units off‐line. 4.To seek to replace public housing units lost to the inventory through mixed finance development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activities to Increase Resident Involvements

 

The Bessemer Housing Authority regularly encourages residents to participate in resident services activities, public meetings held on‐site, and community public hearings. In addition they have a resident who serves on the Board of Commissioners and acts as a representative for the residents.

 

 

 

Is the public housing agency designated as troubled under 24 CFR part 902?

 

No

 

Plan to remove the ‘troubled’ designation


SP‐55 Barriers to affordable housing – 91.215(h)

Barriers to Affordable Housing

 

There are no local or state level policies negatively 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.

 

Strategy to Remove or Ameliorate the Barriers to Affordable Housing

 

Transportation to jobs is a primary concern relative to employment opportunities and the ability for a family to afford housing. 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 early 2010 the City of Bessemer received a grant from the Regional Planning Commission for a study to determine transportation needs. The study provided data to apply for grants to acquire buses for a transit system within the City. Economic development is key to lowering the high unemployment rate to improve the opportunity for citizens to afford housing. 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 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 and its Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP1). 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.


SP‐60 Homelessness Strategy – 91.215(d)

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

 

The Consolidated Plan does not specifically address the homeless with CDBG funding. However, City programs and policies are designed to make housing more available and accessible to all citizens. The City is in the process of applying for ESG funding through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs.

 

Addressing the emergency and transitional housing needs of homeless persons

 

The Consolidated Plan does not address emergency shelter and the transitional housing needs of homeless persons. However, the City is in consultation with “One Roof” to determine if CDBG related housing could be used for homeless families at a future date. The City also hopes to acquire ESG funding. The City partners with the United Way of Central Alabama to provide credit counseling and to put low to moderate income individuals on a path to homeownership.

 

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 housing programs of the City are designed to rehabilitate the houses of existing low and low to moderate income homeowners and to provide housing for low and low to moderate income persons. Repairs are routinely done to address ADA compliance, and energy efficiency. The Rehab/Refinance program is designed to refinance houses with high interest rates to make rehabilitation feasible. The City also has programs to provide down payments for first time homebuyers.

 

Help low‐income individuals and families avoid becoming homeless, especially extremely low‐income individuals and families who are likely to become homeless after being discharged from a publicly funded institution or system of care, or who are receiving assistance from public and private agencies that address housing, health, social services, employment, education or youth needs

 

All City Housing programs are designed to serve the needs of the very low and low to moderate income person. The City works with UAB West to provide housing repair and rehabilitation services to the disabled and those with long term medical conditions. UAB West assists in identifying persons who need housing repairs to allow them to live at home. The Foundry also work with groups that are predisposed to homelessness.


 


SP‐65 Lead based paint Hazards – 91.215(i)

Actions to address LBP hazards and increase access to housing without LBP hazards

 

The City continues to test for lead based paint and to abate lead as required under CDBG rules and regulations. All houses built prior to 1979 are tested for lead as a condition of participation in the Rehabilitaion Loan Program and the Deferred Loan Program. In addition lead tests are performed as a condition of participation in the Emergency Grant Program if a surface exists that will be impacted by the rehabilitation process. All participants are provided with literature concerning lead based paint.

Community meetings are held in conjunction with authorities from the State of Alabama who have responsibility for lead based paint control. All jobs undergoing abatement are carried out by licensed lead abatement contractors and final lead clearance is conducted before funds may be disbursed.

 

How are the actions listed above related to the extent of lead poisoning and hazards?

 

The actions above are taken to compy with all Federal and State laws. It is assumed that the presence of lead based paint is pervasive. More than 50% of the 12,369 houses in Bessemer werebuilt before

  1. Lead testing is always conducted when lead surfaces can be disturbed or CDBG regulations require it.

 

How are the actions listed above integrated into housing policies and procedures?

 

Lead based paint testing and abatement procedures are an integral part of all housing programs in keeping with applicable State and Federal regulations and in accordance with CDBG rules. They are part of the Action and Consolidated Plans of the City. No project may begin without full, certified, knowledge of the status of lead based paint on a given structure. City housing program policy and procedures include all lead based paint impacted by the rehabilitation process or required to be addressed by CDBG rules and regulations.


SP‐70 Anti‐Poverty Strategy – 91.215(j)

Jurisdiction Goals, Programs and Policies for reducing the number of Poverty‐Level Families

 

The City of Bessemer seeks to provide citizens with the highest quality of life possible. The City has embarked on a blight removal program, with City funds, that improves safety and lowers the cost of insurance for homeowners. The City through its Park and Recreation Department provides no‐cost entertainment opportunities for citizens. The City sponsors programs designed to provide information on health care, homeownership, lead paint hazards and other subjects that have the potential to allow citizens to stretch their budgets. The City also provides job training programs and summer jobs programs for City youth. The priorities outlined in the strategic plan, represent the strategic goals, programs, and policies designed to address public service needs, the housing needs, and the community development needs of the community for the next five years. The primary goal is to coordinate efforts into a central plan focused on providing decent, affordable housing; improving safety and livability of neighborhoods; increasing access to quality facilities and services; revitalizing deteriorating neighborhoods; and providing access to credit for community development that promotes long‐term economic and social viability. The plan must also take into consideration the many factors over which the City has no control such as the reduction in funding shortfalls, increased need, and national economic downturns. A direct benefit of this process is preservation and provision of safe, decent, and affordable housing. These efforts will incrementally assist in the reduction of number of the poverty level families through the provision of housing, and community and support services.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How are the Jurisdiction poverty reducing goals, programs, and policies coordinated with this affordable housing plan

 

The housing programs administered by the City of Bessemer focus on very low, low and low‐to‐ moderate income persons. In many cases these programs lower the cost of housing allowing the income of a family to go farther. In other cases housing programs address medical needs, allowing participants to funtion without the need for expensive medical services outside the home. Energy efficiency improvements often result in significant savings. Generally the Housing programs administered by the City result in a higher quality of life at a lower cost.


