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NOTICES

DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Summary Notice of the Availability of the Draft 2019—2023 Consolidated Plan and 2019 Annual Action Plan; Public Hearing

[49 Pa.B. 2356]
[Saturday, May 11, 2019]

 The Department of Community and Economic Development (Department) announces the availability of the Commonwealth's draft Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2019—2023 and the FFY 2019 Annual Action Plan. The Consolidated Plan is a document submitted to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Consolidated Plan is a plan identifying the needs of the nonentitlement areas of the State for the next 5-year period. The Annual Action Plan is also submitted to HUD as the annual application for Federal funds administered by the Commonwealth. The HUD funding programs covered by the Plan and administered by the Department are the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) programs, Community Development Block Grant—Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). Also covered by the Plan is the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program which the Department of Health administers and the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) which is administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency.

 This summary is designed to provide an opportunity for citizens, local governmental officials and interested organizations in this Commonwealth to comment about the Plans prior to its submission to HUD. Comments may be electronically submitted to the Department by e-mail to RA-DCEDcdbghomequestions@pa.gov. Written comments should be submitted to Megan L. Snyder, Center for Community and Housing Development, Department of Community and Economic Development, 400 North Street, 4th Floor, Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225. Electronic and written comments must be received by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2019, to be included as testimony in the Plan.

Purpose of the Consolidated Plan

 The Consolidated Plan contains a Needs Assessment and Market Analysis for the Commonwealth in the areas of housing, homelessness, community and economic development. From this information a Strategic Plan including goals and objectives has been developed and outlined in the Consolidated Plan determining the use of the Federal funding for fiscal years 2019—2023. The Consolidated Plan has a major impact on the type, location and number of affordable housing units generated and preserved in this Commonwealth. Also, the Consolidated Plan aides in planning for the use of funding for the homeless and those residents with AIDS to find permanent housing and stability. The Consolidated Plan identifies resources for improvement or creation of infrastructure, public facilities, services, and other economic and community development initiatives in communities in this Commonwealth that are essential for growth over the next 5 years.

 The goals developed for the 2019—2023 programs are:

I. Affordable Housing

 Improve access to the full spectrum of quality affordable housing for Pennsylvanians.

 a. Increase the supply of affordable housing opportunities through development of new housing units for rental or homeownership opportunities and preserve the long-term affordability of homes through rehabilitation of existing vacant or owner-occupied units.

 b. Provide direct housing assistance to assist potential buyers to purchase a home, rapidly house those who are homeless or prevent or divert homelessness.

 c. Provide housing services and supports in the form of counseling—homebuyer or rental and case management services to ensure persons are and remain stably housed.

II. Community Stabilization

 Prevent and arrest the decline of Pennsylvania neighborhoods and promote revitalization.

 a. Support targeted code enforcement.

 b. Demolish vacant, blighted buildings.

 c. Cleanup of contaminated properties.

 d. Support strategic acquisition and disposition activities.

III. Public Facility and Infrastructure

 Acquisition, construction, installation, rehabilitation, or improvement of facilities to support safe, sustainable, resilient communities.

 a. Water, sewer, or storm systems.

 b. Park, recreation, youth, or senior facilities.

 c. Streets and sidewalk improvements.

 d. Health and safety facilities.

 e. Increase access to broadband infrastructure.

IV. Public Services

 Provide public services to ensure all Pennsylvanians have access to opportunities to improve their quality of life (non-homeless).

V. Economic Development

 Develop opportunities to improve the economic environment by creating or retaining business and employment opportunities for low income and diverse Pennsylvanians.

 a. Create and retain jobs.

 b. Create and expand businesses.

VI. Community Planning and Capacity Building

 Encourage local and regional planning activity to facilitate understanding of current housing, community development, and resiliency needs and develop a plan for their sustainable future.

 a. Provide training and technical assistance to communities to build their capacity to address housing and community development needs.

 b. Assist communities to identify achievable goals to further community needs.

 c. Align community goals with funding opportunities to meet those goals.

Purpose of the Action Plan

 The Annual Action Plan takes the strategy developed in the Consolidated Plan and applies it to the administration of the CDBG, HOME, ESG, CDBG-DR, NSP, HOPWA and HTF programs for 2019. HUD must approve the Plan for this Commonwealth to receive funding under the identified HUD programs.

Allocations for 2019

CDBG $39,785,393
HOME $18,661,120
ESG $5,769,743
HOPWA $3,546,141
HTF $6,879,626

Content

 The 2019 Annual Action Plan will include the Methods of Distribution for all Federal programs, as well as the anticipated outcomes expected during the 2019 calendar year. Besides the Department's web site, http://dced.pa.gov, the approved plan will be able to be viewed on HUD's web site at https://www.hudexchange.info/consolidated-plan/con-plans-aaps-capers/.

