Proposed 2019 CDBG ESG HOME Action Plan

 

Executive Summary

 

AP-05 Executive Summary - 24 CFR 91.200(c), 91.220(b)

  1. Introduction

     

    This section will summarize the objectives and outcomes identified in the City of Reading's 2019 Annual Action Plan. It will also summarize the citizen participation and consultation process used to develop the plan.

     

  2. Summarize the objectives and outcomes identified in the Plan

     

    This could be a restatement of items or a table listed elsewhere in the plan or a reference to another location. It may also contain any essential items from the housing and homeless needs assessment, the housing market analysis or the strategic plan.

     

    The City of Reading, Pennsylvania has prepared the 2019 Action Plan in order to strategically implement federal programs that fund housing, community development, and economic development activities within the City. The 2019 Action Plan is the first action plan of the City of Reading’s 2019 to 2023 Consolidated Plan. The City and the County have undertaken an effort to increase cooperation between the two community development offices due to the need to have more efficiency in implementing the various HUD and non-HUD funded programs. This cooperation enables the sharing of administrative duties, pooling of resources and joint decision-making. Through a collaborative planning process involving a broad range of public and private agencies, the County and the City have developed a City/County ESG and a City/County HOME funding application.

     

    The federal funds made available to the City through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) programs will be used to address the needs outlined in the Strategic Plan.

     

    The three overarching objectives guiding the proposed activities are to: Provide Decent Affordable Housing

    Create Suitable Living Environments Create Economic Opportunities

    Outcomes show how programs and activities benefit a community or the individuals served. The three outcomes that will illustrate the benefits of each activity are:

     

    Improving Availability/Accessibility Improving Affordability

    Improving Sustainability

     

    All activities support at least one objective and one outcome. The framework for realizing the objectives and outcomes include the following goals:

     

    Providing decent, affordable housing Increasing homeownership

    Providing a suitable living environment Expanding economic opportunities

    Supporting County-wide efforts to end homelessness

     

  3. Evaluation of past performance

     

    This is an evaluation of past performance that helped lead the grantee to choose its goals or projects.

     

    The City has undertaken CDBG, ESG and HOME funded projects that have taken much longer to complete than expected. The City's goal is to select projects that it believes can be completed within a reasonable time

     

  4. Summary of Citizen Participation Process and consultation process

     

    Summary from citizen participation section of plan.

     

    Summary from citizen participation section of plan.

     

    The Citizen Participation Process for the Annual Action Plan included multiple steps. Notification: The Needs Hearing Announcement was published in the Reading Eagle newspaper.

    Public Hearings: The City held three public hearings to obtain citizens views and to respond to proposals and questions. These hearings were held at different stages of the program planning process.

    First and Second Public Hearings: The purpose of these hearings were to obtain the views of citizens and organizations regarding overall community development and housing needs. Since it also includes specific needs for the Annual Plan, discussion of CDBG, ESG, and HOME activities were encouraged.

    Information on the estimated amount of funding that will benefit persons of low and moderate income and a review program performance in the past year were incorporated. The first hearing was held with non-profit agencies on May 10, 2018. The second Needs Hearing was held on August 23, 2018.

     

    Third Public Hearing: A hearing was held on October 9, 2018. The purpose of this hearing was to provide citizens an opportunity to comment on the proposed 2019 Action Plan. A summary of the Plan and proposed activities was published. The notice appeared in the non-legal section of papers of the Reading Eagle on September 25, 2018 prior to the adoption of the Plan, and provided locations at which the Plan was made available for public review. This hearing was conducted by the City of Reading Community Development Department.

     

    Acceptance of Written Comments, Proposals, or Recommendations: All Citizens and Organizations within the City were provided with an opportunity to submit comments, proposals, or recommendations on the Plan for 2019. During the program year, any written statements received will receive a written response no later than fifteen (15) working days from the date of receipt, setting forth the action taken or to be taken with respect to the comment, proposal, or recommendation. Written statements that are intended to suggest modifications to the application can only be considered if they are received by the end of the thirty (30) day review period.

     

  5. Summary of public comments

     

    This could be a brief narrative summary or reference an attached document from the Citizen Participation section of the Con Plan.

     

    See the attached hearing minutes.

     

  6. Summary of comments or views not accepted and the reasons for not accepting them

     

    NA - The City considered all comments and views in preparing the plan.

     

  7. Summary

 

The City of Reading developed its 2019 Annual Action Plan's main objectives through a process of citizen participation and consultation.

The Action Plan has been developed using an estimate of the amount of 2019 CDBG, ESG, and HOME entitlement funding that the City plans to receive from HUD. Funding amount revisions will be made to the activities in the Action Plan should the exact amount of funding awarded by HUD differ from the estimate. The activities with the highest funding amounts are the highest priority activities. Those priorities will remain the same irrespective of the amount of funding received from HUD. An activity funding amount revision will be based on the priorities and each entitlement program’s funding caps. The City will adhere to the Citizen Participation Plan amendment requirements if an activity will be added to or cancelled from the Action Plan.