SP‐80 Monitoring – 91.230

Describe the standards and procedures that the jurisdiction will use to monitor activities carried out in furtherance of the plan and will use 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 annual plan goals and projects on a quarterly basis, with additional reviews as required. Reviews are designed to determine if all programs are being carried out in accourdance with the Consolidated Plan, and to insure that statutory and regulator are met. Area’s of emphasis include job creation relative to economic development loans, and maintenance of CDBG timeliness standards. Economic Development loans are given with the stipulation that new, full‐time permanent jobs must be created for low to moderate income persons. Businesses agree to complete job creation within one year of the loan closing date as a condition of the loan.The City will continue to prepare an annual CAPER and to use that CAPER to evaluate the effectiveness of all CDBG related programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 92


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 signifigant blight removal program that, unlike standard Clearance programs, will provide buildable lots for City housing programs. The City has also taken part in the application process for a Disaster Resiliency grant, along with Jefferson County, which would provide significant home ownership opportunities for Bessemer’s citizens. The City will close out its involvement with the NSP program this summer. 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 a good 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

 

 

 

 

$

$

$

 

Reminder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

of ConPlan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$

 

CDBG

public ‐

federal

Acquisition

Admin and Planning Economic Development Housing Public Improvements Public Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

486,551

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

274,712

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

898,052

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,659,315

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3,044,892

The City anticipated no more than the

present annual funding amount to be available for the balance of the FY2015 through FY2019 Consolidated Plan.

Table 54 ‐ 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

 

The City has committed general funds to supply administrative funds for the partnership with Habitat for Humanity to remove blighted structures throughout the City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 94


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.

 

Discussion

 

With recent entitlement cuts the City of Bessemer’s CDBG program has become focused on meeting the needs of as many people as possible through the Emergency Grant program. The City recently agreed to partner with UAB West relative to the Emergency Grant program. UAB West will provide contact data and referrals for their patients who are program eligible. This should result in a more focused program and a much high annual number The City is actively pursuing of individuals served. The goal is to help those who need the help most. The partnership with Habitat for Humanity will allow the City to use the funds that are saved on Clearance activities for other housing related activities. If the City is successful in its Disaster Resiliency grant application ober 37 new structures will be available for the citizens of Bessemer in general, and transitioning residents of the Bessemer Public Housing Authority in particular. The City is also actively pursuing grant funds through the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission for funds to develop a rails‐to‐trails project that will interface with the City’s new Recreation Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 95


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

 

Housing

Rehabilitation Loans Emergency Repair Grants

CDBG:

$142,200

Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated:

28 Household Housing Unit

2

Housing

Rehabilitation Loans

2015

2019

Affordable

Housing

 

Housing

Rehabilitation Loans

Lead Paint

CDBG:

$274,712

Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated: 8

Household Housing Unit

3

Economic

Development Loan

2015

2019

 

 

Economic

Development

 

Jobs created/retained: 8 Jobs

Businesses assisted: 8 Businesses Assisted

4

Public Services

2015

2019

Non‐Housing

Community Development

 

Public Services

CDBG:

$50,000

Public Facility or Infrastructure

Activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit: 75 Persons Assisted


 

Sort

Order

Goal Name

Start

Year

End

Year

Category

Geographic

Area

Needs Addressed

Funding

Goal Outcome Indicator

5

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: 27000 Persons Assisted

Table 55 – Goals Summary

 

 

Goal Descriptions

 

 

 

1

Goal Name

Emergency Housing Repair Grants

Goal Description

The Emergency Housing Repair Grant Program is designed to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled. The program provides up to $5,000.00 per grant for projects related to the specific medical needs of the participants. Wheel Chair Ramps, projects related to ADA compliance and projects specific to the needs of medical conditions serve to allow the elderly and disable to live in their homes longer with a higher quality of life. The City has partnered with UAB West, a local hospital, to address the needs of Bessemer citizens to improve the quality of life of those citizens.housing

2

Goal Name

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Goal Description

 

3

Goal Name

Economic Development Loan

Goal Description

The Economic Development Loan program is designed to provide capital to businesses which will, in turn, allow those businesses to create new, full time jobs for low to moderate income persons.

4

Goal Name

Public Services

Goal Description

The City has decided to direct $50,000.00 fro the Public Services category to fund the youth jobs training and summer employment program called “Camp Bessemer”.


 

5

Goal Name

Public Facilities

Goal Description

The City has elected to direct $50,000.00 from the Public Facilities category to fund Park improvements throughout the City. This includes the repair and rehabilitation of the Dough Boy statue and World War 1 Memorial at DeBardeleben Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 98


Projects

 

AP‐35 Projects – 91.220(d)

Introduction

 

The City of Bessemer employs a comprehensive housing program. In addition to housing the City has an Economic Development Loan program funded through a CDBG related Revolving Loan Fund. The City plans to conduct improvements at all City Parks over the next five years with the use of both federal and local funding. It is also constructing a new Recreation Center and a new City Hall. 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 is in the process of completing a project to create a state of the are Recycling Center.

 

 

Projects

 

#

Project Name

1

Public Services ‐ Camp Bessemer

3

Section 108 Loan Payoff

4

Park & Recreation

5

Emergency Housing Repair Grant

6

Housing Activities

7

Economic Development Loan

Table 56 – Project Information

 

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

 

Each of the listed projects meets a high priority need within the Bessemer community. Limited funding prevents specific projects directed to the needs of the homeless, but the City is working to meet those needs through various partnerships and the assistance of the Continuum of Care. Public Facilities are limited, but Parks and Recreation was chosen due to citizen comments and because of the numbers of citizens that can be served by park inmprovements. The Section 108 payment will eliminate what was once a $4,000,000.00 Section 108 loan. The results of the effort to eliminate that debt can be seen in the overall 2015 to 2019 Consolidated Plan’s projects and goals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                 99


AP‐38 Project Summary

Project Summary Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consolidated Plan                                          BESSEMER                                                                   100


1

Project Name

Public Services ‐ Camp Bessemer

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

Funding

CDBG: $50,000

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

8/1/2015

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

It is estimated that 75 youth will take part in the program. Most will be from low to moderate income income.

