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Department of Economic and Community Development

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Programs and Initiatives Descriptions

Affordable Housing Program (AHP)
History: P.A. 01-7(June Special Session) – The program was effective on July 1, 2001 and provides grants, loans, loan guarantees, deferred loans or any combination thereof for the development and preservation of affordable housing.

Purpose: The Affordable Housing Program (AHP) aka Flex is DECD’s primary housing production program and is frequently referred to as the “flexible” housing program. The program provides quality, affordable housing for Connecticut residents, ppromotes and supports homeownership and mixed income developments, and assists in the revitalization of urban and rural centers.

Source of Funding: General Obligation Bonds

Process: Open application process, eligible applicants can apply for funding at any time of the year. Applicants must complete the DECD/CHFA Consolidated Application.

Eligible Applicants are :

Municipalities
Nonprofit Organizations
Local Housing Authorities
For-Profit Developers
Eligible Uses of Affordable Housing funds are:
Acquisition
Rehabilitation
New Construction
Demolition
Homeownership
Multi-family rental housing
Adaptive re-use of historic structures
Special needs housing
Redevelopment of vacant properties
Infrastructure improvements
Housing for individuals or families with incomes up to 100% of Area Median Income

For More Information Contact:

Karen Santana

Phone: 860-270-8224

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: karen.santana@ct.gov

HOME Investment Partnerships Program – State of Connecticut

History: Program was authorized by the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-625). The HOME program is a federal block grant program that provides funding to states and localities to be used exclusively for affordable housing activities to benefit low-income households. HOME funds are awarded as loans and/or grants to eligible applicants.

Purpose: HOME is the largest federally-funded program administered by the DECD and is designed to create affordable housing for low and moderate-income households. The HOME program is designed to:

Provide quality, affordable housing for Connecticut residents
Strengthen communities
Expand the capacity of non-profit housing development organizations and
Leverage private sector participation
Source of Funding: Federal – subject to annual appropriations.

Process: Open application process, eligible applicants can apply for funding at any time of the year. Applicants must complete DECD/CHFA Consolidated Application.

Eligible Applicants are:

Municipalities
Non-Profit Organizations
Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs)
For-Profit Developers Acquisition
Individuals
Eligible Uses are:

Rehabilitation
New Construction
Demolition
American Dream Downpayment Initiative
Homeownership
Rental Housing
Relocation
Pre-Development Loans
Operating Expenses (CHDOs only) Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) – A CHDO is a private nonprofit, community-based service organization that develops affordable housing for the community it serves.
Homebuyer Education

Housing and Urban Development PART 92–HOME INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIPS PROGRAM DECD highly recommends that you familiarize yourself with the HOME Investment Partnership Program including the applicable Federal regulations. Below, although not exhaustive, is a list of Federal Regulations that are required to be met by Applicants during the development/construction period:

Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Marketing, Handicapped Accessibility Labor, Section 504, Davis-Bacon Act, Labor Standards, Procurement, Relocation, Environmental Requirements, Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, Minority/Women’s Business Enterprise, and Lead-Based Paint Requirements

For More Information Contact:

Helen Muniz

Phone: 860-270-8023

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: helen.muniz@ct.gov

For more information on DECD’s HOME Program:

Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development – The Consolidated Plan (ConPlan) is a five-year plan addressing Connecticut’s housing and community development needs. It provides the framework for a planning process used by states and localities to not only identify housing, homeless, community and economic development needs and resources, but to also tailor a strategic plan for meeting those needs. For grantees it outlines strategies to meet the needs and objectives of the state.
The Annual Action Plan – The Action Plan updates the State’s Consolidated Plan (ConPlan) on a yearly basis. The activities and resources for DECD’s HOME Program for the fiscal year are outlined in the plan.
Local Consolidated Plans

Bridgeport ConPlan
Hartford ConPlan
Meriden ConPlan
Middletown ConPlan
Milford ConPlan
New Britain ConPlan
New Haven ConPlan
Stamford ConPlan
Waterbury ConPlan

The Housing Trust Fund Program

History: The Housing Trust Fund Program was effective on July 1, 2005. The program provides gap financing, grants, loan guarantees, low- and no-interest loans, and funding for the Connecticut Individual Development Account housing program. Additionally, an Advisory Committee advises the Commissioner on the management and objectives of the program, and on the development of regulations, procedures and rating criteria for the program.

