Community Development continues its efforts to improve the living conditions of County residents through infrastructure improvements, public services, housing activities, homeless services and economic development.
Seminole County receives Federal and State grant funding through a number of programs funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC).
The following programs are available:
Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is an entitlement grant provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The grant is distributed directly to urban counties based on population, poverty levels, age of housing stock and other information provided by the United States Census. The primary purpose of the CDBG program is to provide services that principally benefit low-income citizens and to develop viable urban communities. The CDBG program National Objectives are:
- To benefit extremely low, low and moderate income persons
- To address slum/blight influences
- To meet an urgent community need
Seminole County's CDBG program meets the national objectives (stated above) and also sets forth goals to improve designated county neighborhoods, by providing for eligible activities such as:
- Capital Improvements
Paving and drainage, sewer & water line improvements, construction of sidewalks, limited park improvements, construction and/or improvements to community facilities
- Affordable Housing Development
Site acquisition and infrastructure
- Housing Rehabilitation/Reconstruction
Extensive home rehabilitation
Demolition of vacant, dilapidated housing structures
- Parks and Recreation
Improvements to designated neighborhood parks
- Public Services
Child care, services for the elderly, abused child care assistance, services for the handicapped, etc.
Economic Development and Associated Administration
The overall goal of the County's program is to stabilize and revitalize low income neighborhoods through capital improvement, housing rehabilitation and public service activities. Citizen participation is encouraged through public hearings and neighborhood meetings whereby current activities are discussed and new proposals and project suggestions are considered for the annual CDBG application.
Community Development Block Grant ARRA Program (CDBG-R)
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009, and includes measures to modernize our nation's infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief, and protect those in greatest need. Seminole County was the recipient of $648,202 in Recovery funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The funding is referred to as CDBG-R.
Most local governments are using this investment to rehabilitate affordable housing and improve key public facilities-stabilizing communities and creating jobs locally. Seventy percent (70%) of the CDBG-R funds must be expended for activities that principally benefit persons of low and moderate income. Projects will be administered by the Seminole County Community Development Office. The CDBG-R regulations provided for extra reporting requirements and Buy American provisions. Subrecipients will be required to report on a quarterly basis during project implementation on projects status, vendors used and jobs created or retained. Reporting began with the quarter ending September 30, 2009.
Buy American provisions require that each sub recipient must ensure that all iron, steel and manufactured goods used in construction, alternation, repair, or maintenance of a public building or public work project assisted with CDBG-R funds under the Recovery Act must be produced in the United States unless the Secretary of HUD finds that: (1) the requirement is inconsistent with public interest; (2) those goods are not reasonably available or produced in sufficient quantity in the U.S.; (3) or the use of the goods will increase the project cost by more than 25 percent.
On June 2, 2009 Seminole County amended its 2008-2009 One-Year Action Plan of the 2005-2009 Consolidated Plan to add $648,202 in CDBG-R as authorized by ARRA. The Board of County Commissioners approved funding for the following activities:
- Castle Brewer Court Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation - $173,000
- Redding Gardens Luminary Infrastructure Rehabilitation - $175,015
- Jamestown Resurfacing Project - $128,367
- Winwood Park Improvement - $60,000
The Castle Brewer Court activity will rehabilitate the existing sanitary sewer system, which is very old and is plagued by extensive root damage and deterioration. The Redding Gardens activity will replace street and exterior building lighting to enhance public safety. Both activities serve public housing complexes, which house only lower income households. The Jamestown resurfacing project will restore a low income community's road systems after the implementation of the sanitary sewer project. This project is being coordinated with a sidewalk improvement program throughout the community. All projects will follow Federal guidelines regarding procurement, labor laws, and the use of American-made products. The Winwood Park activity consists of the rehabilitation of park amenities.
Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG)
The ESG program is authorized under the Homeless Housing Act of 1988. The program authorizes the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to make annual formula grants to States and units of general local government for the rehabilitation or conversion of buildings for use as emergency shelter for the homeless, for the payment of certain operating and social services expenses in connection with emergency shelter for the homeless, and for homeless prevention activities. The County's program is designed to help improve the quality of existing emergency shelters for the homeless by providing certain essential social services to homeless individuals so that these persons have access not only to safe and sanitary shelter, but also to programs to improve their situations. Participation is encouraged and solicited from local agencies directly involved with providing services to the homeless.