Location Description

Camp Bessemer takes place at varied locations, in businesses throughout the City as well as City Hall.

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

Section 108 Loan Payoff

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

 

Needs Addressed

 

Funding

CDBG: $22,000

Description

Final payoff of Section 108 Loan.

Target Date

5/31/2016

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

City Wide Benefit

Location Description

NA

Planned Activities

Section 108 Loan Payoff.

3

Project Name

Park & Recreation

Target Area

 


 

Goals Supported

 

Needs Addressed

Public Facilities

Funding

CDBG: $50,000

Description

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

Target Date

5/31/2016

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

The City as a whole will benefit. Parks are accessible to all citizens.

Location Description

All City Parks.

Planned Activities

General improvements to City Parks.

4

Project Name

Emergency Housing Repair Grant

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Emergency Housing Repair Grants

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Funding

CDBG: $142,200

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.

Target Date

5/31/2016

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

It is estimated that 28 families will benefit from the Emergency Housing Re

air Grant program in FY2015.

Location Description

City Wide Housing Rehabilitation.

Planned Activities

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

5

Project Name

Housing Activities

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

 

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation Loans


 

Funding

CDBG: $274,712

Description

Housing Rehabilitation loans are of the 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.

Target Date

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

It is expected that 8 families per year will receive rehabilitation loans.

Location Description

The program is City Wide. It is not possible to determine all the houses that will be repaired in advance.

Planned Activities

 

6

Project Name

Economic Development Loan

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

 

Needs Addressed

Economic Development

Funding

CDBG: $274,712

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

5/31/2015

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

it is expected that at least 8 full time jobs will be created for low to moderate persons.

Location Description

it is expected that up to 8 loans will be made.

Planned Activities

 


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 Cioty as a whole. The City, as a whole, qualifies relative to low‐mod service based on the income levels of the citizens of Bessemer.

 

Geographic Distribution

 

Target Area

Percentage of Funds

 

 

Table 57 ‐ 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.

 

One Year Goals for the Number of Households to be Supported

Homeless

0

Non‐Homeless

36

Special‐Needs

0

Total

36

Table 58 ‐ 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

36

Acquisition of Existing Units

0

Total

36

Table 59 ‐ 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

  • bond financed 120 unit Senior Complex and a new 198 unit RAD 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 Authoritie’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 there home.

 

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 three are sheltered. This isa 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.

 

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.

 

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

 

NA

 

Discussion:

 

Homeownership is more achieavable in the Southeastern United States than any other area in the nation. Local, County and State government polocies 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.


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.

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 abaterment 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 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

 

  1. The estimated percentage of CDBG funds that will be used for activities that benefit persons of low and moderate 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%


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 programs are designed to achieve 100% low mod benefit.


Appendix ‐ Alternate/Local Data Sources

 

 

 

1

Data Source Name

Vacant Houses

List the name of the organization or individual who originated the data set.

City of Bessemer Building and Inspections Department: Director ‐ Don Gaylor

Provide a brief summary of the data set.

It is estimated that there are at least 200 vacant and abandoned houses in Bessemer. Over 50% of those houses are not suitable for rehabilitation.

What was the purpose for developing this data set?

To determine the number of vacant houses in the City of Bessemer.

How comprehensive is the coverage of this administrative data? Is data collection concentrated in one geographic area or among a certain population?

It covers the entire city.

What time period (provide the year, and optionally month, or month and day) is covered by this data set?

FY2014

What is the status of the data set (complete, in progress, or planned)?

Complete

 

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 FOR THE CITY OF BESSEMER

2015-2019

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 decade or so. Whites have decreased as a percentage of the City’s population and younger families of both races have opted to live outside the City.

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 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.

Over the past decade the economy of the City of Bessemer has steadily improved. Recent evidence suggests that the growth in new business and jobs could help to create a healthier demand for housing. Also, 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. The City applied for and received Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds to address blight caused by foreclosed homes and to provide housing for low-to-moderate income individuals. The NSP program resulted in the rehabilitation and sale of seven houses for low to moderate income and very low income individuals. 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, Poor Housing Stock, Poor Credit Scores and Housing for the Disabled have been identified as the primary 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. The present public transportation system is provided by Jefferson County’s MAXX System. The system does serve some areas of the City, but many areas, especially those areas most heavily populated by the elderly, have accessibility problems.

Employment/Economic Development: The City of Bessemer’s +10% unemployment rate relates to the general economic downturn, 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.

Poor Housing Stock: 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. In addition, the condition of housing limits the housing accessibility to those who are disabled.

Poor Credit Scores:  Insufficient credit scores is a major impediment to Housing in the City of Bessemer. Poor credit score eliminates many from consideration for new home loans and loans for housing rehabilitation.

Housing for the Disabled: The City has a large elderly population and many elderly suffer from disabilities. These disabilities can have the effect of forcing the disabled from their homes due to the lack of facilities that would otherwise allow them to continue to live independently.

 

Actions to Overcome Identified Impediments

 The City has addressed and continues to address all the identified impediments to fair housing in the Bessemer community. The following is an overview of the actions and resultant progress made relative to housing impediments over time.

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. 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 which stands to provide improved transportation services for the citizens of Bessemer.

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. 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 is also involved in bringing other businesses to Bessemer that are expected to bring upwards of $34,000,000.00 in development to the downtown area. The City also anticipates an improved business climate with the introduction of new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses. 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. During the last five years the City of Bessemer has been one of the most active economic development areas in the state. It is anticipated that the mix of industrial and retail development will continue at a growing pace from 2015-2019. The City is addressing needs associated with employment at an exceptional rate.

