The County proposes to fund a number of projects in the coming year using federal funds. In addition to federal funds, county, state, and private funds will be employed to address the myriad of problems facing our citizens. In keeping with overall strategies, the Consolidated Plan outlines a projected use for the CDBG, HOME, ESG and HOPWA funds for the July 1, 1995 - June 30, 1996 fiscal year. This "Action Plan" is updated annually as new funding is received and projects are recommended for funding through the County's budget process.
Given the interest regarding projected use of funds, summary information is provided below:
Projected Use of Funds
July 1, 1995 - June 30, 1996
|COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG)||$7,384,600|
The County estimates that it will receive $6,211,000 in CDBG funds for Fiscal Year 1996, and, that together with anticipated program income and reprogrammed funds of $1,183,600, $7,384,600 in CDBG funds will be available for the following activities:
Included under Community Development Block Grant Activities are Capital Improvement Projects, projects that will be administered by the County Government's Department of Housing & Community Development, projects that will be administered by other County Departments, those administered by non-profit providers, and projects administered by incorporated municipalities within the County.
|HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIPS (HOME)||$1,848,000|
The HOME Grant is designed to increase housing choices for low-income households through rental and home ownership programs, in cooperation with public, private and non- profit organizations. During the coming year it is anticipated that the County will receive $1,848,000 in funding for HOME projects. No program income is anticipated.
Due to the fact that HOME funds must be spent in a timely manner, it is incumbent upon the County to seek projects that are in a "ready to go" status. Realizing this need for flexibility, it is proposed that the following options be pursued. Funds will generally be made available in the form of low-interest loans and other subsidies. Units assisted will be both rental and owner-occupied.
HOME funds will be used in the development of Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), to provide rental assistance, for housing production and program administration.
|EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANTS (ESG)||$194,000|
The ESG Program enables the County to provide housing and other services to persons who are homeless or about to be homeless. Although smaller than the CDBG and HOME programs, the ESG program serves an essential role in providing services to our neediest population, the homeless. It is anticipated that the County will receive $194,000 in the coming year for ESG projects.
ESG funds will contribute to the Homeless Center Operation, the Upper Montgomery County Volunteer Network, the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless, the Greentree Shelter, and program administration.
|HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PERSONS WITH AIDS (HOPWA)||$335,850 (est.)|
Montgomery County receives HOPWA funds through an allocation made to the District of Columbia for regional distribution. These funds provide housing assistance to persons with AIDS and their families. The application for HOPWA funds is submitted as part of the Consolidated Plan for the District of Columbia. Prince George's County administers the program for Suburban Maryland, with funds distributed to jurisdictions based on the numbers of reported AIDS cases. The Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), through agreement with Prince George's County, carries out Montgomery County's local HOPWA program.
The Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC), in collaboration with the County Health Department and the Department of Social Services, will utilize HOPWA funds to provide supportive services to 90 adults (men and women), plus their children through two components: Tenant-based Rental Assistance and Emergency Assistance.
A requirement of the Consolidated Plan is the development of procedures to encourage and ensure the broadest participation of the residents of the County in the assessment of needs, formulation of strategies, determination of the use of funds and review of program performance. The following outlines HUD's requirements and Montgomery County's procedures for complying with them.
The Montgomery County Government is committed to making local government accessible and responsive to its residents. Opportunities for citizen involvement in governmental decision-making and community development issues is deeply embedded in our governmental culture and existed prior to the inception of the CDBG program. Our efforts extend beyond the scope of the federal requirements.
This citizen participation plan outlines procedures DHCD will follow to
foster citizen participation in developing the Consolidated Plan. The
Consolidated Plan will serve as an action oriented management tool for
Montgomery County and also serve as a monitoring tool for HUD to determine how
effectively the County is satisfying the needs identified within available
resources. The Plan estimates the housing and non-housing community development
needs of the County's lower-income households as well as the resources currently
available to address these needs. On the basis of this information, strategies
for addressing unmet priority needs over a five year period are developed.
