Housing Affairs Letter

Change Sought In Proposed HOME Rule

The Council of State Community Development Agencies wants HUD to change its proposed HOME Investment Partnership Program plan to require Community Housing Development Organizations to have paid employee staff with experience rather than using consultants.

HUD proposed this and other reforms to HOME in December. The agency is concerned that CHDOs have relied too much on consultants for development experience, while not improving their own internal capacity to function as developers.

COSCDA officials, in comments submitted to HUD, say the proposed requirement would leave CHDOs unable to meet the demonstrated capacity requirements. The provision, COSCDA says, would end participation of many CHDOs in the HOME program. COSCDA wants HUD to instead allow CHDOs to remain in the program if they can demonstrate they have plans to develop staff capacity, or have financial reasons for not carrying paid development staff.

COSCDA contends that allowing CHDOs to use consultants provides them with flexibility and especially helps CHDOs located in rural communities.

Another leading issue in COSCDA's comments centers on HUD's proposal to convert to rental projects any homebuyer units not sold six months after being rehabilitated or built. COSCDA officials tell us that they want the conversion deadline to be 12 months with provisions for extension requests.--Thomas Harman

Info: www.cdpublications.com/docs/7528

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