The City of Orlando uses citizen input and local service agency guidance to develop and implement programs and projects designed to assist low- and moderate-income households and revitalize distressed neighborhoods. Community Development activities are primarily funded through programs administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to include:
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
- HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
- Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
- Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)
Another source of funding is the State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP).
Activities and projects must meet HUD eligibility and regulatory requirements, as well as address needs identified by the community, before they can be implemented. A citizen participation process helps determine community development needs. As part of this process, the City solicits public input in the preparation of the Annual Action Plan, which describes specific activities that the City will undertake to address community needs and meet the goals established in the City’s Consolidated Plan. The CAPER report provides annual information on the City’s accomplishments and progress toward meeting the community’s needs and HUD regulatory requirements.
Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG)
The CDBG Program is a formula-based, entitlement grant provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The primary purpose of the CDBG program is to develop viable urban communities and provide services to principally low-income citizens and their neighborhoods.
The City of Orlando’s CDBG program is used to conduct eligible activities such as public services, housing counseling and rehabilitation and public facilities acquisition and improvements. The City solicits a request in February of each year for applications for CDBG funds from community organizations seeking to partner with the City in the delivery of services that meet community needs.
HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME)
The HOME Program is a formula-based entitlement grant provided by HUD to implement local housing strategies to increase affordable housing opportunities. The goal of the HOME Program is the preservation, expansion and long-term affordability of housing stock. Through this program, the City of Orlando is able to implement activities such as rental housing rehabilitation, first-time home buyer assistance, single-family, owner-occupied housing improvements and housing activities undertaken by Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs).
Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
The City of Orlando administers the HOPWA program as the Formula Grantee for the Orlando Eligible Metropolitan Statistical Area (EMSA), which encompasses Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole Counties. HOPWA funds may be used for a wide range of housing, social services, program planning and development costs. These include, but are not limited to, the acquisition, rehabilitation or new construction of housing units; costs for facility operations; rental assistance; and short-term payments to prevent homelessness. HOPWA funds may also be used for health care and mental health services, chemical dependency treatment, nutritional services, case management, assistance with daily living and other supportive services.
Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)
The ESG program is authorized under the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. HUD makes this program available to local governments for the rehabilitation of homeless shelters, and for payment of certain operating and social service expenses in connection with homeless shelters. In addition, homeless prevention and rapid-re-housing programs for persons at risk of homelessness are also eligible for funding.
State Housing Initiatives Partnership Program (SHIP)
The SHIP Program provides funds to local governments as an incentive to create partnerships that produce and preserve affordable home ownership and multifamily housing to serve households earning up to 120% of the area median income (very low-, low-, and moderate-income families). Through this program, the City is able to implement activities such as first-time home buyer assistance, and single-family, owner-occupied housing improvements. The City’s Local Housing Assistance Plan (LHAP) sets forth the City’s strategies and criteria for administering the SHIP Program. Twenty percent (20%) of the yearly SHIP allocation will go toward households with special needs.