HOMEfires - Vol. 4 No. 3, July 2002

Q: How should a Participating Jurisdiction (PJ) determine which amenities are suitable to include in HOME assisted projects?

A: Participating Jurisdictions should consider which amenities are provided in similar unassisted housing for low-income families in the market area when making determinations about the amenities to be included in HOME-assisted projects.

While HOME projects should be attractive and desirable places to live, HOME funds are not intended to support luxury housing. HOME-assisted projects must be modest in design and provide decent, safe and sanitary housing for low-income families. All HOME-assisted units must meet local codes and standards to ensure that they are safe and sanitary. In the absence of local codes, housing should conform to the model codes identified in the program rule at 24 CFR 92.251(http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2004/aprqtr/24cfr92.251.htm).

Suitable amenities may differ somewhat by locality. However, amenities in HOME-assisted housing should be comparable to amenities in the area's unassisted housing as long as they do not constitute luxury items. HOME-assisted housing may include non-luxury amenities such as washer/dryer, dishwasher, and air conditioner. Other amenities such as icemakers, Jacuzzis and saunas are considered luxury items and are not eligible for HOME funding. Within these broad guidelines, PJs should determine what non-luxury amenities are suitable for their area.

If luxury amenities are included in a mixed income project, for example, HOME funding must be allocated by calculating the unit-by-unit cost, rather than by proration. The unit-by-unit allocation method is described in CPD Notice 98-02.

Content Archived: May 19, 2011