Poor 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 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 presence of dilapidated housing lowers property value and limits the ability of homeowners living adjacent to blighted properties to obtain and maintain insurance coverage on their homes. The City’s Clearance program has directly addressed these issues and will continue to do so.

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. 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.

Recently the Bessemer Housing Authority undertook the complete renovation of two large multi-family facilities, demolished one entire multi-family complex and has begun the process of building a subdivision of single family homes. The Housing Authority is dedicated to transitioning their residents to home ownership. As such they have referred residents to the City who were able to take advantage of CDBG funded programs that resulted in home ownership.

The City maintains a broad housing rehabilitation program based on CDBG funds. Those programs consist of grants to address the needs of the disabled and loans for the complete rehabilitation of houses. The City also provides loans for rehabilitation and acquisition. 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.

The City also maintains CDBG funded housing loan programs that are designed to bring houses into compliance with local and state housing codes. Components of this program also serve to facilitate home ownership while rehabilitating existing houses.

Low Credit Scores are a serious problem and impediment to the availability of housing loans for purchasing homes and for the rehabilitation of homes. The City has partnered with organizations to provide credit counseling services to CDBG loan applicants to address a primary impediment to Fair Housing. The City offers those with low credit scores the opportunity to participate in CDBG funded housing loan programs upon completion of credit counseling.  In addition the City has sponsored large seminars on homeownership conducted by local private lending institutions.

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

0

Government

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

Update for FY2018

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

FAIR HOUSING PLAN FOR THE CITY OF BESSEMER

2015-2019

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 decade or so. Whites have decreased as a percentage of the City’s population and younger families of both races have opted to live outside the City.

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 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.

Over the past decade the economy of the City of Bessemer has steadily improved. Recent evidence suggests that the growth in new business and jobs could help to create a healthier demand for housing. Also, 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. The City applied for and received Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds to address blight caused by foreclosed homes and to provide housing for low-to-moderate income individuals. The NSP program resulted in the rehabilitation and sale of seven houses for low to moderate income and very low income individuals. 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, Poor Housing Stock, Poor Credit Scores and Housing for the Disabled have been identified as the primary 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. The present public transportation system is provided by Jefferson County’s MAXX System. The system does serve some areas of the City, but many areas, especially those areas most heavily populated by the elderly, have accessibility problems.

Employment/Economic Development: The City of Bessemer’s +10% unemployment rate relates to the general economic downturn, 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.

Poor Housing Stock: 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. In addition, the condition of housing limits the housing accessibility to those who are disabled.

Poor Credit Scores:  Insufficient credit scores is a major impediment to Housing in the City of Bessemer. Poor credit score eliminates many from consideration for new home loans and loans for housing rehabilitation.

Housing for the Disabled: The City has a large elderly population and many elderly suffer from disabilities. These disabilities can have the effect of forcing the disabled from their homes due to the lack of facilities that would otherwise allow them to continue to live independently.




Actions to Overcome Identified Impediments

The City has addressed and continues to address all the identified impediments to fair housing in the Bessemer community. The following is an overview of the actions and resultant progress made relative to housing impediments over time.

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. 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 which stands to provide improved transportation services for the citizens of Bessemer.

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. 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 is also involved in bringing other businesses to Bessemer that are expected to bring upwards of $34,000,000.00 in development to the downtown area. The City also anticipates an improved business climate with the introduction of new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses. 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. During the last five years the City of Bessemer has been one of the most active economic development areas in the state. It is anticipated that the mix of industrial and retail development will continue at a growing pace from 2015-2019. The City is addressing needs associated with employment at an exceptional rate.

Poor 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 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 presence of dilapidated housing lowers property value and limits the ability of homeowners living adjacent to blighted properties to obtain and maintain insurance coverage on their homes. The City’s Clearance program has directly addressed these issues and will continue to do so.

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. 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.

Recently the Bessemer Housing Authority undertook the complete renovation of two large multi-family facilities, demolished one entire multi-family complex and has begun the process of building a subdivision of single family homes. The Housing Authority is dedicated to transitioning their residents to home ownership. As such they have referred residents to the City who were able to take advantage of CDBG funded programs that resulted in home ownership.

The City maintains a broad housing rehabilitation program based on CDBG funds. Those programs consist of grants to address the needs of the disabled and loans for the complete rehabilitation of houses. The City also provides loans for rehabilitation and acquisition. 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.

The City also maintains CDBG funded housing loan programs that are designed to bring houses into compliance with local and state housing codes. Components of this program also serve to facilitate home ownership while rehabilitating existing houses.

Low Credit Scores are a serious problem and impediment to the availability of housing loans for purchasing homes and for the rehabilitation of homes. The City has partnered with organizations to provide credit counseling services to CDBG loan applicants to address a primary impediment to Fair Housing. The City offers those with low credit scores the opportunity to participate in CDBG funded housing loan programs upon completion of credit counseling.  In addition the City has sponsored large seminars on homeownership conducted by local private lending institutions.

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

 

 

 

 

0

Government

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). An Annual Action Plan must also be prepared for each year of the Consolidated Plan. The following reflects a Substantial Amendment to an existing FY2018 Action Plan, which outlines the City’s Economic Development and Community Development needs and strategies relative to CDBG entitlement funds for FY2018 of

    $570,416.00, and projected Program Income of $275,332.00. This Substantial Amendment reflects a grant reduction of $35,516.11 to compensate for failure to meet the timeliness test relative to the expenditure of Revolving Funds and a further reduction of $147.084.89 to repay CDBG Activity #80 from FY1998 that was determined not to meet a National Objective. After the aforementioned reductions the total CDBG Entitlement Grant amount for FY2018 will be $387,815.00. Projected Program Income is unchanged. Copies of the City’s 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development Programs, and FY2018 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 FY2018 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 FY2018 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, 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, FY2016 and FY2017 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 in FY2015, and FY2016. Thankfully, that loan did not impact FY2017. The Emergency Grant program 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 in FY2015 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 did not utilize CDBG funds during FY2015, FY2016 or FY2017 for Clearance. However, the City provided $250,000.00 in General funding for clearance activities in both fiscal years. 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, FY2016 and FY2017 Action Plans. 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.