Purpose: P.A. 05-5(June Special Session) – The Housing Trust Fund Program is administered by the DECD and is designed to create affordable housing for low and moderate-income households. The funds are awarded as loans and/or grants to eligible sponsors of affordable housing. The program encourages the creation of homeownership housing for low and moderate income families, promotes the rehabilitation, preservation and production of rental housing and the development of housing which aids the revitalization of communities.

Source of Funding: General Obligation Bonds

Process: This program by law is required to be a competitive application process. Within available appropriations, DECD solicits applicants for eligible applicants twice each year. Applicants must complete DECD/CHFA Consolidated Application

Eligible Applicants are:

Municipalities
Nonprofit Organizations
Local Housing Authorities
For-Profit Organizations
CHFA
Eligible Uses are:

Acquisition
Rehabilitation
New Construction
Demolition
Homeownership
Multi-family rental housing
Adaptive re-use of historic structures
Special needs housing
Redevelopment of vacant properties
Infrastructure improvements
Housing for individuals or families with incomes up to 120% of Area Median Income

For More Information Contact:

Ed LaChance

Phone: 860-270-8099

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: edward.lachance@ct.gov

Pre-Development Loan Program

History: P.A. 88-268 – The program provides interest-free loans or deferred loans to eligible applicants for predevelopment costs associated with constructing, rehabilitating or renovating affordable housing for low and moderate-income households.

Purpose: To assist eligible applicants cover predevelopment cost associated with design, development and financing of affordable housing. Loan amounts are limited to $250,000 per project. Loans are provided at 0% interest with repayment due upon permanent financing. The term of the loan varies with the project but averages 18 to 24 months. In the case of homeownership projects, the loans may be pro-rated and repaid upon sale of individual units to low and moderate-income buyers. For projects approved for financing at the State Bond Commission, loan repayment can occur by internal DECD transfer of funds from the project development account.

Source of Funding: General Obligation Bonds

Process: Open application process, eligible applicants can apply for funding at any time of the year. Applicants must complete Predevelopment Application.

Eligible applicants are:

Non-profit Corporations
Housing authorities
Municipal developers
Limited Partnerships, Partnerships, Joint Ventures where at least one member is one of the above
Eligible costs may include:

Land purchase options
Feasibility studies
Planning and design costs
Required insurance
Legal and financial expenses
Costs of permits and approvals
Appraisals
Other preliminary expenses as approved by the Commissioner
Special Provision: The statute contains a special provision allowing forgiveness of the loan obligation in the event that permanent financing cannot be obtained, subject to the developer’s good faith efforts to secure permanent financing. An additional condition of forgiveness is agreement by the developer that any studies, reports, appraisals or other documents supported by the predevelopment funds are proprietary to DECD at the sole discretion of the Commissioner.

For More Information Contact:

Dorothy Malerba

Phone: 860-270-8183

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: dorothy.malerba@ct.gov

Land Bank & Land Trust Program

History: P.A. 87-441 – The program provides eligible applicants with grants, loans and deferred loans for the costs of acquiring land or interest in land and the costs of holding and managing land to be developed as housing for low and moderate-income families.

Purpose: The program is divided into two components: (1) Land Bank – grants, loans or deferred loans to purchase land, which an eligible applicant can “bank” or hold the land for a period of up to two years, and (2) Land Trust – grants, loans and deferred loans for acquisition, holding and managing costs, but land must be developed right away. The land underlying the units must be held in trust.

Source of Funding: General Obligation Bonds

Process: Open application process, eligible applicants can apply for funding at any time of the year. Applicants must complete DECD/CHFA Consolidated Application. The Flexible Housing Program is an important financing tool in our toolbox. With increasingly limited resources, DECD most often is a partial or “gap” financer on projects. The Flexible Housing Program will most likely be used rather than Land Bank & Land Trust Program.

Eligible Applicants are:

Nonprofit Organizations
Limited Equity Cooperatives
Eligible Uses are:

Acquisition of real property for the purpose of providing for existing and future housing needs of very low, low and moderate income families

For More Information Contact:

Fran Messina

Phone: 860-270-8255

Fax: 860-270-8100

Email: frances.messina@ct.gov

Affordable Housing Appeals Listing

History: P.A. 88-230 as amended – In 1989 the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure was created. As a result, DECD promulgated regulations that provide technical assistance to municipalities, developers and owners/tenants of such projects with regard to compliance with the provisions of this statute. DECD is also required to publish the Affordable Housing Appeals List once a year. This list provides the percentage of affordable units in each municipality based on Census figures for total number of housing units in the particular municipality.

