General executive Summary




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State of Alabama

Third Program Year

Action Plan

Narrative Responses

GENERAL



Executive Summary



The Executive Summary is optional, but encouraged. If you choose to complete it, please provide a brief overview that includes major initiatives and highlights that are proposed during the next year.


Program Year 3 Action Plan Executive Summary:


The State of Alabama’s Year 3 Action Plan is once again a collaboration of two administrative entities – the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and the Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA). Individual Action Plans for CDBG, HOME, ESG, and HOPWA are provided as attachments.


The goal of the State of Alabama Year 3 Action Plan is to provide a guide for administrating and effectively blending federal dollars with local initiatives, both public and private, to address those needs identified in the strategic planning process.


For the Year 3 Action Plan, Community Development Block Grant funding may be used for a variety of purposes including community development needs, community planning, economic development needs through

infrastructure and loan programs, health hazard or other urgent crises management, job creation, housing rehabilitation, and the Black Belt region initiative implemented in 2005.


The HOME Program funds are scheduled to be used for new or rehabilitated multifamily rental housing across the state. HOME tenants will include families, the elderly, and other special needs households. All will be low-income and in need of affordable housing units.


The Emergency Shelter Grant Program was revised by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009. The revisions created the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program. ESG funds will be used to facilitate the needs of Alabama’s homeless population. Eligible activities include street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing, and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS).


Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS funds will be used primarily for direct housing activites that will benefit individuals and households with HIV/AIDS. Additional supportive service activities will be provided through this funding, as well. Supportive service activities are used to assist the tenant in developing skills and accessing resources that are needed to maintain housing stability and avoid homelessness.

Direct housing activities fund the operational costs for existing HIV/AIDS housing and support the cost of rental assistance programs. These programs include Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (TBRA), Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), and Short Term Rent, Mortgage, and Utility Assistance (STRMU). Other eligible activities will include master leasing, housing information, technical assistance, and resource identification. Housing information and technical assistance activies will be used to encourage and strengthen the efforts of local AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) to expand the current stock of HIV/AIDS-specific housing. Resource identification activities will be used to assist in the marketing, planning, and development of affordable housing throughout the state. Identification of mainstream housing resources, as well as connection to those programs, will be delivered through housing information activities. Finally, a small portion of funding for land acquisition and new construction projects will be designated through HOPWA in order to take advantage of opportunities for growth and collaboration, as appropriate.


The State of Alabama’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan (2010-2014) and subsequent Action Plan for Program Years One and Two have received approval from HUD. The Program Year Three Action Plan continues the objectives outlined in the Five-Year Plan. These objectives fall within the general categories of decent housing, suitable living environment, and economic opportunity. In developing the Program Year Three Action Plan, a public hearing was held for the Consolidated Plan to discuss CDBG, ESG, and HOPWA programs and a separate public hearing was held to present the HOME Program. Notices were advertised in the state’s major newspapers, e-mailed to interested parties, and posted on ADECA’s web site. Comments received are detailed in the Plan.


The State of Alabama will be reporting its outcomes for Program Year Two in June 2012. In addition to quantitative outputs, the outcomes will be reported by the general categories of availability/accessibility, affordability, and sustainability. All of these documents will be available for public review by June 30, 2012, on ADECA’s website, www.adeca.alabama.gov. In addition, the State of Alabama will be reporting outcomes in accordance with the March 7, 2006, Federal Register Notice entitled “Notice of Outcome Performance Measurement System for Community Planning and Development Formula Grant Programs”. Reporting will take the form of entering individual grant objectives and outcomes in HUD’s Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS).

Program Contacts:

  • CDBG Program: Shabbir Olia, ADECA, 334-242-5468, shabbir.olia@adeca.alabama.gov

  • HOME Program: Barbara Wallace, AHFA, 334-244-9200, bwallace@ahfa.com

  • ESG Program: Shonda Gray, ADECA, 334-353-0288, shonda.gray@adeca.alabama.gov

  • HOPWA Program: Amanda Shipp, AIDS Alabama, 205-324-9822, amanda@aidsalabama.org

  • Consolidated Plan (General): Ginny Anderson, ADECA, 334-242-5363, ginny.anderson@adeca.alabama.gov




General Questions


1. Describe the geographic areas of the jurisdiction (including areas of low income families and/or racial/minority concentration) in which assistance will be directed during the next year.


  1. Describe the basis for allocating investments geographically within the jurisdiction (or within the EMSA for HOPWA) (91.215(a)(1)) during the next year and the rationale for assigning the priorities.