  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 FY2018 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 FY2018 Action Plan, the City held three public hearings for the Citizens of Bessemer. The purpose of the hearings was to obtain comments and proposals for the use of the City’s projected FY2018 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 FY2018 Action Plan. This substantial Amendment was advertised for 30 days and the comments of citizens was solicited in that advertising.

  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 relative to the FY2018 Action Plan 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. Economic Development loans and grants were also discussed, as was Clearance. No public comments were received relative to this Substantial Amendment.

  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 FY2018 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. 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.

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. It is believed this Action Plan represents a broad and comprehensive course of action that can address the housing, economic developemnt and general well being of the citizens of Bessemer.

Consolidated Plan Public Contact Information

City of Bessemer Department of Economic and Community Development, 1700 3rd. Ave. North, Bessemer, AL 35020. Forrest R. Davis-Director (fdavis@bessemeral.org), Abraham Ward-Principal Housing Specialist (award@bessemeral.org). Phone: 205-424-4060, FAX: 205-426-8374.

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 FY2018 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 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. The Economic & Community Development Department works with the Bessemer Fire Department to identify citizens in need os assistance. The City also works with the Veteran’s Administration to develop seminar’s for employment and housing.

    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 approximately 35 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. The City also hopes to utilize referrals from One Roof to identify persons that may be eligible for CDBG housing programs.

    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 35 homeless persons within the City of Bessemer in 2017. A number that seems to remain stable also the individuals change. Of those persons, many are members of 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

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

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. Habitat for Humanity has assisted in providing housing rehabilitation services in situations where CDBG funds could not be used. It is anticipated that Habitat for Humanity will construct at least ten new houses in Bessemer in 2018 using their own funding. This partnership will allow the City and Habitat to reach the broadest spectrum of participants possible while addressing needs CDBG cannot meet. This will

serve to address impediments to housing for low income persons.

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

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. These consultations allow the City to identify those in need and address those needs. Many individuals with sudden, extreme disabilities cannot continue to live in homes with barriers associated with those disabilities.

Consultations with UAB West have and will allow the City to address these impediments and facilitate the continued occupancy by the disabled of their

homes.

3

Agency/Group/Organization

Bessemer Public Housing Authority

Agency/Group/Organization Type

PHA

Services – Housing Services-Children Services-Elderly Persons

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 in developing goals and services not only for those living in public housing, but in the overall design of the CDBG program. Housing Authority residents participate in Homeownership programs through the Bessemer Housing Authority and residents who successfully complete the program are referred to the City for participation in the City’s CDBG funded Buy/Rehab/Sell program. We anticipate this partnership will continue to allow public housing residents to transition into

private housing.

4

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

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. The City hopes to work with One Roof to provide housing opportunities for those meeting the definition of homeless. It is anticipated that CDBG funded housing rehabilitation programs like the

Buy/Rehab/Sell program could be used successfully by referrals from One Roof.

5

Agency/Group/Organization

AIDS ALABAMA

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Services-Persons with HIV/AIDS Services-Health

Services – Victims

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 for HIV/AIDS in the City of Bessemer. It is anticipated that it may be possible in the future for referrals from AIDS Alabama to utilize the City’s Emergency Grant program to meet needs directly associated with HIV/Aids. The Emergency Grant program is

designed to facilitate repairs and rehabilitation associated with medical needs.

6

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. It is anticipated that City programs may be used to provide housing services for referrals from the Foundry who are residents of Bessemer. The most likely programs will relate to housing

rehabilitation loans.

7

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. It is anticipated the the assistance of the ALabama Department of Public Health will lead to more

Rehabilitation COntractors who comply with lead based paint requirements.

8

Agency/Group/Organization

ADECA

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 and other grants. ADECA has consulted on Housing relative to the NSP program. It is anticipated that the City of Bessemer will continue to apply for grants through ADECA that may have a direct impact on the housing needs

of the City.

9

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

Grantee Department

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 related to safety and disabilities. They are ideally suited to learn who the citizens with needs are and they refer them to 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. We anticipate that the Fire Department will allow the City of identify individuals

who qualify for Emergency Grants.

10

Agency/Group/Organization

Environmental Protection Agency

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. The City anticipates that the EPA will continue to consult in matters related to Lead Based Paint and Asbestos and that they will consult in matter

relative to permanent relocation from the 100 year flood plain.

11

Agency/Group/Organization

United Way of Central Alabama

Agency/Group/Organization Type

Housing

Services – Housing Service-Fair Housing

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 relative to Credit reports and Credit Counseling and other Credit related needs of all Rehabilitation Loan applicants. Adequate credit is an impediment to many persons seeking to own homes or those seeking to upgrade their living conditions. It is anticipated that the expertise of the United Way of Central Alabama will provide the City with solid underwriting information and that it will provide present and potential homeowners with the opportunity to become

credit worthy. This will allow many to participate in CDBG loan programs.

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. It is believed that the organizations that were and are consulted provide adequate assistance relative to the CDBG program.

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 and the services provided by the City and the Public Housing Authority are synergistic. Consultation with Veteran’s groups were also

utilized in the preparation of this Action Plan.

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 March 26th, March 27th and March 29th of 2018, to allow citizens to provide input relative to the Action Plan for FY2018. 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. The SUbstantial AMendment to the Action Plan was advertised in local newspapers for 30 days beginning on December 16th, 2018.