 

In addition, the City may de-obligate CDBG and HOME funds from previous year Action Plan activities that are not underway in order to fund 2019 activities until HUD makes the 2019 entitlement funding available.

 

Annual Action Plan 4

2019

 

PR-05 Lead & Responsible Agencies – 91.200(b)

1. Agency/entity responsible for preparing/administering the Consolidated Plan

 

Describe the agency/entity responsible for preparing the Consolidated Plan and those responsible for administration of each grant program and funding source.

 

Agency Role

 

Name

Department/Agency

Lead Agency

 

READING

 

CDBG Administrator

   

Community Development Department

HOPWA Administrator

     

HOME Administrator

   

Community Development Department

ESG Administrator

   

Community Development Department

HOPWA-C Administrator

     

Table 1 – Responsible Agencies

 

Narrative (optional)

 

Consolidated Plan Public Contact Information

 

Alejandro Palacios

 

Community Development Director City Hall

815 Washington Street

 

Reading PA 19601

Annual Action Plan 5

2019

AP-10 Consultation – 91.100, 91.200(b), 91.215(l)

  1. Introduction

     

    This section will prvide a summary of the City of Reading's consultation with several agencies, including the City of Reading/County of Berks Continuum of Care.

     

    Provide a concise summary of the jurisdiction’s activities to enhance coordination between public and assisted housing providers and private and governmental health, mental health and service agencies (91.215(l))

     

    The City of Reading and its subrecipient agencies coordinate with public and assisted housing providers, health, and mental health service agencies when appropriate in order to provide optimum assistance to citizens in need of housing and other services that are funded through HUD programs.

     

    The City has opportunities for regular dialogue with a wide range of community groups. These groups have regular access to representatives of the City. The City’s participation in the HUD programs are widely and regularly advertised and discussed in public forums. Many local organizations participate in the funding programs as subrecipients or through the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness and similar organizations. These forums provide additional opportunity to learn about the federal funding programs.

     

    Describe coordination with the Continuum of Care and efforts to address the needs of homeless persons (particularly chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans, and unaccompanied youth) and persons at risk of homelessness.

     

    The CoC that serves the County of Berks and the City of Reading is consulted annually regarding how to allocate ESG funds. Each year, applications are received and reviewed by Community Development Staff for eligibility, then sent to the CoC to evaluate and make recommendations for funding. This is done in a committee, which is exclusively made up of members of the CoC who are not applying for ESG funding, but are active members of the CoC.

     

    Performance standards were developed in consultation with our CoC in 2012, with the implementation of the HEARTH Act. Leadership from the CoC met with City Community Development staff to outline performance standards based on those already used. These performance standards were then taken back to CoC membership for review and comment.

    Procedures for the operation and administration of HMIS were also developed in consultation with the CoC back in 2012 with the implementation of the HEARTH Act. In order to develop procedures for the operation and administration of HMIS, the City and its Continuum of Care leadership reviewed procedures for operation and administration of HMIS that existed at the time and made changes where necessary.

     

    Describe consultation with the Continuum(s) of Care that serves the jurisdiction's area in determining how to allocate ESG funds, develop performance standards for and evaluate outcomes of projects and activities assisted by ESG funds, and develop funding, policies and procedures for the operation and administration of HMIS

     

    The CoC that serves the County of Berks and the City of Reading is consulted annually regarding how to allocate ESG funds. Each year, applications are received and reviewed by Community Development Staff for eligibility, then sent to the CoC to evaluate and make recommendations for funding. This is done in a committee, which is exclusively made up of members of the CoC who are not applying for ESG funding, but are active members of the CoC.

     

    Performance standards were developed in consultation with our CoC in 2012, with the implementation of the HEARTH Act. Leadership from the CoC met with City Community Development staff to outline performance standards based on those already used. These performance standards were then taken back to CoC membership for review and comment.

     

    Procedures for the operation and administration of HMIS were also developed in consultation with the CoC back in 2012 with the implementation of the HEARTH Act. In order to develop such procedures, the City and its Continuum of Care leadership reviewed the operation and administration of HMIS that existed at the time and made changes where necessary. Each subrecipient agency is required to participate in HMIS accept where prohibited.

     

  2. Describe Agencies, groups, organizations and others who participated in the process and describe the jurisdiction’s consultations with housing, social service agencies and other entities

     

    Annual Action Plan 7

    2019

    Table 2 – Agencies, groups, organizations who participated

    1

    Agency/Group/Organization

    Berks Coalition to End Homelessnes

     

    Agency/Group/Organization Type

    Services-homeless

     

    What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation?

    Homeless Needs - Chronically homeless Homeless Needs - Families with children Homelessness Needs - Veterans Homelessness Needs - Unaccompanied youth Homelessness Strategy

    Anti-poverty Strategy

     

    Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination?

    The Berks Coalition to End Homelessness, our City/County CoC was consulted on all sections pertaining to homeless needs and strategies for providing shelter, essential services, street outreach, re-housing, and homelessness prevention. They were also consulted in order to develop an anti-poverty strategy.

