Nov. 14, 2012
Baton Rouge - The State of Louisiana is accepting public comments on an action plan amendment that will update the definition of affordable rent, clarify long-term affordability, revise the estimated units served and change a reporting category in the state's Neighborhood Stabilization Program 3.
The NSP3 is funded by Community Development Block Grant money received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to further develop communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities principally for persons of low to moderate income in accordance with federal statutory requirements.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, 55 percent of the housing in New Orleans consisted of rental units owned and operated by small-scale landlords. After the storm, many of these owners lacked sufficient funds to rebuild their properties, causing an affordable rental housing shortage.
The state's NSP3 program was created to work in tandem with the state's Small Rental Property Program to help rebuild properties of up to four rental units, and address the housing needs of low to moderate income individuals in the most heavily storm-damaged areas.
NSP3 provides gap financing in the form of forgivable loans to property owners who restore their damaged units and offer them at affordable rents to income-eligible tenants. Prospective income-eligible tenants must earn between 50 and 80 percent of the area median income.
Through APA NSP3, the state intends to:
- Define "affordable rent" as the maximum allowable rent delineated in the Small Rental Property Program, established annually for households meeting the income criteria;
- Clarify the "long-term affordability" period for rehabilitated units as five years if the NSP investment is $15,000 or less per unit; 10 years with $15,000 - $40,000 NSP investment per unit; and 15 years with more than $40,000 NSP investment per unit. For new construction rental housing, the affordability period will be 20 years;
- Revise the number of demolished units to 13 units (previously estimated at 10); and revise the number of units available for individuals earning no more than 50 percent AMI to 33 units (previously estimated at 48); and
- Update a reporting category to allow for the redevelopment of demolished or vacant properties.
Action Plan Amendment NSP3 can be accessed online at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/DR/plans/NSP3-APA_PUBCOMM.pdf.
The formal public comment period for the plan begins today, Nov. 14, 2012 and runs until Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. After accepting public comments, the state will submit the plan to the HUD for final federal approval.
Citizens, community leaders and elected officials can access the plans and submit comments online by visiting http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dractionplans.htm and opening "Substantial Amendment to the 2011 Annual Action Plan of the 2010-2014 Louisiana Consolidated Plan". A copy of the plans can be requested by calling (225) 763-8700.
Members of the public can submit comments several ways:
- Using the online form at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/cdbg/dractionplans.htm;
- Emailing them to email@example.com;
- Mailing them to Disaster Recovery Unit, P.O. Box 94095, 70804-9095, Attn: Ted Guillot; or
- Faxing them to the attention of Ted Guillot at (225) 763-3985.
The primary goal of the Office of Community Development is to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Louisiana. OCD consists of three sections: the Community Development Block Grant Program; the Local Government Assistance Program and the Disaster Recovery Unit. All work together to achieve this goal.