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 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)

    

No written

  
   

The basic contents of

comments were

 
   

the proposed Action

received. However

 
   

Plan were advertised

the advertising was

 
   

as were the

effective in

 
  

Non-

availability of public

notifying citizens of

 

2

Newspaper Ad

targeted/broad

meetings and

the three public

NA

  

community

methods of

meetings to be

 
   

response. The

held. No

 
   

Substantial

comments were

 
   

Amendment was

received relative to

 
   

also advertised.

this Substantial

 
    

Amendment.

 
   

The basic contents of

No written

  
   

the proposed Action

comments were

  

3

Internet Outreach

Non- targeted/broad community

Plan were advertised as were the availability of public

meetings and

received. However, the advertising was effective in

notifying the public

NA

bessemeral.or g

   

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

Sum

mary 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

Non- targeted/broad community

meeting was attended by all Council members,

the Mayor, Executive

transportation studies. Some Council members

were interested in

NA

   

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.

 
   

Electronic, municipal

No written comments were received. However, the advertising was effective in notifying the public of meetings to be

held.

  
  

Non-

signage was used to

 

5

Municipal SIgnage

targeted/broad

advertise public

NA

  

community

Action Plan

 
   

meetings.

 

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.

Anticipated Resources

Program

Source of Funds

Uses of Funds

Expected Amount Available Year 1

Expected Amount Available Remainder of ConPlan

$

Narrative Description

Annual Allocation:

$

Program Income:

$

Prior Year Resources:

$

Total:

$

CDBG

public – federal

Acquisition Admin and Planning Economic Development Housing Public Improvements

Public Services

387,815

275,332

1,025,000

1,688,147

750,477

The City anticipates no more than the present annual funding amount to be available for the balance of the FY2015 through FY2019 Consolidated Plan.

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

The City has committed $250,000.00 annualy to combine with CDBG funding in FY2018 and FY2019 for Clearance. CDBG funds totaling

$100,000.00 have been specified in this Action Plan for Clearance projects that are not in the 100 year flood plain.

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

No publically owned land has been designated for use in the FY 2018 Action Plan.

Discussion

With entitlement cuts since the 2015 Consolidated plan was completed the City of Bessemer’s CDBG program has become focused on meeting the needs of as many people as possible through the Emergency Grant program. The City recently agreed to partner with UAB West relative to the Emergency Grant program. UAB West will provide contact data and referrals for their patients who are program eligible. This should result in a more focused program and a much high annual number The City is actively pursuing of individuals served. The goal is to help those who need the help most. The City is also actively pursuing grant funds through the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission for funds to continue to develop a rails-to-trails project that will interface with the City’s new Recreation Center.

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 Housing Rehabilitation

Loans

CDBG:

$66,762

Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated: 13 Household Housing Unit

2

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

2015

2019

Affordable Housing

 

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Lead Paint

CDBG:

$137,666

Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated: 3 Household Housing Unit

3

Economic Development

Loan

2015

2019

  

Economic Development

CDBG:

$137,666

Jobs created/retained: 4 Jobs Businesses assisted: 4 Businesses

Assisted

5

Public Facilities

2015

2019

Non-Housing Community Development

 

Public Facilities

CDBG:

$112,000

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit: 27000

Persons Assisted

Table 6 – Goals Summary

Goal Descriptions

1

Goal Name

Emergency Housing Repair Grants

Goal Description

The Emergency Housing Repair Grant Program is designed to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled. The basic program provides up to $5,000.00 per grant for projects related to the specific medical needs of the participants. Wheel Chair Ramps, projects related to ADA compliance and projects specific to the needs of medical conditions serve to allow the elderly and disable to live in their homes longer with a higher quality of life. The City has partnered with UAB West, a

local hospital, to address the needs of Bessemer citizens to improve the quality of life of those citizens.housing

2

Goal Name

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Goal Description

Please see attached FY2018 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 fiscal year 2018.

3

Goal Name

Economic Development Loan

Goal Description

The Economic Development Loan program is designed to provide capital to businesses which will, in turn, allow those

businesses to create new, full time jobs for low to moderate income persons. Funding projected for Economic Development Loans is derived from anticipated FY2018 program income.

5

Goal Name

Public Facilities

Goal Description

The City plans to spend $112,000.00 in CDBG funds toward a drainage project in Roosevelt Park.

Projects

AP-35 Projects – 91.220(d)

Introduction

The City of Bessemer employs a comprehensive housing program. In addition to housing the City has an Economic Development Loan program funded through a CDBG related Revolving Loan Fund. The City will fund Clearance activities outside flood zones with CDBG funds for the first time in several years and a Transit Study is anticipated.

Projects

#

Project Name

5

Emergency Housing Repair Grant

6

Housing Activities

7

Economic Development Loan

9

Roosevelt Park Drainage

10

Administration

11

Delivery Costs

12

Entrance Sign

Table 7 – Project Information

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

Each of the listed projects meets a high priority need within the Bessemer community. Limited funding prevents specific projects directed to the needs of the homeless, but the City is working to meet those needs through various partnerships and the assistance of the Continuum of Care.

AP-38 Project Summary

Project Summary Information

1

Project Name

Emergency Housing Repair Grant

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Emergency Housing Repair Grants

Needs Addressed

Emergency Repair Grants

Funding

CDBG: $66,761

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 and well as new funding from the FY2018 CDBG

Entitlement grant.

Target Date

5/31/2019

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

13 families at a grant amount of $5,000.00 each.

Location Description

City of Bessemer. This is a city wide program. It is not possible to know the addresses of houses in advance.