     

    Identify any Agency Types not consulted and provide rationale for not consulting

     

    The City has made an effort to consult the public and all types of agencies by providing the opportunity for comment and input and making a draft of the plan available for review and comments.

     

    Other local/regional/state/federal planning efforts considered when preparing the Plan

     

    Name of Plan

    Lead Organization

    How do the goals of your Strategic Plan overlap with the goals of each plan?

    Continuum of Care

    Berks Coalition to End Homelessness

    The goals of the City of Reading's 2019 Action Plan overlap's with the CoC's strategic plan.

    Table 3 – Other local / regional / federal planning efforts

     

    Narrative (optional)

     

    AP-12 Participation – 91.105, 91.200(c)

    1. Summary of citizen participation process/Efforts made to broaden citizen participation Summarize citizen participation process and how it impacted goal-setting

 

The City of Reading's citizen participation process included three public hearings, two were held prior to creating the Action Plan and one held after the Action Plan was drafted. The City made the Action Plan available to citizens for more than 30 days so that citizens could review the proposed Action Plan and provide comments to the City through the Community Development Department. Citizen comments were considered in preparing the final version of the Action Plan.

 

Citizen Participation Outreach

 

Sort Order

Mode of Outreach

Target of Outreach

Summary of response/attendance

Summary of comments received

Summary of comments not accepted

and reasons

URL (If

applicable)

             

Table 4 – Citizen Participation Outreach

 

Expected Resources

 

AP-15 Expected Resources – 91.220(c)(1,2)

Introduction

 

Anticipated Resources

 

Program

Source of Funds

Uses of Funds

Expected Amount Available Year 1

Expected Amount Available Remainder of ConPlan

$

Narrative Description

Annual Allocation:

$

Program Income: $

Prior Year Resources:

$

Total:

$

CDBG

public - federal

Acquisition

Admin and Planning Economic Development Housing

Public Improvements Public Services

 

2,604,014

 

82,279

 

0

 

2,686,293

 

0

 

 

Program

Source of

Uses of Funds

Exp

ected Amoun

t Available Year 1

Expected

Narrative

 

Funds

 

Annual Allocation:

$

Program Income: $

Prior Year Resources:

$

Total:

$

Amount Available Remainder of ConPlan

$

Description

HOME

public - federal

Acquisition Homebuyer assistance Homeowner rehab Multifamily rental new construction

Multifamily rental rehab New construction for ownership

TBRA

 

1,027,240

 

77,415

 

0

 

1,104,655

 

0

 

ESG

public - federal

Conversion and rehab for transitional housing Financial Assistance Overnight shelter

Rapid re-housing (rental assistance)

Rental Assistance Services Transitional housing

 

217,051

 

0

 

0

 

217,051

 

0

 

Table 5 - Expected Resources – Priority Table

 

Explain how federal funds will leverage those additional resources (private, state and local funds), including a description of how matching requirements will be satisfied

 

CDBG - The CDBG funding does not require a match. Some of the park and playground projects are also funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Code Enforcement and Community Policing activities will also be funded by the City's General Fund. Some of the Commercial and Residential Facade Programs require the applicant to inject private matching funds into their projects.

 

ESG - The match will be provided mostly with private funds raised by agencies providing the match.

 

HOME - In PY2019 the City of Reading anticipates receiving a 100% reduction of the matching contribution requirement.

 

Annual Action Plan 13

2019

If appropriate, describe publically owned land or property located within the jurisdiction that may be used to address the needs identified in the plan

 

The parks and playgrounds are owned by the City of Reading. Those public facilities will be used to provide public services (youth services).

 

Discussion

 

The City proposes to adopt its Action Plan for Federal Fiscal Year 2019. For FFY2019, the City anticipates receiving approximately $2,604,014 from the CDBG Program, $82,279 in CDBG Program income,

$1,027,240 from the HOME Program, $77,415 in HOME Program income, $217,051 from the ESG Program. In addition, Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Reading expects to receive $20,000 in CDBG Program Income from their Homeownership Program Revolving Loan Fund. NHS anticipates issuing 1 loan with the CDBG Program Income funding that they receive.

 

Annual Action Plan 14

2019

Annual Goals and Objectives

AP-20 Annual Goals and Objectives

Goals Summary Information

 

Sort Order

Goal Name

Start Year

End Year

Category

Geographic Area

Needs Addressed

Funding

Goal Outcome Indicator

1

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activity

2019

2023

Non-Housing Community Development

City of Reading

- Citywide

Public Facilities and Improvements

CDBG:

$672,665

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit: 145000 Persons Assisted

2

Demolition

2019

2023

Demolition of Deteriorated Buildings

City of Reading

- Citywide

Demolition

CDBG:

$450,000

Buildings Demolished: 8 Buildings

3

Code Enforcement

2019

2023

Code Enforcement

CDBG Codes Enforcement Area

Code Enforcement

CDBG:

$400,000

Other: 8786 Other

4

Commercial Facade Improvement

2019

2023

Non-Housing Community Development

City of Reading

- Citywide

 

CDBG:

$50,000

Facade treatment/business building rehabilitation: 2 Business

5

Microenterprsie Technical Assistance

2019

2023

Non-Housing Community Development

City of Reading

- Citywide

Microenterprise Technical Assistance

CDBG:

$18,000

Businesses assisted: 8 Businesses Assisted

 

Sort Order

Goal Name

Start Year

End Year

Category

Geographic Area

Needs Addressed

Funding

Goal Outcome Indicator

6

Housing rehabilitation

2019

2023

Affordable Housing

City of Reading

- Citywide

Housing Rehabilitation

CDBG:

$145,000

HOME:

$381,931

Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated: 33 Household Housing Unit

7

Public Services

2019

2023

Affordable Housing Homeless Non-Housing Community Development

City of Reading

- Citywide

Public Services

CDBG:

$391,000

Public service activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit: 54346 Persons Assisted

8

Homelessness Prevention

2019

2023

Homeless

City of Reading

- Citywide

Homelessness Prevention

ESG:

$72,000

Homelessness Prevention: 380 Persons Assisted

9

Shelter Operations

2019

2023

 

City of Reading

- Citywide

Homeless Shelters

CDBG:

$128,715

Homeless Person Overnight Shelter: 328 Persons Assisted

10

Rental Housing

2019

2023

Affordable Housing

City of Reading

- Citywide

Housing Rehabilitation New Construction

HOME:

$490,000

Rental units constructed: 3 Household Housing Unit Rental units rehabilitated: 1 Household Housing Unit

11

Homebuyer Assistance

2019

2023

Affordable Housing

City of Reading

- Citywide

Homebuyer Assistance

HOME:

$100,000

Direct Financial Assistance to Homebuyers: 12 Households Assisted

Table 6 – Goals Summary

 

Goal Descriptions

 

1

Goal Name

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activity

 

Goal Description

 

2

Goal Name

Demolition

 

Goal Description

 

3

Goal Name

Code Enforcement

 

Goal Description

 

4

Goal Name

Commercial Facade Improvement

 

Goal Description

 

5

Goal Name

Microenterprsie Technical Assistance

 

Goal Description

 

6

Goal Name

Housing rehabilitation

 

Goal Description

 

7

Goal Name

Public Services

 

Goal Description

 

8

Goal Name

Homelessness Prevention

 

Goal Description

 

9

Goal Name

Shelter Operations

 

Goal Description

 

10

Goal Name

Rental Housing

 

Goal Description

 

 

11

Goal Name

Homebuyer Assistance

 

Goal Description

 

 

Annual Action Plan 18

2019

Projects

 

AP-35 Projects – 91.220(d)

Introduction

 

The following are the PY2019 projects. In 2019, Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Reading Inc. anticipates receiving $20,000 in CDBG Program Income in their revolving loan fund and they plan to issue 1 homeownership assistance loan to a low and moderate income household in the City of Reading.

 

Projects

 

#

Project Name

1

CDBG Administration

2

5th and Penn Buildings Section 108 Loan Payment

3

11th and Pike Playground Improvements

4

Abilities In Motion ADA Residential Improvements

5

City Park Improvements

6

Code Enforcement - PMI

7

Code Enforcement - Trades

8

Emergency Demolition

9

Commercial Facade Improvements

10

Residential Facade Improvement Program

11

Micro-Enterprise Technical Assistance

12

NHS Major System Program

13

Berks Coalition To End Homelessness - The Franklin Program

14

Community Policing Program

15

Family Promise of Berks County Hospitality Network

16

Family Promise of Berks County - U-Turn

17

Human Relations Commission - Fair Housing

18

Human Relations Commission - Homeless Prevention

19

Human Relations Commission - Landlord Tenant Mediation

20

Olivet Boys and Girls Club Pendora Park

21

Claire of Assisi House

22

HOME Admin

23

City Wide Acquisition Rehabilitation Resale / Rental

24

CHDO

 

#

Project Name

25

HOP

26

CHDO Operating

27

Rental Construction

28

CHIP

29

2019 ESG CITY OF READING

30

ADA Curb Ramps

Table 7 - Project Information

 

Describe the reasons for allocation priorities and any obstacles to addressing underserved needs

 

The City's infrastructure and public facilities are in need of renovation and modernization. Due to the high levels of poverty and the deferred maintenance of buildings many structures are in a state of disrepair thus requiring the City to utilize funds on the demolition of hazardous structures and on code enforcement activities. There are pockets of crime in certain areas thus the City needs to utilize funding for non-traditional policing activities such as the Community Policing Program. The biggest obstacle is the lack of available funding to remove slum and blight.