  1. Describe actions that will take place during the next year to address obstacles to meeting underserved needs.


Program Year 3 Action Plan General Questions response:


According to Encyclopedia of Alabama, the State of Alabama has a land area of 52,423 square miles. Alabama’s neighbor to the north is Tennessee, to the west is Mississippi, to the east is Georgia, and to the south is the state of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Alabama is divided into 67 counties and, according to the Alabama League of Municipalities, 461 incorporated municipalities.


Information from the 2010 Census reveals:

  • Alabama’s population increased by 332,636 from 2000-2010, a 7.5 percent increase.

  • Thirty-one (31) of the State’s 67 counties have lost population during the from the 2000 to the 2010 Census.

  • Alabama’s Hispanic population increased by 144.8 percent from 2000-2010, making it the most rapidly growing segment of the population.

  • The population of African-Americans is increasing, but at a relatively slow pace.

  • There were 1.88 million households in Alabama in 2010, up from 1.74 million households in 2000 for a gain of approximately 140,000.


As reported in the 2010-2014 Five Year Consolidated Plan, information from additional sources (2007 American Community Survey, Sweet Home Alabama, various state agencies, etc.) reveals the following:

  • While a majority of Alabama’s population is classified as “urban”, 50 of its 67 counties remain predominately rural.

  • Sixty percent of all Hispanics in the state live in just 10 counties, seven of which are metropolitian.

  • Approximately 173,000 year-round housing units were added to the state’s housing inventory from 2000-2007.

  • Twelve percent (203,000) of all households in Alabama in 2000 were classified as “low income” and 17 percent (288,000) as “moderate income”.


According to the Center for Business and Economic Research, the University of Alabama, Alabama’s total population is expected to cross the 5 million threshold by 2020.


Because Alabama’s priority needs are broadly distributed throughout the state, the allocating of funds is not generally based on geography. CDBG funds are allocated based on a competitive process. HOME funds will be dispersed throughout Alabama. To ensure that the funds are geographically distributed across the state, preference points will be given to those projects located in the counties of greatest need and to counties which have not had a HOME development in at least three years. ESG’s primary allocation method is based on the review of applications submitted. HOPWA funds are distributed to AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) throughout the State using a needs-based formula which reserves funding for each of Alabama’s sixty-seven counties. This ensures that every eligible HIV-positive person has equal access to HOPWA services. The process of distribution is determined by the number of reported cases of HIV in that area, as well as through a competitive proposal evaluation process. AIDS Alabama evaluates each agency’s goals and outcomes to ensure that they are in accordance with the overall mission of HOPWA and with the Consolidated Plan.


A more detailed description of the allocation of the funds is provided in the Action Plan for each fund.


The primary obstacle to meeting the underserved needs of Alabama’s residents is the sheer volume of need. Using Census data, the counties with highest or lowest occurrences of various needs can be identified. Pockets of multiple needs can also be identified. Yet, what the Census data really identify is that most counties in Alabama share the same problems and that the degree of the problem varies only slightly between the counties with the most needs and those with the least needs.


As reported in the 2010-2014 Five Year Consolidated Plan, with nearly one-sixth (or 16.9 percent) of its population below the poverty level in 2007, Alabama posted the sixth highest poverty rate in the United States. Among the 11 southern states, Alabama had the fifth highest percentage of people living in poverty in that year. The six counties with the largest numbers below poverty (Jefferson, Mobile, Montgomery, Madison, Tuscaloosa, and Lee) accounted for 40.7 percent of the state’s poverty population.


Within the state’s population, the Census Bureau projects a slight drop in the under 18 population from 2010-2030 (i.e., from 23.8 to 22.8 percent of the total population), but a major increase in the 65+ category (from 14.1 percent to 21.3). Indeed, the median age of the Alabama population is projected to rise to 40.3 in 2020.


Also as reported in the 2010-2014 Five Year Consolidated Plan, according to 2008 population estimates, the highest concentration of African-Americans in the state is in the Black Belt region. All 11 counties wherein African-Americans comprised 50.0 percent or more of the total population in 2008 are located in that area. Most members of this group, however, live in the state's metropolitan areas: Jefferson, Mobile, Montgomery, Madison, and Tuscaloosa. Altogether, about two-thirds (or 64.9 percent) of the state's African-Americans resided in just 10 counties, eight of which were metropolitan. Those of Hispanic origin also favor metropolitan, more highly urbanized settings. Although Hispanics can now be found in every Alabama county, 40 percent of the members of this group resided in just five metropolitan counties in 2008: Jefferson, Madison, Marshall, Mobile, and Shelby. Sixty percent of all Hispanics, on the other hand, lived in only 10 counties, seven of which were metropolitan. While Hispanics are now found throughout Alabama, their numbers are lowest in the Black Belt region of the state, along with other highly rural counties.