Planned Activities

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

2

Project Name

Housing Activities

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Funding

CDBG: $412,666

 

Description

Housing Rehabilitation loans are of three types. All require that a given house be brought to a CODE conforming condition. All have 1% to 6% interest rates 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. FY2018 is to be funded from projected Program Income from Revolving Loan Funds.The maximum loan for a standard Housing Rehabilitation Loan is $40,000.00, The maximum loan for the Buy/Rehab/Sell program is $105,000.00, the maximum Rehab/Refinance loan is $135,000.00, the maximum Reconstruction loan is $135,000.00 and the maximum Deferred loan is

$20,000.00.Therefore, the number of loans possible depends not only on the funds available in the Housing Revolving Loan Fund, but the type of loan utilized. If all loans are Rehabilitation Loans ten (10) loans can be

made.

Target Date

5/31/2019

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

If all funds are expended it is estimated that 1o low to moderate income families will receive rehabilitation loans.

Location Description

City of Bessemer. This is a city wide project. It is not possible to determine addresses in advance.

Planned Activities

It is generally not possible to plan specific Housing projects. Applications for such projects are received on an ongoing basis and are addressed as quickly as possible. Please note funding is derived from existing program

income.

3

Project Name

Economic Development Loan

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Economic Development Loan

Needs Addressed

Economic Development

Funding

CDBG: $975,745

 

Description

Loans funded from the Revolving Loan Fund for Economic Development Loans are made to business to allow businesses to create jobs for low to moderate income persons. Loans up to $35,000.00 require the creation of at least one permanent, full-time job, or a number of permanent

part-time jobs that are equivalent to one full time job, for low to moderate income person(s). Incremental increases in job creation are required, based on $35,000.00, as loan amounts increase. It is not possible to know exactly how many loans will be requested in FY2018, but if the entire $887,667.00 in available funds is loaned the minimum number of jobs created would be 26 if only full-time permanent jobs

were created.

Target Date

5/31/2019

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

The purpose of economic development loans is job creation for low to moderate income persons. If all funds are expended the minimum number of jobs created would be 28 based on $35,000.00 per job.

Location Description

City of Bessemer. This is a city wide program. It is not possible to determine specific loacation information in advance due to the design of

the program.

Planned Activities

Loans for the Rehabilitation and or purchase of commercial facilities and related equipment.

4

Project Name

Roosevelt Park Drainage

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Public Facilities

Needs Addressed

Public Facilities

Funding

CDBG: $135,417

Description

This funding will be combined with prior year’s funds for a drainage project in Roosevelt Park.

Target Date

5/31/2019

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

29000, inasmuch as all citizens will benefit from this activity.

Location Description

Highway 150 and Alabama Ave. Bessemer, AL (Recreation Center)

Planned Activities

A drainage project in Roosevelt Park.

5

Project Name

Administration

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 Services

Public Facilities Economic Development

Clearance

Funding

CDBG: $77,563

Description

Economic and Community Development Office Administration

Target Date

5/31/2019

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

29000, inasmuch as all the citizens of Bessemer will benefit directly or indirectly, from the CDBG program.

Location Description

1700 3rd Ave. North, Bessemer, AL. City Hall.

Planned Activities

Administration costs of the administering the CDBG program.

6

Project Name

Delivery Costs

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Emergency Housing Repair Grants Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Economic Development Loan

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation Loans

Emergency Repair Grants Economic Development

Funding

CDBG: $19,995

Description

Funds for Delivery Cost activities.

Target Date

5/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

It is estimated that 17 low to moderate income families will receive housing services as a result of the delivery costs expended.

Location Description

1700 3rd. Ave. North, Bessemer, AL. City Hall

Planned Activities

Project Delivery Costs.

7

Project Name

Entrance Sign

Target Area

 

Goals Supported

Public Facilities

Needs Addressed

Public Facilities

Funding

CDBG: $88,078

Description

Construction of major Entrance Sign of 18th Street.

Target Date

5/31/2019

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from

the proposed activities

29000 persons will benefit inasmuch as the Entrance Sign is for all citizens.

Location Description

12th Ave North and 18th Street., Bessemer, AL

Planned Activities

An entrance sign to the City of Bessemer will be constructed at 12th AVe. North and 18th Street.

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

All projects are City Wide.

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.

One Year Goals for the Number of Households to be Supported

Homeless

0

Non-Homeless

17

Special-Needs

0

Total

17

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

17

Acquisition of Existing Units

0

Total

17

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 702 public housing rental units at seven

(7) AMPS and administers 475 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 Authoritie’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 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. The City has also offered One Roof the opportunity to manage houses the City has in its inventory as temporary housing for the homeless. The City provides access to its Buy/Rehab/Sell program for CDBG eligible homeless persons. It is hoped One Roof, The Foundry and other institutions can provide referrals in that regard.

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 35. However, a review of the situation relative to each of the 35 presently identified shows all but three are sheltered. This is a tribute to the non-profits and the Continuum of Care. The City has also offered One Roof the opportunity to manage houses the City has in its inventory as temporary housing for the homeless. The City will provide access to its Buy/Rehab/Sell program for CDBG eligible homeless persons. It is hoped One Roof, The Foundry and other institutions can provide referrals in that regard.

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 and has offered One Roof the opportunity to use houses in the City’s inventory that could be used to provide housing for the homeless on both a temporary and permanent basis. It is hoped One Roof could manage the properties provided by the City for both temporary and permanent housing.

The One Roof organization indicates that there are 35 homeless individuals living in the Bessemer area. However, One Roof has also provided an overview of homelessnes in Jefferson County that is instructive. It is as follows:

The 2018 sheltered homeless numbers are down significantly from the 2017 sheltered homeless numbers, decreasing from an overall 875 sheltered persons to an overall 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. The emergency shelter bed count for 2017 was 540 while the 2018 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.

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.

We saw the number of Unaccompanied Youth (under 25) go down from 125 in 2017 to just 22 in 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.

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. The City continues to make avaiable the Emergency Housing Grant program. This is a program designed to adress housing needs associated with disibilities, medical conditions and safety.