 

Annual Action Plan 20

2019

AP-38 Project Summary

Project Summary Information

 

Annual Action Plan 21

2019

 

1

Project Name

CDBG Administration

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

 
 

Needs Addressed

 
 

Funding

CDBG: $520,800

 

Description

Payment of reasonable administrative costs and carrying charges related to the planning and execution of activities assisted in whole or part with CDBG funds.24 CFR 570.206 General Program Administration

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

 
 

Location Description

 
 

Planned Activities

CDBG Administration

2

Project Name

5th and Penn Buildings Section 108 Loan Payment

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

 
 

Needs Addressed

 
 

Funding

CDBG: $38,829

 

Description

Section 108 Loan Payment out of CDBG EN for the buildings at 5th and Penn Streets.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

 
 

Location Description

5th and Penn Streets

 

Planned Activities

Section 108 Loan Payments using CDBG EN for the buildings at 5th and Penn Streets

 

3

Project Name

11th and Pike Playground Improvements

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activity

 

Needs Addressed

Public Facilities and Improvements

 

Funding

CDBG: $150,000

 

Description

Improvements include (but are not limited to) design services, new apparatus, safety surface, water feature, lighting, furnishings, ADA improvements, fencing. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(c) Parks, Recreational Facilities 24CFR570.208(a)(1) Low Mod Area Benefit Activity Service area is predominately residential. At least 51% of the persons in the service area are low and moderate income level persons. The benefit derived is available to all residents in the service area.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

84,255 persons (59,930 low and moderate income level persons)

 

Location Description

11th and Pike Streets Reading PA

 

Planned Activities

Improvements to the 11th and Pike Playground

 

4

Project Name

Abilities In Motion ADA Residential Improvements

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Housing rehabilitation

 

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation

 

Funding

CDBG: $25,000

 

Description

American with Disability Act improvements to residential units. The unit must be owner-occupied. The maximum amount of CDBG assistance provided is $5,000 per unit. The agency may partner with another non- profit agency. Objective: Decent Housing Outcome: Availability/Accessibility 24CFR570.202 Residential Rehab 24CFR570.208(a)(3) Low Mod Housing Benefit Activity.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

4 low and moderate income level households

 

Location Description

Citywide activity

 

Planned Activities

American with Disability Act improvements to 4 residential owner- occupied units.

 

5

Project Name

City Park Improvements

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activity

 

Needs Addressed

Public Facilities and Improvements

 

Funding

CDBG: $350,000

 

Description

Improvements include (but are not limited to) water spray pad, ADA apparatus,safety surface, lighting. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(c) Parks, Recreational Facilities24CFR570.208(a)(1) Low Mod Area Benefit Activity Service area is predominately residential. At least 51% of the persons in the service area are low and moderate income level persons. The benefit derived is available to all residents in the service area.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

84,255 persons (59,930 low and moderate income level persons)

 

Location Description

11th and Washington Streets

 

Planned Activities

Improvements to City Park

 

6

Project Name

Code Enforcement - PMI

 

Target Area

CDBG Codes Enforcement Area

 

Goals Supported

Code Enforcement

 

Needs Addressed

Code Enforcement

 

Funding

CDBG: $250,000

 

Description

Inspection for code violations and enforcement of codes in deteriorating or deteriorated areas. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.202(c) Code Enforcement 24CFR570.208(a)(1) Low Mod Area Benefit Activity Service area is predominately residential. At least 51% of the persons in the service area are low and moderate income level persons. The benefit derived is available to all residents in the service area. 5,100 is the estimated number of inspections in 2019. A property may be inspected multiple times.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

64,020 persons reside in the activity's service area. There are 48,700 low and moderate income level persons that reside in the service area.

 

Location Description

Census Tract Block Groups 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 2-2, 3-1, 3-2, 4-2, 4-3, 5-

1, 7-2, 7-3, 8-1, 8-2, 8-3, 9-1, 9-2, 10-1, 10-2, 11-1, 11-2, 11-3, 12-1, 12-2,

13-1, 13-2, 13-3, 14-1, 14-2, 14-3, 14-4, 15-1, 15-2, 15-3, 16-1, 16-2, 17-1,

17-2, 18-2, 19-1, 19-2, 20-1, 20-2, 20-3, 21-1, 21-2, 21-3, 22-1, 22-2, 23-1,

23-2, 25-1, 25-2, 25-3

 

Planned Activities

Code Enforcement

 

7

Project Name

Code Enforcement - Trades

 

Target Area

CDBG Codes Enforcement Area

 

Goals Supported

Code Enforcement

 

Needs Addressed

Code Enforcement

 

Funding

CDBG: $150,000

 

Description

Inspection for code violations and enforcement of codes in deteriorating or deteriorated areas. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.202(c) Code Enforcement 24CFR570.208(a)(1) Low Mod Area Benefit Activity Service area is predominately residential. At least 51% of the persons in the service area are low and moderate income level persons. The benefit derived is available to all residents in the service area. 3,686 is the estimated number of inspections in 2019. A property may be inspected multiple times. 3,686 is the estimated number of inspections.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

64,020 persons reside in the activity's service area. There are 48,700 low and moderate income level persons that reside in the service area.