Major Changes in the Method of Distribution for 2019 by Program

CDBG

Entitlement

 a. Recaptured funds will be allocated with the next round of competitive awards per grant-based accounting requirements that meet the competitive program criteria.

 b. If the State's CDBG allocation is not sufficient to meet the base amount for any class of municipality, the allocation for that class will be divided equally between the entitlements.

Competitive

 a. The priorities:

 1. Water and sewer projects that impact health and safety of residents.

 2. Impactful neighborhood streetscapes.

 3. Slum and blight removal for community revitalization.

 4. Resiliency projects.

 Further information on these priorities can be found in the 2019 Annual Action Plan—Methods of Distribution or the Application Kit for the Competitive Program.

 b. Minimum threshold amount of $100,000 and no maximum amount may be requested.

CDBG-DR—Should funding become available, the Department will follow the required procedures for undertaking amendments as per Disaster Recovery Program regulations.

HOME

 a. Remove the set-aside for the Weatherization Deferral Assistance. This activity can be requested in the normal competitive process.

 b. The Existing Owner-Occupied Housing Rehabilitation activity will target projects that provide accessibility renovations or partner with Weatherization programs, or both, to address their deferral clients.

 c. HOME participating jurisdictions (PJ), other than the State, must commit their own HOME funds to the same project being requested for, in addition to other local funding.

 d. All projects, including Community Housing Development Organization and other HOME PJs, must be consistent not only with the State's Consolidated Plan but also their own Consolidated Plan, if applicable.

ESG

 a. Applicants must show they have the capacity to meet all program requirements for the activities they apply for.

 b. Expenditure rates: 25% of the funding must be expended within the first 5 months of the grant. 75% of the grant must be expended within 13 months of the grant and 100% expended by the end of the 18-month contract period.

 c. Minimum grant amount that can be applied for is $35,000.

 d. Emergency shelter operations requests may only be for 20% of the total shelter operations budget.

HOPWA—No Changes

Housing Trust Fund—No Changes

Public Review

 The 2019 Annual Action Plan is available on the Internet or in hard copy for public comment from May 11, 2019, through June 12, 2019. CD copies of the 2019 Annual Action Plan can be obtained by calling (717) 720-7404.

Written Comments

 Comments may be electronically submitted to the Department by e-mail to RA-DCEDcdbghomequestions@pa.gov. Written comments should be submitted to Megan L. Snyder, Center for Community and Housing Development, Department of Community and Economic Development, 400 North Street, 4th Floor, Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225. Written comments must be received by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2019, to be included as testimony in the Annual Action Plan.

Public Hearing

 The public hearing for the 2019—2023 Consolidated Plan and 2019 Annual Action Plan will be conducted electronically, by means of the Internet/conference call on Thursday, May 30, 2019. The public hearing by means of the Internet/conference call will be held at 1 p.m. and will last as long as there are comments to be received. This more widely available computer access/conference call will replace the onsite public hearing. The format will be more accessible than an in-person meeting because those who wish to make comment or discuss policy may participate directly from their electronic device, telephone or from a computer located at their public library. Interested parties may also attend the public hearing in person at the Department of Community and Economic Development, 400 North Street, 4th Floor, Commonwealth Keystone Building, Harrisburg, PA.

 Any individual or organization may give testimony or comments by means of the Internet. Comments will be accepted on the content of the Commonwealth's draft Consolidated Plan or 2019 Annual Action Plan, or both, for FFY 2019 including the various changes to the method of distribution already previously outlined, and the process by which the public input is gathered. The Commonwealth encourages public participation in this process.

 Individuals who wish to participate must register in advance. Contact Megan L. Snyder at (717) 720-7404 to receive registration instructions for the Internet meeting at least 24 hours prior to the meeting date. During the hearing, if support is required, call (717) 787-5327. The hearing will be shortened if there is no one to testify or there is minimal response.

 Persons with a disability or limited English proficiency who wish to participate in the public hearing should contact Megan L. Snyder, Department of Community and Economic Development, Commonwealth Keystone Building, 400 North Street, 4th Floor, Harrisburg, PA 17120-0225 or at (717) 720-7404 or TDD at (717) 346-0308 to discuss how the Department can accommodate their needs.

DENNIS M. DAVIN, 
Secretary

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 19-695. Filed for public inspection May 10, 2019, 9:00 a.m.]



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