Purpose: This law established a series of procedures that developers, municipalities and courts must follow when a developer appeals a decision by a local board or commission related to a proposed affordable housing development. Any developer of housing has a right to appeal to the superior court when a municipality, through its board or commission, rejects an application to develop affordable housing or approves the application with restrictions that would have a substantially adverse impact on the viability of the project. Appeals are made to the Superior Court, by specifically assigned judges and are treated as “privileged cases.”

The Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure requires municipalities with less than 10% affordable housing to demonstrate to the court that a municipality’s rejection of a development proposal is supported by sufficient evidence in the record. Municipalities also have the burden to prove, based upon the evidence in the record compiled before them, that: (a) the decision was necessary to protect substantial public interests in health, safety, or other matters the municipality may legally consider; (b) the public interests clearly outweigh the need for affordable housing; and (c) public interests cannot be protected by reasonable changes to the affordable housing development; or the application which was the subject of the decision from which the appeal was taken, would locate affordable housing in an area which is not assisted housing, as defined in C.G.S. Section 8-30g. If the municipality does not satisfy its burden under C.G.S. Section 8-30g, the court will wholly or partly revise, modify, remand or reverse the decision from which the appeal was taken in a manner consistent with the evidence in the record before it.

Developers cannot use the appeals procedure in municipalities where 10% of total housing units are affordable according to the definition in C.G.S. Section 8-30g.

In developing the Affordable Housing Appeals Procedure List, DECD counts:

Assisted housing units or housing receiving financial assistance under any governmental program for the construction or substantial rehabilitation of low and moderate income housing that was occupied or under construction by the end date of the report period for compilation of a given year’s list;
Rental housing occupied by persons receiving rental assistance under C.G.S. Chapter 138a (State Rental Assistance/RAP) or Section 142f of Title 42 of the U.S. Code (Section 8);
Ownership housing or housing currently financed by the Connecticut Housing
Finance Authority and/or the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and
Deed-restricted properties or properties with deeds containing covenants or restrictions that require such dwelling unit(s) be sold or rented at or below prices that will preserve the unit(s) as affordable housing as defined in C.G.S. Section 8-39a for persons or families whose incomes are less than or equal to 80% of the area median income.
A complete listing of the types of dwellings counted by DECD can be found in

C.G.S. Section 8-30g (k).

Source of Funding: General Fund

Process: The Affordable Housing Appeals Procedure List is published annually on or about February 1. The data for the Affordable Housing Appeals Procedure List comes from different sources including federal, state and local programs. This makes it difficult to ensure complete accuracy, so DECD asks municipalities to provide a local administrative review of and input on the street addresses of units and projects as well as information on deed-restricted units. The responses received by DECD vary widely from each municipality.

2011 Affordable Housing Appeals List2010 Affordable Housing Appeals List2009 Affordable Housing Appeals List2008 Affordable Housing Appeals List2007 Affordable Housing Appeals List2006 Affordable Housing Appeals List
2005 Affordable Housing Appeals List
2004 Affordable Housing Appeals List
2003 Affordable Housing Appeals List
2002 Affordable Housing Appeals List

For More Information Contact:

Michael Santoro

Phone: 860 270-8171

Fax: 860-270-8100

Email: michael.santoro@ct.gov

Congregate Facilities Operating Cost Program
History: P.A. 77-582 created the Congregate Housing for the Elderly program. The program responded to a growing segment of the older population who, because of increasing age, infirmity and other functional limitations, are not able to perform all personal and household functions associated with complete independent living.

Purpose: The program provides grants, interim loans, permanent loans, deferred loans or any combination thereof for the development of congregate housing for frail elderly persons. Additionally, subject to available appropriations, the Commissioner may provide financial assist to offset the cost of congregate services in state-financed congregate housing for frail elderly persons. Congregate services include one main meal a day, housekeeping services, and a 24-hour emergency service to enable semi-independent living in a residential setting.

Source of Funding: General Fund (operating subsidies only)

Process: Based on annual appropriations, any sponsor of state-assisted congregate housing may apply for a congregate services operating subsidy grant to offset the costs of congregate services not paid for by the tenants. All tenants will be required to pay an amount toward congregate services costs, based on their net income after allowances and after they pay minimum rent, in accordance with a formula approved by the Commissioner. Congregate services charges, together with any available congregate subsidy grant or other available income, shall generate sufficient income to meet the costs of the congregate services. The program also provides rental assistance for those tenants who pay no more than 30% of their adjusted gross income toward rent.

