HOME Investment Partnerships Program
The Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program was created by the Title II Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (NAHA). HOME is the largest Federal block grant to State and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. HOME provides formula grants to States and localities that communities use often in partnership with local nonprofit groups to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income persons.
Since the start of the program, the City of Tuscaloosa has received funds annually to assist the following agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide affordable housing for low to moderate income families:
- Habitat for Humanity
- Westside Community Development Corporation
- Community Service Programs of West Alabama
- Bernice Washington Hudson Estates
- Tuscaloosa Housing Authority
What is the purpose of HOME?
Each year the HOME program allocates approximately $2 billion among the States and hundreds of localities nationwide. The program was designed to reinforce several important values and principles of community development.
- HOME's flexibility empowers people and communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities.
- HOME's emphasis on consolidated planning expands and strengthens partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector in the development of affordable housing.
- HOME's technical assistance activities and set-aside for qualified community-based nonprofit housing groups builds the capacity of these partners.
- HOME's requirement that participating jurisdictions (PJs) match 25 cents of every dollar in program funds mobilizes community resources in support of affordable housing.
What can HOME funds be used for?
PJs may use HOME funds for a broad range of eligible activities to include the following:
- Provide home purchase or rehabilitation financing assistance to eligible homeowners and new homebuyers;
- Build or rehabilitate housing for rent or ownership;
- "Other reasonable and necessary expenses related to the development of non-luxury housing," including site acquisition or improvement, demolition of dilapidated housing to make way for HOME-assisted development, and payment of relocation expenses; and
- Provide tenant-based rental assistance contracts of up to two years if such activity is consistent with their Consolidated Plan and justified under local market conditions.
How are HOME activities selected?
Each city’s local governing body decides how its HOME funds will be used. In Tuscaloosa the City Council selects the projects and programs to be carried out. Every fall the City holds two public hearings for agencies, groups and individuals to present proposals for HOME funds for the next program year, which begins on April 1 each year and ends on March 31 of the next year. After the public hearings are held, the City Council members and the Mayor are each given a booklet containing a copy of all proposals submitted. The City Council and the Mayor then meet to review the requests and to decide which activities will be funded. Each year the total dollar amount of requests for HOME funds by far exceeds the amount of funds available. The City Council must decide which activities will most benefit the community.
How can I request community development funds?
A proposal for HOME funds can be presented in writing or orally at one of the public hearings. However, a written proposal is the best way to present your request because it provides a written record that the City Council can study. Oral requests are recorded in the minutes of the public hearings and are also given to the City Council. A request can also be submitted to the City’s Office of Federal Programs c/o Heather Hill at any other time and will be considered for the next year’s HOME Program. A written proposal should contain the following information:
- A narrative that clearly explains the project that you are requesting HOME funds for: What is the objective of the project and what will it accomplish? Why is it necessary? Who will benefit from it? How will the project be managed?
- Information about your organization: If you are representing an agency, organization or neighborhood association, and the City Council and Mayor are not familiar with your group, explain the purpose and history of the organization. For instance, does your organization have a board of directors? Is your organization incorporated? Does your organization have a “track record” for undertaking similar projects in the past?
- A budget or a cost estimate: It is important that an amount is requested even if it is a “ballpark” estimate. The City Council allocates exact dollar amounts to specific activities. Most construction projects require the services of an architect or an engineer, and this cost should be included in an estimate for such a project.
- Contact person: Provide the name, address and telephone number for the person who should be contacted concerning the proposal.
For additional information, call the City’s Office of Federal Programs at 205-248-5080 to speak with Heather Hill. She can tell you whether or not a particular activity would be eligible for HOME and can also assist you in developing a request for funding.
P.O. Box 2089
Tuscaloosa, AL 35403
2201 University Blvd.
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.