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.

The City’s Analysis of Impediments for Fair Housing, that was first done for the Consolidated Plan of FY2009 and later updated for the Consolidated Plan of FY2015, points to Transportation, Employment, Blighted Housing and Credit Worthiness as Impediments to Fair Housing. Credit Worthiness is a significant issue that must be delt with in the long term. As such, the City has enlisted the assistance of the United Way of Central Alabama to assist CDBG program applicants to become credit worthy. United Way provides credit reports and credit counseling such that completion of the credit counseling course will result in credit eligibility relative to City CDBG Housing Loan programs. CDBG Housing loans, CDBG Housing Grants, and CDBG Economic Development Loans that are based on Job Creation for low to moderate income persons all serve to make housing more affordable via low interest rates, favorable terms and low down payment requirements. The involvement of Habitat for Humanity, which plans to build ten new houses in Bessemer in FY2018 has, an will continue to improve the opportunity for new housing. The City’s Emergency Grant program allows existing homeowners with disabilities and medical conditions to continue living in their houses. The City has participated in transportation studies with the Regional Panning Commission and anticipates a new transportation study for a transportation HUB will be concluded in FY2018. This study will be facilitated with matching funds from the City of Bessemer and the CDBG program. The City hopes to use these studies to enhance the opportunity for transportation grants.

In addition to the positive effect of housing rehabilitation programs funded by CDBG the City has dedicated $250,000.00 annually from the City’s General Fund for Clearance projects to remove blight, increase property values, lower residential insurance costs and generally improve the quality of life of Bessemer’s citizens. In addition to the $250,000.00 set aside for Clearance by the CIty in FY2018,

$100,000.00 has been set aside in this Action Plan for Clearance.

The Economic Development activities of the the City have provided thousands of new jobs over the course of the periods addressed in the last two Consolidated plans. Projects like the Tannehill Promenade, The US Pipe Plant, Amstead Rail, the Dollar General Distribution facility and numerous others have provided jobs and thus housing opportunities for many. The new Amazon Distribution center will provide up to 3000 new jobs. The Amazon project and all the other projects mentioned were directly impacted by the City of Bessemer which played an intergral role in their decision to locate in

Bessemer.

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

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. Public policies do not constitute an impediment to fair housing.

Discussion:

Homeownership is more achieavable in the Southeastern United States than any other area in the nation. Local, County and State government policy’s 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.

The City has undertaken housing rehabilitation programs with its CDBG funds to help the elderly and disabled stay in their homes. The City has addressed the severe problem of credit worthiness in the low to moderate income community by partnering with United Way of Central Alabama to provide credit counseling for applicants of the City’s CDBG funded Rehabilitation Loan Programs. Participants who complete the United Way program are deemed as credit eligible for those Rehabilitation loan programs. The City has also organized programs and seminars conducted by the top officers of local banks to provide the citizens of Bessemer with the knowledge necessary to successfully obtain private mortgage financing.

The City has addressed the impediment of Employment by providing job training programs for Youth, like Camp Bessemer, and encourages job creation for low to moderate income persons through its economic development loan program. As mentioned above the City of Bessemer has been extraordinarily successful in landing several major economic development projects which have provided thousnds of jobs to this point in time and promise to provide several thousand more in the near future.

The City has partnered with agencies like Habitat for Humanity to build new housing in the City that will allow low to moderate income persons to achieve home ownership. The City plans to assist in such

programs through the provision of services and through the procurement of residential building lots.

To the extent that one wishes to attribute jobs, transportation, the removal and or rehabilitation of blighted housing, and the improvement of credit worthiness to improved opportunities for housing, the CIty of Bessemer has made major strides in addressing the impediments to fair housing listed in the Analisis of Impediments to Fair Housing.

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.

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. The City arranged public forums with local banks to provide information about mortgage loans and the mortgage loan process for citizens.

Actions planned to address obstacles to meeting underserved needs

The Economic and Community Development Department administers a comprehensive Housing program designed to serve low to moderate income individuals. The City will continue to provide CDBG funded loans, to the extent funding is available, to make housing more livable and to give families an opportunity to realize the advantages of homeownership. The City intends to increase the funding of its Emergency Grant program to meet the needs of the elderly and disabled. It should be pointed out that CDBG funding for such programs has dropped by 21.4% since FY2007. The City has contributed

$250,000.00 annually from its General Fund to address the severe problem of blighted housing in the community. The City plans to continue to reach out to organization like Habitat for Humanity to provide housing rehabilitation and new housing services the City cannot provide due t either inadequate funding or CDBG rule. Habitat for Humanity plans to build ten new houses in Bessemer in 2018 from their own funding sources. The City plans to assist Habitat for Humanity with services in 2018 and hopes to assist in providing property for additional housing construction in 2019.

Actions planned to foster and maintain affordable housing

The City will continue loan and grant programs designed to remove barriers, according to The American’s With Disabilities Act, 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.

Actions planned to reduce lead-based paint hazards

The City of Bessemer tests all houses of participants in housing programs 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 abaterment 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:

The FY2018 CDBG Action Plan of the City of Bessemer continues the execution of the broadbased Consolidated plan generated in FY2015. This plan addresses Housing, Public Service, Public Facilities and Clearance needs with new funding and with funding from the Revolving Loan Fund. The FY2018 Action Plan will further address the needs identified in the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing that was included with the ConsolidatedPlan of FY2009 and updated in the Consolidated Plan of FY2015.

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.

83.00%

It is expected that the overall minimum benefit of 70% of CDBG funds to benefit low to moderate income will be realized over the course of the FY2015-FY2019 Consolidated Plan. All programs, except Clearance are designed to achieve 100% low mod benefit. Even so the Clearance program will be concentrated in low income areas and will still benefit low to moderate income citizens. 83% of the FY2018 CDBG grant will directly impact low to moderate income service.

0

X