For More Information Contact:

Christina Keune

Phone: 860-270-8204

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: christina.keune@ct.gov

Elderly Rental Assistance Program

History: P.A. 97-2 (June Special Session) – The program was effective on July 1, 1997 and created a rental assistance program in state-assisted elderly housing.

Purpose: The Elderly Rental Assistance Program provides rental assistance to low-income elderly persons residing in state-assisted rental housing for the elderly. Such housing must comply with applicable state and local health, housing, building and safety codes. DECD contracts with not-for-profit organizations as well as housing authorities who provide rental subsidies in accordance with an approved contract.

Source of Funding: General Fund

Process: State-assisted elderly housing providers submit to DECD annual budgets and tenant rent rolls to determine the rent and the amount subsidy needed based on the individual needs of the tenants. DECD provides rental assistance if a tenant’s rental charge exceeds 30% of their adjusted gross income.

For More Information Contact:

Ploynapas Thantaha

Phone: 860-270-8181

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: Ploynapas.Thantaha@ct.gov

Assisted Living in Federal Facilities

History: P.A. 01-02 (June Special Session) – In 2001, an aassisted living demonstration program was created for up to four (4) United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Section 202 or Section 236 elderly housing developments.

Purpose: The demonstration program was designed to provide assisted living services to existing tenants in HUD Section 202 or Section 236 housing to preclude premature institutionalization.

Source of Funding: General Fund

Process: The Commissioner established criteria for making disbursements which include, but are not limited to: (1) size of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Section 202 and Section 236 elderly housing developments; (2) geographic locations in which the developments are located; (3) anticipated social and health value to the resident population; (4) each Section 202 and Section 236 housing development’s designation as a managed residential community, as defined in section 19-13-D105 of the regulations of Connecticut state agencies; and (5) the potential community development benefit to the relevant municipality. Such criteria may specify who may apply for grants, the geographic locations determined to be eligible for grants, and the eligible costs for which a grant may be made. Multiple properties with overlapping board membership or ownership may be considered a single applicant.

For More Information Contact:

Christina Keune

Phone: 860-270-8204

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: christina.keune@ct.gov

Incentive Housing Zone Program

History: P.A. 07-04 (June Special Session) – Administered by the Office of Policy and Management. The Act pprovides incentives to municipalities for creating Incentive Housing Zones (IHZ) in eligible locations, such as, near transit facilities, an area of concentrated development or an area that because of existing, planned or proposed infrastructure is suitable for development as an IHZ.

Purpose: A municipality’s zoning commission must establish the IHZ as an overlay zone. A municipality receives the incentives only for Incentive Housing Developments (IHDs) that are developed in a state-approved IHZ. An IHD means a residential or mixed-use development that meets the following criteria – is located within an approved IHZ, is eligible for financial incentive payments, and sets aside lower cost units for a minimum of 20% of the households earning 80% or less of area median income (AMI) for 30 years. A unit is affordable if it costs no more than 30% of a person’s annual income to live there.

The IHZ must be consistent with the State Plan of Conservation and Development and be located in an eligible location, regulations of the IHZ shall permit, as of right, incentive housing development, must comply with minimum allowable density requirements, the minimum as of right density allowed by the IHZ must increase the density allowed by the underlying zone by at least 25%, IHZ requirement is subject to site plan or subdivision procedures, but not subject to special permit or special exception procedures/requirements/standards, IHZ may consist of one or more sub-zones, and IHZ land area may not exceed 10% of the total land area or aggregate area comprised of IHZ and sub-zones in a municipality may not exceed 25%.

Within available appropriations, the Commissioner, in consultation with the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, may make grants to nonprofit housing assistance or nonprofit housing development organizations in order to support predevelopment, development, construction and management of housing developments in IHZ.

Source of Funding: Surplus Fund

Process: The Secretary may make technical assistance grants to municipalities for planning of IHZs, the adoption of IHZ regulations and design standards, and the review and revision, as needed, of applicable subdivision regulations and applications.

For More Information Contact:

Dimple Desai, Office of Policy and Management

Phone: 860 418-6412

Fax: 860 418-6486

Email: dimple.desai@ct.gov

Moderate Rental PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) Program
History: The Moderate Rental Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Program was created by the 1967 Public Act 522.

Purpose: The program allows the Commissioner to enter into a contract with a municipality and the housing authority of the municipality to make payments in lieu of taxes to the municipality on land and improvements owned or leased by the housing authority under the provisions of Part II of Chapter 128 of the Connecticut General Statutes. DECD provides those municipalities with state-assisted Moderate Rental housing operated by a local housing authority an amount equal to the taxes that would be paid on such property were the property not exempt from taxation.

