WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) released a letter from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) indicating that Connecticut municipalities may have a path to pursue federal grant funding to address repairs associated with crumbling foundations. As part of his effort to identify federal resources for homeowners struggling with crumbling foundations, Courtney received a letter from HUD outlining two possible sources of existing annual federal grant funding that could be used for municipal housing rehabilitation programs.
The letter explains that funds from the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program (Small Cities CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), which are administered by the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH), could be used to support housing rehabilitation programs to assist residents with crumbling foundations.
“I am committed to investigating every possible source of federal assistance that could be available to homeowners in northeastern Connecticut with crumbling foundations,” said Courtney. “As more and more residents are discovering that their home may be impacted by this problem, we are going to need an all hands on deck response in order to make these homeowners whole again. I was pleased that after my office contacted HUD, we received a prompt response with constructive input from the Department on how funds available through the Small Cities CDBG and HOME program could be used to provide some relief for homeowners.”
Connecticut receives funds from these two programs annually. For 2016, Connecticut received about $12.2 million in Small Cities CDBG funds and $6.5 million in HOME funds not otherwise allocated to larger cities. The funds are used in a wide variety of housing and development projects throughout the state, with their distribution determined by the Connecticut Department of Housing and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) in consultation with the Connecticut General Assembly.
On June 9, 2016, the CEOs of some of the municipalities affected by crumbling foundations set forth a series of relief measures the state could implement to respond to this challenge. An “emergency repair fund” and assessment program to organize a coherent plan for inspection, communication, and remediation were some of the constructive suggestions made. As outlined by HUD, CDBG and HOME funding could assist with execution of that plan.
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is a federal grant program designed to provide communities with funds to implement a wide-range of development needs. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to more than 1000 government entities across the nation.
The Small Cities CDBG program is also known as the ‘State Administered CDBG’ because the funds are awarded to state governments and then apportioned to municipalities based on a formula set by the administering state agency. In Connecticut, the funds are awarded to DOH and are distributed according to a consolidated plan which the agency has established.
The HOME Program makes grants to state and local governments to assist with implanting with strategies designed to increase homeownership and affordable housing for lower income Americans. Government entities that receive funding through the program may use it for a variety of purposes including housing rehabilitation, rental assistance, and assistance to buyers.
Most recently, Courtney led a series of federal delegation letters urging home insurance companies to join repair efforts for affected homes.