 

Location Description

Census Tract Block Groups 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 2-2, 3-1, 3-2, 4-2, 4-3, 5-

1, 7-2, 7-3, 8-1, 8-2, 8-3, 9-1, 9-2, 10-1, 10-2, 11-1, 11-2, 11-3, 12-1, 12-2,

13-1, 13-2, 13-3, 14-1, 14-2, 14-3, 14-4, 15-1, 15-2, 15-3, 16-1, 16-2, 17-1,

17-2, 18-2, 19-1, 19-2, 20-1, 20-2, 20-3, 21-1, 21-2, 21-3, 22-1, 22-2, 23-1,

23-2, 25-1, 25-2, 25-3

 

Planned Activities

Code Enforcement

 

8

Project Name

Emergency Demolition

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Demolition

 

Needs Addressed

Demolition

 

Funding

CDBG: $450,000

 

Description

The demolition of hazardous building's ordered by the City's Building Official. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(d) Clearance and Demolition 24CFR570.208(b)(2) Slum and Blight Spot Basis Activity. 8 buildings to be demolished.

 

Target Date

12/31/2018

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

N/A

 

Location Description

Citywide

 

Planned Activities

Demolition of hazardous structures

9

Project Name

Commercial Facade Improvements

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Commercial Facade Improvement

 

Needs Addressed

Facade Improvments

 

Funding

CDBG: $50,000

 

Description

Commercial building facade improvements. Objective: Economic Opportunity Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.202(a) Rehabilitation 24CFR570.208(b)(1) Activities to address slums or blight on an area basis. 2 buildings will have their facades rehabilitated.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

N/A

 

Location Description

Census Tracts (Block Groups) - 1 (1 through 5), 4 (2 through 3), 6 (2), 7

(1), 9 (1 through 2), 19 (1), 23 (1 through 2), 25 (2)

 

Planned Activities

Commercial facade improvements

 

10

Project Name

Residential Facade Improvement Program

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Housing rehabilitation

 

Needs Addressed

Facade Improvments Housing Rehabilitation

 

Funding

CDBG: $20,000

 

Description

Residential facade improvements. Objective: Decent Housing Outcome: Availability/Accessibility 24CFR570.202(a) Rehabilitation 24CFR570.208(b)(1) Activities to address slums or blight on an area basis. 3 residential facades will be rehabilitated.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

N/A

 

Location Description

Census Tract (Block Groups) - 1 (1 through 5), 4 (2 through 3), 6 (2), 7

(1), 9 (1 through 2), 19 (1), 23 (1 through 2), 25 (2)

 

Planned Activities

Residential facade improvement

 

11

Project Name

Micro-Enterprise Technical Assistance

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Microenterprsie Technical Assistance

 

Needs Addressed

Microenterprise Technical Assistance

 

Funding

CDBG: $18,000

 

Description

Technical assistance, advice, and business services to owners of microenterprises and persons developing microenterprises. A microenterprise is defined as a commercial enterprise that has five or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise. The City will partner with non-profit organizations that have the ability to provide Micro-Enterprise technical assistance services. Objective: Economic Opportunity Outcome: Availability/Accessibility 24CFR570.201(o) Microenterprise Technical Assistance 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

8 low and moderate income level persons

 

Location Description

Citywide

 

Planned Activities

Micro-enterprise technical assistance.

 

12

Project Name

NHS Major System Program

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Housing rehabilitation

 

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation

 

Funding

CDBG: $100,000

 

Description

Owner-occupied residential rehabilitation activity. The improvements are limited to the replacement of a major system/component. The activity will be conducted Citywide. The recipients in the Ricktown Neighborhood may be in any age group. Highest priority will be given to handicap persons. A recipient outside of the Ricktown neighborhood must be an elderly person. Highest priority will be given to handicap elderly persons. The maximum amount of CDBG assistance provided is

$5,000 per housing unit. Objective: Decent Housing Outcome: Availability/Accessibility 24CFR570.202 Residential Rehab 24CFR570.208(a)(3) Low Mod Housing Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

16 low and moderate income level households.

 

Location Description

Citywide

 

Planned Activities

Improvements to owner occupied residential housing units.

 

13

Project Name

Berks Coalition To End Homelessness - The Franklin Program

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Public Services

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

 

Funding

CDBG: $35,000

 

Description

CDBG will fund the salary of a case manager to assist homeless persons and near homeless persons. The program will also engage employers willing to provide apprenticeships. The Case Worker will match apprentices with employers, monitor apprentices employment, connect apprentices with available benefits, and assist apprentices with permanent job search. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Public Services 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

50 low and moderate income level persons

 

Location Description

Citywide. BCEH main office is located at 831 Walnut St.

 

Planned Activities

Assist homeless and near homeless persons.

