FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2022
City of Charlottesville Notice of Funding Availability for Housing-Related Activities
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - In November 2021, the City Council approved and adopted the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Amendment, of which the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Plan was a part. As part of the implementation process of this new plan, the City is revising its approach towards allocation of funding for affordable housing and homelessness support initiatives.
This Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) will serve to advise the community of the new approach and proposed timeline of upcoming notices of funding for affordable housing-related initiatives. As funding is limited, applications for funding will be made available through a series of competitive Requests for Proposals (RFP), as follows:
The Office of Community Solutions will be issuing the RFPs for each of the above funding opportunities. If you have any questions or if you would like to ensure that you are on a contact list for all upcoming RFPs, please contact the Office of Community Solutions directly by using the media contact information at the bottom of this press release.
Who May Be Eligible to Apply?
Since each program is different, and funding is coming from different sources, each RFP will contain detailed information as to:
• Who may be eligible to apply?
• What projects are eligible to be funded?
• What can the funding be used for?
• When and how long will the funding be available?
• Will there be pre-application meetings?
The City of Charlottesville will be using various application processes to allow organizations to apply for funding for affordable housing-related and homelessness support initiatives. Funding is made available through the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund (CAHF), the Housing Operations and Program Support (HOPS) (formerly known as the Vibrant Communities Fund of which a portion was allocated for affordable housing-related activities), and federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership (HOME) programs. City preference identifies affordable housing initiatives as those that support long-term affordability for households earning up to 60% Average Median Income (AMI).
Descriptions of Funding
Charlottesville Affordable Housing Fund (CAHF):
The CAHF was established in 2007 by the City of Charlottesville to provide a flexible funding mechanism for affordable housing-related projects. In November 2021, the City Council approved and adopted the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Amendment, of which the Charlottesville Affordable Housing Plan was a part. The Charlottesville Affordable Housing Plan specifically addresses the need to develop and preserve affordable housing units in the City.
Housing Operations & Program Support (HOPS) [formerly Vibrant Communities Fund]:
The Housing Operations and Program Support funds were previously awarded within the Vibrant Communities Fund. This funding is to provide funding for housing-related community agency program funding requests focused on affordable housing and homelessness support. The applications are reviewed and scored based on quality of application and level of importance. This process is intended to notify city staff of important development projects that may warrant further consideration by City Council for what would be considered extraordinary consideration of investments. As these projects usually need letters of support for the municipality, this formalizes the ask for such engagement by providing the material details specific to the project for consideration. If Council should decide to commit any funding (General Fund, Loans, CIP or other options), there will be an agreement outlining the terms of the relationship that is different than traditional grant agreements.
CDBG / HOME grant programs:
The federal government, through the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development, determines how much CDBG and HOME funding the City will be allowed to award in grants. These funds are awarded annually on a competitive basis to the following types of organizations: non-profits, Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), for profit developers, government agencies and authorities, economic development, housing or human service agencies, and/or organizations with federal tax- exempt status. The use of the funds is to support activities that benefit low- and moderate-income areas or low- and moderate-income persons. The City Council determines the funding priorities and the award of funds.
Housing Development Project Investments:
This application process will be used for those multi-family affordable housing projects for which developers will be submitting LIHTC applications and may be desiring to ask the City to assist with gap funding. Applications will be used to provide information to City budget staff and City Council for budget decisions. Applications are required to be submitted through this process for any funding requested, however, funding will not be guaranteed.
Conformance with City Plans
The City of Charlottesville has identified various priorities and goals as a tool to improve the key processes for planning, budgeting, and performance management. The priorities and goals are an approach to strategic management that links the City’s mission and vision to the development of strategies intended to achieve specific performance objectives as it relates to affordable housing.
Charlottesville City Council Vision 2025 and the City of Charlottesville Strategic Plan:
The Charlottesville City Council Vision 2025 identifies vision statements for the City, including a vision statement for Quality Housing Opportunities for All. The Strategic Plan contains five high level citywide goals that provide the longer term direction of the City. There are several objectives under each goal which are statements of what the city must do well or barriers that the city must overcome to achieve a specific goal. Goal 1.3 specifically addresses the need to Increase Affordable Housing Options. The Charlottesville City Council Vision 2025 can be found at THIS LINK. The Charlottesville Strategic Plan can be found at THIS LINK.
Consolidated Plan and Action Plan for the City of Charlottesville and the Thomas Jefferson Home Consortium:
This Consolidated Plan serves as the City’s application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program. In addition to the Plan, the City is required to complete a report on an annual basis before funds can be spent. The Annual Action Plan specifies project and program information about how the funds are intended to be used to meet the priority needs identified in the Consolidated Plan. The objectives of the CDBG and HOME programs are to benefit low/moderate income persons, aid in the prevention or elimination of slums/blight, to address urgent community needs, and provide affordable and safe housing. The Consolidated Plan can be found at THIS LINK.
City of Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan:
The Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan provides Guiding Principles, Visions, Goals, and Strategies related to a variety of topics. Connected to the Comprehensive Plan are several functional plans that provide more detailed information about specific topics. These include, but are not limited to, the Affordable Housing Plan (2021) and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (2015). This also includes the forthcoming Climate Action Plan. Also connected to the Comprehensive Plan, and informed by functional plans, there are Small Area Plans and similar documents which lay out a vision for land use, transportation, housing, and more for specific areas in the city. The Comprehensive Plan can be found at THIS LINK.
City of Charlottesville Affordable Housing Plan:
The Affordable Housing Plan contains immediate, short-term, and longer-term recommendations to advance affordable housing. The Plan is ultimately a living document to be used by City staff, housing policy advisors, and elected leadership to guide affordable housing policies and investments over the coming years. The Affordable Housing Plan can be found at THIS LINK.
All applications received for affordable housing-related initiatives or homelessness support must conform to the above respective City Plans.
Director, Office of Community Solutions
City of Charlottesville