The County contracts a portion or all of its ESG funding to one or more agencies for a period of one (1) year.
Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)
The HOME Program is an entitlement grant provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. HOME provides funding to Seminole County to implement local housing strategies designed to increase affordable housing opportunities for lower income persons. Through this program, Seminole County is able to expand the supply of affordable housing, in particular rental housing. The statutory goal of the HOME Program is the preservation, expansion and long-term affordability of housing stock. Seminole County's HOME Program is designed to fulfill its statutory intent. These activities are:
- Rental Housing Development: Rental housing activities under HOME are undertaken by Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs). Eligible activities are site acquisition and rehabilitation of affordable multi-family rental housing.
- Rental Guidelines: The HOME Program provides strict guidelines on the composition of the tenants and on the amount the owner can charge for rent. Resale restrictions are enforced to ensure long-term affordability requirements.
- Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA): The activity is targeted to special needs populations by providing rental assistance similar to the Section 8 certificate program. Households are required to make a monthly contribution and the assistance is limited to two years.
Community Housing Development Organization's (CHDO) Role
A CHDO is a non-profit organization specifically designed for the HOME Program. A minimum of 15% of the total HOME allocation must be reserved for activities for CHDOs. Once funding is awarded, the CHDO will enter into legal agreements with Seminole County specifying HOME rental housing activities to be carried out and requirements such as the number of years that the project must remain affordable, management control, financial and record keeping. CHDO projects are awarded funding on a competitive basis. Public/Private Partnership is encouraged through the use of CHDOs for selected rental housing and rehabilitation activities.
Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was established for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures, short sales and abandonment. Through the purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed, short sale, and abandoned homes and residential properties, the goal of the program is being realized. NSP3 provides grants to all states and selected local governments on a formula basis. Seminole County received $3,995,178 and is implementing two strategies for the use of NSP3, these include property acquisition and rehabilitation for resale to income eligible home buyers and for rental acquisition and rehabilitation to support the need for affordable rental housing stock and special needs housing supported by non-profit organizations.
NSP3 grantees develop their own programs and funding priorities. However, NSP3 grantees must use at least 25 percent of the funds appropriated for the purchase and redevelopment of abandoned, short sale, or foreclosed homes or residential properties that will be used to house individuals or families whose incomes do not exceed 50 percent of the area median income. In addition, all activities funded by NSP3 must benefit low, moderate, and middle income persons whose income does not exceed 120 percent of area median income.
NSP3 funds may be used for activities which include, but are not limited to:
For additional program information see the Neighborhood Stabilization Website and additional documents below.
- Establish financing mechanisms for purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed, short sale, or abandoned homes and residential properties
- Purchase and rehabilitate homes and residential properties abandoned, foreclosed, or short sale
- Establish land banks for foreclosed homes
- Demolish blighted structures
- Redevelop demolished or vacant properties
State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP)
State funds administered through Florida Housing Finance Corporation to assist very low, low, and moderate income homeowners and renters. Provides the following programs for homeowners or potential homeowners; Purchase Assistance and Homeowner Rehabilitation. Provides Rental & Utility Deposit Assistance to
to households in danger of becoming homeless or that are currently homeless as a result of the inability to pay security and/or utility deposits when seeking residence in Seminole County rental housing.
SHIP Forms and Documents:
Immediate Needs Program
The Immediate Needs Program is designed to provide funds in the form of a grant to qualified applicants with necessary immediate repairs and/or alterations to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the household or to affect the immediate livability of the home. The four (4) trades in which assistance can be provided are roofing, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC (heating and cooling systems). Assistance is unavailable within the city limits of Sanford. Effective, Tuesday January 22nd the Seminole County Community Development Office will begin accepting applications for this program. Below is a link to the Immediate Needs Flyer and the application, which includes a checklist, for the Immediate Needs Program.
Immediate Needs Flyer
Immediate Needs Application
Documents and Brochures