Source of Funding: General Fund

Process: This program is not currently open to new applicants.

For More Information Contact:

Michael Santoro

Phone: 860 270-8171

Fax: 860-270-8100

Email: michael.santoro@ct.gov

Resident Services Coordinator (RSC) Program
History: P. A. 98-263 created the Resident Service Coordinator Program.

Purpose: To assist residents in state-assisted elderly housing developments to maintain an independent living status.

Source of Funding: General Fund

Process: DECD may solicit for new applicants. Once applications are received, DECD makes a determination which applications can be funded within the available appropriation. Based on available appropriations, the Commissioner awards grants to housing authorities, municipal developers and nonprofit corporations operating elderly housing projects pursuant to part VI of chapter 128 of the general statutes based on demonstration of need and availability of matching funds.

Grants are used to: (1) hire resident services coordinators to assist residents of such housing to maintain an independent living status, (2) assess the individual needs of residents of such housing for the purpose of establishing and maintaining support services, (3) maintain regular contact with residents of such housing, (4) monitor the delivery of support services to residents, (5) advocate changes in services sought or required by the residents, and (6) provide mediation and conflict resolution services.

For More Information Contact:

Ploynapas Thantaha

Phone: 860-270-8181

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: Ploynapas.Thantaha@ct.gov

Section 8 New Construction/Substantial Rehabilitation
History: The Program was authorized by Congress in 1974. HUD has not approved any new projects since 1983, but projects approved prior to that time still receive subsidy.

Purpose: Developed by HUD, the Section 8 Program provides rental subsidies for eligible tenants residing in newly constructed, rehabilitated and existing rental and cooperative apartment projects. Section 8 rental subsidies are provided to project owners on behalf of families that are eligible low-income families at the time of their admission by the project owners to the program. Under the Act, “low income families” are defined as those families whose annual incomes do not exceed eighty percent (80%) of the median income for the area in which the project is located, adjusted for family size, as determined by HUD at least annually.

The Section 8 New Construction/Substantial Rehabilitation program through the Department provides project-based federal rental assistance to 21 projects throughout Connecticut in order to assist very low and low income families afford rental housing.

Source of Funding: Federal Appropriation – under this program HUD provides Section 8 project-based assistance to public housing authorities (PHAs) or private owners for up to 20 or 40 years after completion of the construction or substantial rehabilitation of rental housing. Financing for the rehabilitation or new construction of these units was originally provided by the State.

Process: DECD acts as a “traditional” contract administrator to ensure that HUD-subsidized properties are: a) serving eligible families at the correct level of assistance; and b) properly maintained as decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing.

For More Information Contact:

Christina Keune

Phone: 860-270-8204

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: christina.keune@ct.gov

Surplus Property Program

History: Public Act 88-290 – The Public Act gives the Department of Economic and Community Development the right of first refusal when a state agency determines that property is surplus to its needs. The Public Act further authorized the transfer-out of the properties subject to the approval of the municipality, Department of Public Works, Office of Policy and Management and the State Property Review Board.

Purpose: The Surplus Property Program examines excess state land holdings, or interests therein, for use as transitional facilities for the homeless, or for the construction or rehabilitation of housing for families with low and moderate incomes.

Source of Funding: Not Applicable

Process: Eligible developers are solicited for potential interest in the use of surplus state property for housing purposes through an established application and underwriting procedure. Upon approval of an application by DECD, the transfer of the property is approved by required state agencies and subsequently transferred to the developer for affordable housing development.

For More Information Contact:

Jennifer Ponte

Phone: 860-270-8115

Fax: 860-706-5741

Email: jennifer.ponte@ct.gov

Tax Abatement Program

History: The 1967 Public Act 522 created the Tax Abatement Program.

Purpose: The Tax Abatement Program is designed to assist in the financial feasibility of privately owned nonprofit and limited dividend low and moderate-income housing projects by providing reimbursement for taxes abated up to $450 per unit per year for up to 40 years. The abatement of taxes enables the owners to maintain the rents at an affordable level for the tenants by assisting them to pay for their property taxes on the associated rental property.

Source of Funding: General Fund

Process: This program is not currently open to new applicants.

For More Information Contact:

Michael Santoro

Phone: 860 270-8171

Fax: 860-270-8100

Email: michael.santoro@ct.gov