The federal HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) is the primary resource that Clackamas County uses to address one of the most pressing housing needs identified in the Consolidated Plan --- the need for affordable housing for low-income households.
The HOME Program was created under Title II of the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 to:
- Expand the supply of decent and affordable housing, particularly rental housing, for very low- and low-income Americans;
- Strengthen the abilities of state and local governments to design and implement strategies for achieving an adequate supply of decent, affordable housing; and
- Extend and strengthen partnership among all levels of government and the private sector, including for-profit and non-profit organizations, in the production and operation of affordable housing.
The regulations that govern the HOME Program are found at 24 CFR Part 92.
Clackamas County receives an annual allocation of HOME funds through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Clackamas County must set aside at least 15% of the grant for housing developed by Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO's).
Applying for HOME funds
Project Sponsors or Developers must submit an application to Clackamas County Community Development Division (CDD) in order to be considered for funding. Applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis; however, proposed projects must meet the criteria and priorities identified in the County's Consolidated Plan. CDD evaluates each application and makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.
Public agencies, nonprofit organizations and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply for Clackamas County HOME funds. The agency or organization must provide evidence that it has the administrative and financial capacity and experience necessary to administer the complex requirements of the HOME Program throughout the period of affordability.
HOME funds may only be used for units that will be occupied by low- or very low-income households which are defined by HUD as follows:
- Very low-income households are those with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income.
- Low-income households are those with incomes between 51% and 80% of the area median income.
Only the units that receive HOME dollars are considered HOME-assisted units, therefore, only HOME-assisted units must adhere to HOME expenditure limits, income targeting guidelines, and affordability requirements. This allows HOME funds to be used in mixed income projects.
Clackamas County's HOME Program provides funds to projects that benefit low-income people. Eligible projects are ones that result in:
- Safe, decent affordable rental opportunities for individuals, families, the elderly and persons with disabilities or special needs;
- Assistance for homebuyers;
- Affordable home ownership opportunities; or
- Preservation of existing owner-occupied housing units.
A project may include one or more buildings on a single site under common ownership, management and financing. Structures scattered on more than one site that are under common ownership, management and financing are also considered a single project. There must be at least one HOME-assisted unit in each building of the project. HOME-assisted projects may:
- Contain any number of units;
- Contain any combination of unit sizes and styles; and
- Be privately or publicly owned.
Project selection guidelines
To be considered for HOME funding a project must be:
- Located within Clackamas County;
- Eligible under HOME Program regulations; and
- Consistent with Clackamas County's Consolidated Plan and HOME Program priorities.
Projects meeting the threshold requirements are further evaluated based upon the extent to which the project:
- Is ready to proceed;
- Sponsor has the experience and ability to carry out the proposed project;
- Cost-effectively increases the supply of housing that is affordable to low-income persons, particularly in areas that are accessible to expanding job opportunities;
- Exceeds the HOME Programs' minimum requirements to serve very low- and low-income residents;
- Provides matching resources;
- Has other reliable funding sources committed to the total cost of the project;
- Provides supportive services if proposed project targets persons with disabilities;
- Provides facilities and services that permit elderly or handicapped residents who become frail and need assistance to continue to reside in the project;
- Preserves the affordability of housing that may be converted, demolished or abandoned;
- Remedies the effects of discrimination and improves housing opportunities for disadvantaged minorities; and
- Stimulates investment and participation by the private sector.
HOME funds are allocated in amounts appropriate to the scope and needs of the proposed project. HOME funds are provided in the form of low interest loans. The County reserves the right to:
- Adjust the amount of funds allocated to projects and to negotiate modifications to the proposed work plan and budget prior to executing an agreement; and
- Fund those projects which reflect the highest and best use of HOME funds.
The county receives applications from nonprofit organizations for certifications as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) in the spring of each year. A CHDO is defined in the HOME Rule at 24 CFR 92.2. Eligible applicants include community-based nonprofit 501(c) (3) or 501(c) (4) organizations that include the provision of decent, safe, affordable housing to low- and moderate-income persons among their purposes. If designated, the organization may be eligible for HOME funds specifically set aside for projects developed by CHDOs in each HOME Program Year. However, nonprofits are not required to be a designated CHDO to access HOME funding as a sponsor, owner or developer. For more information, please contact Kevin Ko, Housing at Community Development Manager at 503-655-8359.