Each year an action plan for projected use of funds is developed. For this
process to have meaning and be successful, citizen participation is required.
Montgomery County, Maryland, has a reputation for maintaining a high standard for the quality of life of its citizens. In general, this is true because the County's economic health has been robust and, over the years, its residents have supported public services with the resources needed to maintain high standards. More recently, however, anti-tax sentiments, calls for downsizing government, and responding to even broader public support of a continuously expanding list of perceived problems has placed a severe strain on resources. Consequently, the magnitude and characteristics of the community development needs of the County are linked with the allocation of resources and the relationship of those resources to the general economic health of the area. This situation has resulted in adding some non-traditional issues (such as technology training) to the list of traditional issues (such as housing code enforcement) related to community development.
The needs of Montgomery County in the community development arena have a
socio- economic aspect as well as a physical and geographical aspect. In both
instances, the challenges of the future have to do with successfully responding
to changes that have been taking place for several decades: rapid growth,
increased diversity, aging and decline, and shifting employment markets. For
example, since the mid-1980's, Montgomery County has become the State's most
populous jurisdiction and a net importer of employees - the number of people who
find work at jobs in the County is slightly larger than the number that leave
the County daily to find jobs in nearby jurisdictions. This is in contrast to
earlier periods when Montgomery County was a "bedroom community" of
Washington, DC which provided the economic basis for the County's growth,
primarily in the residential and retail/service areas.
Montgomery County has a well-deserved reputation as an attractive, desirable place in which to live, with excellent schools, efficient government services, good parks and recreation facilities, and low unemployment. To a large extent, these assets are the result of significant economic growth over the past 30 years. Currently Montgomery County is the largest suburban employment center in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Employment in the County is split between the private and public sectors on a four to one basis with the most recent job growth in the private sector. The County's population, the largest jurisdiction in the State of Maryland and estimated at nearly 800,000, is generally comfortable and well housed.
In spite of all these positive attributes, the County faces a growing challenge in providing a balanced housing supply for all its residents. The Housing and Market Analysis section of the Consolidated Plan discusses these issues in detail. Highlights of market trends and population characteristics from this section are noted below:
Housing community development needs are identified in the Consolidated Plan. Overall, it was found that a significantly high number of Montgomery County residents are burdened by disproportionately high housing costs. There continues to be a need for all types of affordable housing. For example, of the approximately 24,500 low-income renter households in the County, more than three-quarters pay over 30 percent of their incomes for housing. The housing programs provided through the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) address housing needs as an economic factor. Consequently, HUD requires that the local jurisdiction address the housing needs of the extremely low, low, moderate, and middle income residents. Affordability is defined as a rent level equal to or less than 30 percent of household income or a housing purchase price no more than 2.5 times household income.
Characteristics of Montgomery County's current housing condition are described below:
Housing Supply and Costs:
|HOUSING STOCK INVENTORY AND CONDITION|
|Total Year-Round Housing||295,723||1990 U.S. Census Data|
|Total Occupied Units||282,228||1990 U.S. Census Data||(95.4% of total)|
|Renter Occupied Units|
|1990 U.S. Census Data|
|(32.1% of occupied)|
(21.% of rental occupied)
|Owner Occupied Units|
|1990 U.S. Census Data|
|(67.9% of occupied)|
(1.9% of owner occupied)
Total Vacant Units|
Vacant for Rent
Vacant Needing Rehabilitation
|1990 U.S. Census Data
1990 U.S. Census Data
|(4.6% of total)|
(48.1% of vacant)
(2.6% of rental vacant)
|For Sale Units|
For Sale Needing Rehabilitation
|1990 U.S. Census Data|
The Plan provides an inventory of all units, including those for families, the elderly, or the disabled who receive any form of government assistance that results in below-market rents. More than 17,000 units in the County fall into this category. Emphasis is placed on public housing units, with a discussion of the special services provided to public housing residents, and on the homeless and non-homeless persons with special needs, with inventories of facilities and services for these populations listed in the document.