Managing the Process


  1. Identify the lead agency, entity, and agencies responsible for administering programs covered by the consolidated plan.




  1. Identify the significant aspects of the process by which the plan was developed, and the agencies, groups, organizations, and others who participated in the process.




  1. Describe actions that will take place during the next year to enhance coordination between public and private housing, health, and social service agencies.


Program Year 3 Action Plan Managing the Process response:


The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is the lead agency for the development of the plan. The following agencies administer the programs covered by the Year 3 Action Plan: ADECA administers the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and the Emergency Solutions Grants Program (ESG). ADECA also oversees the Housing Opportunity for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA), which is administered by AIDS Alabama.


The Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) administers the Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME).


Throughout the year, representatives of ADECA, AHFA, and AIDS Alabama have worked together to coordinate development of the plan. In addition, input solicited from the following agencies during the development of the Five-Year Plan continues to impact the direction of the plan:


  • Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence

  • Alabama Department of Environmental Management

  • Alabama Department of Human Resources

  • Alabama Department of Mental Health

  • Alabama Department of Public Health

  • Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services

  • Alabama Department of Senior Services

  • Alabama Department of Transportation

  • Alabama Development Office

  • Alabama Emergency Management Agency

  • Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives


On August 17, 2009, as part of the five year planning process, ADECA distributed a Community Needs Survey to over 700 entities including all chief elected officials in Alabama, regional planning and development commissions, community action agencies, continuum of care groups, non-profit organizations and private grant consultants, as well as professionals in housing and community development. One hundred eighty-four responses were received, a 26 percent response rate. The results of this survey were incorporated into the Five-Year Plan and continue to impact the direction of the Plan.


Citizen Participation


  1. Provide a summary of the citizen participation process.




  1. Provide a summary of citizen comments or views on the plan.




  1. Provide a summary of efforts made to broaden public participation in the development of the consolidated plan, including outreach to minorities and non-English speaking persons, as well as persons with disabilities.




  1. Provide a written explanation of comments not accepted and the reasons why these comments were not accepted.



Program Year 3 Action Plan Citizen Participation response:


The Notice of Public Hearing and Notice of Availability were published in the four major daily newspapers, The Montgomery Advertiser, The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, and The Mobile Register on January 4, 2012. In an effort to broaden public participation, copies of the Notice of Public Hearing and Notice of Availability were e-mailed to chief elected officials, regional planning and development commissions, continuum of care groups, past and present Emergency Shelter Grant program grantees, non-profit organizations and private grant consultants as well as professionals in housing and community development. The Notices were also published on ADECA’s web site at www.adeca.alabama.gov. All notices offered assistance to persons with disabilities or special needs.


Copies of the draft action plans were distributed to all persons attending the public hearing; and, again, in an effort to broaden public participation, the entire Consolidated Plan was published on ADECA’s web site. A hard copy was also made available for review at the ADECA office in Montgomery. The hearing was held on January 18, 2012, in the 7th Floor Auditorium of the Alabama Center for Commerce in Montgomery. A comment period was allowed from January 18, 2012, to February 16, 2012. Individuals were offered the opportunity to comment verbally at the public hearing or in writing via formal correspondence, fax, or e-mail. ADECA’s web site also offered the ability to submit written comments.

COMMENTS REGARDING THE PROPOSED

HOME AND LOW-INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT

2012 STATE QUALIFIED ACTION/ALLOCATION PLANS


Notices of a 30-day public commenting period for the HOME Action Plan and Housing Credit Allocation Plan (Plans) were published in the Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery newspapers. The Alabama Housing Finance Authority (AHFA) emailed more than 400 notices of the draft Plans’ availability to interested parties, requesting that they submit written comments by November 7, 2011, regarding the modifications to the Plans. AHFA received 46 written comments. The following is a recap of the comments received and the staff’s recommended revisions to the Plans based on the comments submitted. Please note that the comments and recommended revisions are in abbreviated form. Review the final revised Plan(s) to view the changes in context.


Application Threshold Requirements (Page 9-10)

Comment: A Wetlands Determination should be added to the scope of the PHASE I perform during the NEPA process. In the event that wetlands are found on a site, there should also be required a Wetlands Delineation that must be sent to and approved by the Army Corps of Engineers. Any wetlands can then be identified and removed from the site.

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