 

14

Project Name

Community Policing Program

 

Target Area

Community Policing

 

Goals Supported

Public Services

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

 

Funding

CDBG: $250,000

 

Description

A non-traditional form of police activity that employs several strategies; problem oriented policing, team policing which utilizes multiple officers to address a problem or problem area, multi-law enforcement and organizational cooperation, citizen/police partnership building, and encouraging community involvement in policing. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Crime Awareness 24CFR570.208(a)(1) Low Mod Area Benefit Activity Service area is predominately residential. At least 51% of the persons in the service area are low and moderate income level persons. The benefit derived is available to all residents in the service area.

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

52,260 persons reside in the activity's service area. 40,010 low and moderate income level persons resdie in the activity's service area.

 

Location Description

Census Tract - Block Group 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4, 1-5, 3-1, 3-2, 7-1, 7-2, 7-3,

8-1, 8-2, 8-3, 9-2, 10-1, 10-2, 11-1, 11-2, 11-3, 12-1, 12-2, 13-1, 13-2, 14-

1, 14-2, 14-3, 14-4, 15-1, 15-2, 16-2, 17-1, 17-2, 18-1, 19-1, 19-2, 21-1,

21-2, 21-3, 22-1, 22-2, 23-1, 23-2, 25-1, 25-2, 25-3

 

Planned Activities

Community Policing

 

15

Project Name

Family Promise of Berks County Hospitality Network

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Public Services

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

 

Funding

CDBG: $10,000

 

Description

CDBG will fund the salary of case workers to assist homeless persons achieve sustainable independence. The 90-day program offers enrichment to participants and volunteers alike and helps foster community engagement, building and strengthening. Family Promise services include safe overnight and day shelter, private sleeping space for each family, transportation, an address to receive mail, three meals per day, assistance in securing permanent housing, assistance in gaining employment, mediation, counseling, education programs, training programs, referrals to service partners, advocacy, monitoring and coordination of services, laundry facilities, shower facilities, kitchen facilities and storage facilities. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Public Services 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

100 persons

 

Location Description

The agency's office is located at 325 N. 5th St.

 

Planned Activities

Case worker assistance to homeless persons

 

16

Project Name

Family Promise of Berks County - U-Turn

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Public Services

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

 

Funding

CDBG: $6,000

 

Description

CDBG will fund the salary of case workers to assist homeless youth to achieve educational, employment, and housing stabilization goals.

Family Promise services include housing stabilization, employment search, interview preparation, budget counseling, education planning, mediation, counseling, coordination of services, referrals, advocacy, an address to receive mail, transportation, laundry facilities, shower facilities, kitchen facilities, social services applications, education applications, facilitation of college tours, education programs, FAFSA application assistance. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Public Services 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

90 persons

 

Location Description

Agency office is located at Office is located at 325 N. 5th St.

 

Planned Activities

Case worker assistance to homeless persons.

 

17

Project Name

Human Relations Commission - Fair Housing

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Public Services

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

 

Funding

CDBG: $20,000

 

Description

Interview potential victims of discrimination; take complaints; conduct preliminary investigations; conduct mediation; conciliating; and disseminate information about fair housing laws Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Public Services 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

673 persons

 

Location Description

Office is located at 815 Washington St.

 

Planned Activities

Fair housing assistance

 

18

Project Name

Human Relations Commission - Homeless Prevention

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Public Services Homelessness Prevention

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services Homelessness Prevention

 

Funding

CDBG: $15,000

 

Description

CDBG funds will be used to reimburse the staff costs needed to administer the homeless prevention activity. Homeless prevention services may include emergency financial assistance and homeless prevention services to households that have received an eviction notice or notice of termination of utility services. Emergency financial assistance may include rental assistance to prevent eviction, mortgage assistance to prevent foreclosure, first month's rent to permit a homeless family to move into its own apartment, security deposit assistance, and assistance to prevent utility termination. Homeless prevention services may include housing counseling, landlord/tenant mediation, and legal services. The agency may partner with another non-profit agency in providing services. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Public Services 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2018

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

745 persons

 

Location Description

Office is located at 815 Washington Street

 

Planned Activities

Homeless prevention program.

 

19

Project Name

Human Relations Commission - Landlord Tenant Mediation

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Public Services

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

 

Funding

CDBG: $15,000

 

Description

CDBG funds will be used to reimburse the staff costs needed to administer the homeless prevention activity. Homeless prevention services may include emergency financial assistance and homeless prevention services to households that have received an eviction notice or notice of termination of utility services. Emergency financial assistance may include rental assistance to prevent eviction, mortgage assistance to prevent foreclosure, first month's rent to permit a homeless family to move into its own apartment, security deposit assistance, and assistance to prevent utility termination. Homeless prevention services may include housing counseling, landlord/tenant mediation, and legal services. The agency may partner with another non-profit agency in providing services. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Public Services 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

116 persons

 

Location Description

Office is located at 815 Washington St.

 

Planned Activities

Landlord tenant mediation services

 

20

Project Name

Olivet Boys and Girls Club Pendora Park

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Public Services

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

 

Funding

CDBG: $25,000

 

Description

A youth services activity. The following activities will be conducted - Academic Success, Character and Leadership, Healthy Lifestyles, and Community Events. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Public Services 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

300 youth

 

Location Description

Pendora Park - 19th and Forrest Sts.