It is the goal of the County to have affordable housing located throughout the County. As such there are no plans for distribution in terms of particular areas. "County-wide" is the best way to state how investments will be made.
All priorities are based on the identified needs of persons living in the County. There would be no point in assigning priorities if they were not based on analysis of the County's needs. Thus, when rental assistance is needed as a result of the high cost burden on very low income residents, funds (HOME among others) are set aside for this purpose.
As might be expected the largest obstacle to meeting under served needs is a lack of resources. However, it would be overly simplistic to not also acknowledge that there is always the opportunity to better use the resources available through management improvements to increase efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery through appropriate targeting and leveraging of all available resources.
The Priority Needs Summary Table (see page 136-138 of the Consolidated Plan) which is mandated by HUD in a submission of this Consolidated Plan should be reviewed by the reader to get a relative sense of priorities, high, medium or low, within categories. The funding estimated should not be compared among categories. Higher dollar estimates in a given category do not imply a greater funding commitment or higher priority. Staff could find no way to meaningfully estimate dollars to address given needs; nor did the information seem relevant since resources are not limitless. County staff would not have chosen to present priority needs information in this manner had there been a choice nor should the estimates provided be perceived has a commitment to provide funds.
Due to the fact resources are limited all persons with needs cannot be served. Thus, we target those persons with the greatest needs as our highest priority. However, if the opportunity to become involved in a mixed income development presents itself, it is quite possible that we will be able to serve some individuals in the medium and low priorities. This is done with the intention of serving the greater good of the County as a whole. Yet, our focus is definitely concentrated on the following high priority needs.
In the Priority Needs Summary Table (Table 2 - page 136 of the Consolidated Plan), priority homeless needs are all noted as high priorities. While there may be gaps in service, such as a "safe haven" facility for homeless mentally ill men or permanent housing for persons with disabilities or a policy to emphasize homeless prevention that could ultimately reduce the need for emergency shelter facilities for families, assigning relative priorities of medium or low may have the unintended effect of limiting flexibility and funding for a needed facility or service. The strategy outlined is clear in its overall focus on the provision of a continuum of care for homeless services, commitment to the Three-Tier System to address the causes of homeless and the need to emphasize homeless prevention through identification of, and early intervention to assist, those at risk of becoming homeless.
Even though all needs of the homeless or those at-risk-of-becoming homeless are high priorities, not all can be addressed. Money is the major obstacle to addressing priorities. Funds are simply not available in the amounts needed to address all the problems. Other obstacles include the opposition of residents that do not want affordable housing or other facilities or services for the homeless provided in their neighborhoods, laws that set occupancy standards or requirements that restrict the types of housing that can be provided and where that housing can be located as well as legal limitations for getting help for persons, such as those with chronic mental illness, who obviously need the help.
Energy and resources are necessarily focused on addressing any identified gaps in service, along with a commitment to continue and expand needed existing services. Gaps have been identified previously in this report.
In Table 2 estimates of dollars to address needs have been extrapolated from funding information provided in the Emergency Shelter Services 1993 -1994 report. This report noted that local, County, Federal and private funding sources in the amount of $13,864,478 were used to address the needs of homeless persons in Montgomery County in Fiscal Year 1994. A six-fold increase in this amount to target additional assistance to homeless prevention, to maintain services already being provided and to address the most pressing priorities still provides a very conservative estimate, one that does not fully address the need for newly-constructed affordable housing. In acknowledgment of a commitment to move toward the provision of more permanent types of shelter, estimates of dollars needed are less for emergency shelter than for the other forms of housing. The authors welcome additional input into estimating dollars needed.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.
MAP 6 depicts low-moderate income and proposed HUD funded projects for Areas 1 and 2.
MAP 7 depicts Neighborhood Segments and streets with proposed HUD funded projects for Area 2.
PH: (301) 217-3620