Carson City Council Approves State Grant Shift for Affordable Housing

The Carson City Council has unanimously agreed to redistribute a state grant that was set aside for affordable housing projects. The move was made to fix a mistake in the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) original standard deal percentages for the grant, according to city officials.

The change, on the other hand, will give more than $1 million ($1,429,030) to help Carson first-time homeowners with their down payments.

Someone from the city said, “HCD made a mistake in the original standard agreement percentages.” “The city was then given permission to change the percentages and the five-year plan.”

It is run by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), the permanent local housing allocation (PLHA) grant helps local governments meet housing needs in their areas.

Senate Bill 2, which was signed into law in 2017, set up the Building Homes and Jobs Trust Fund and gave the department the power to give up to $304 million to towns and counties to help them meet their housing needs.

The money that PLHA gives out can be used for things like building cheap housing, emergency shelters, and temporary housing. Based on their own housing problems, local governments have a lot of power over how these funds are spent.

But they have to give the HCD a five-year plan for how the money will be spent on the programs and get approval from the agency. A representative for the PLHA said that the funding changes from year to year because of the different amounts of money that come in from real estate deals.

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PLHA gives out money that can be used to build cheap housing, houses for people in need, and short-term homes. Local governments have a lot of control over how these funds are spent because they have their own housing problems.

But they need to get permission from the HCD and give them a five-year plan for how the money will be spent on the projects. According to someone from the PLHA, the money changes every year because of the different amounts of money that come in from real estate deals.

The city’s original plan called for 33.33% of the grant to go to programs that help first-time homebuyers, 33.33% to fix up and protect cheap ownership housing, and 33.33% to help people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The Carson City Council decided on February 7, 2023, to set aside $50,000 for deferred loans for the PLHA-funded Single-Family Housing Rehabilitation Program. This program helps low- and moderate-income owners of single-family homes make improvements to their homes by giving them money.

The panel decided on October 3, 2023, to use $353,116 of the money to help fix up and keep cheap homeownership housing. Also, on November 7, 2023, the city council set aside $276,486.67 from the PLHA grant to help pay for rental aid to keep people from becoming homeless and to help qualified residents of Imperial Avalon Mobile Estate find temporary housing until they can move.

Carson Mayor Lula Davis-Holmes told the Breeze that suitable residents of Imperial Avalon can use the PLHA grant to get up to $2,500 a month to help pay their rent once they move.

The mayor said that each eligible household can get up to $15,000. She also said that she wants people to apply for this income-based grant as soon as possible to get their extra money. A city employee said that the city now wants to change the five-year plan by ending the program for first-time home buyers in 2019 and 2020.

Instead, it plans to give the last $429,746.33 of the PLHA grant to the rental aid program to help people avoid and get back on their feet after being homeless, as well as to keep affordable homeownership housing available.

In addition, the city will give the rest of the money, up to $1,429,030, to the first-time house buyer program to help with the down payment. To change its original plan for allocating funds, the city council has to hold a public meeting to get feedback from the public. Only then can it resubmit its funding plan to HCD for approval.

The representative said that after the money is redistributed, $529,674.50, which is half of the money from the city’s 2019 and 2020 grants, will be used to fix up single-family homes that are owned by the same people.

The city will also give an extra 50% of its 2019 and 2020 budgets, or $529,674.50, to help families making less than 30% of the area median income (AMI) avoid becoming homeless.

The rest of the money, which comes from the city’s PLHA funds for 2021, 2022, and 2023 and adds up to $1,429,030, will be used to help first-time home buyers with their down payments, the spokesperson said. A representative for the company said that the funds cover the years 2019 through 2023. The PLHA grant money has not been used yet, though.

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