 

Planned Activities

Youth services

 

21

Project Name

Claire of Assisi House

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Public Services

 

Needs Addressed

Public Services

 

Funding

CDBG: $15,000

 

Description

CDBG will fund the salary of employees that provide case work type of services to program residents. The program provides transitional housing services and life skills for non-violent women with a history of domestic violence, substance abuse, and/or prostitution who are being released from incarceration. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(e) Public Services 24CFR570.208(a)(2) Low Mod Limited Clientele Benefit Activity

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

12 low and moderate income level persons.

 

Location Description

325 S. 12 St.

 

Planned Activities

Post incaceration case worker services for women.

22

Project Name

HOME Admin

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

 
 

Needs Addressed

 
 

Funding

HOME: $102,724

 

Description

HOME Administration

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

 
 

Location Description

 
 

Planned Activities

HOME Administration

 

23

Project Name

City Wide Acquisition Rehabilitation Resale

/ Rental

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Housing rehabilitation Rental Housing

 

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation

 

Funding

HOME: $100,000

 

Description

Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resale / Rental of single family homes

 

Target Date

12/31/2022

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

2 low and moderate income level households.

 

Location Description

citywide

 

Planned Activities

Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resale / Rental of single family homes

24

Project Name

CHDO

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Housing rehabilitation

 

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation

 

Funding

HOME: $150,000

 

Description

Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resale CHDO Activities

 

Target Date

12/31/2022

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

2 low and moderate income level households

 

Location Description

citywide activity

 

Planned Activities

 

 

25

Project Name

HOP

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

Homebuyer Assistance

 

Needs Addressed

Homebuyer Assistance

 

Funding

HOME: $240,000

 

Description

Homeownership Program down payment and closing cost assistance

 

Target Date

12/31/2022

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

12 low and moderate income level households

 

Location Description

citywide

 

Planned Activities

Home ownership assistance

26

Project Name

CHDO Operating

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

 
 

Needs Addressed

 
 

Funding

HOME: $30,000

 

Description

CHDO Operating support

 

Target Date

12/31/2019

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

 
 

Location Description

 
 

Planned Activities

CHDO operating assistance

 

27

Project Name

Rental Construction

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

 
 

Needs Addressed

 
 

Funding

HOME: $390,000

 

Description

Rental Construction

 

Target Date

12/31/2022

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

3 low-mod income families

 

Location Description

125 S 2nd St and 467 Tulpehocken St

 

Planned Activities

Rental new construction

28

Project Name

CHIP

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Housing rehabilitation

 

Needs Addressed

Housing Rehabilitation

 

Funding

HOME: $231,931

 

Description

City's Housing Improvement Program

 

Target Date

12/31/2022

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

11 low and moderate income level households

 

Location Description

citywide activity

 

Planned Activities

residential housing unit improvements

 

29

Project Name

2019 ESG CITY OF READING

 

Target Area

 
 

Goals Supported

 
 

Needs Addressed

 
 

Funding

ESG: $217,051

 

Description

Emergency shelter operations and essential services, homelessness prevention, Rapid re-housing, and Street Outreach activities will be undertaken with ESG PY2019 funds.

 

Target Date

9/1/2021

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

708 low and moderate income level persons.

 

Location Description

BCEH – 831 Walnut St., HRC – 815 Washington St., Mary’s Shelter – 615 Kenhorst Blvd., Opportunity House - 430 North 2nd St., Salvation Army - 301 S. 5th St.

 

Planned Activities

Emergency shelter operations and essential services, homelessness prevention, Rapid re-housing, and Street Outreach activities

 

30

Project Name

ADA Curb Ramps

 

Target Area

City of Reading - Citywide

 

Goals Supported

Public Facility or Infrastructure Activity

 

Needs Addressed

Public Facilities and Improvements

 

Funding

CDBG: $172,665

 

Description

Install new ramps along accessible routes throughout the City. Objective: Suitable Living Environment Outcome: Sustainability 24CFR570.201(c) Public Facility and Improvements 24CFR570.208 (a)(2)(i)(A) Low Mod Limited Clientele (Presumed Benefit) Activity. An estimated 20 curb ramps will be constructed.

 

Target Date

12/31/2018

 

Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities

City wide - 16,815 persons with a disability reside in the service area.

 

Location Description

citywide

 

Planned Activities

Installation of 20 curb ramps

 

AP-50 Geographic Distribution – 91.220(f)

Description of the geographic areas of the entitlement (including areas of low-income and minority concentration) where assistance will be directed

 

Target Area

Percentage of Funds

   

 

CDBG Code Enforcement Area CDBG Community Policing Area Geographic Distribution

 

 

Table 8 - Geographic Distribution

 

Rationale for the priorities for allocating investments geographically

 

Because of the great needs throughout the entire City most of the CDBG, ESG, and HOME funded activities are Citywide. There is not enough of funding available to do many projects that focus solely on a particular neighborhood.

 

Discussion

 

The CDBG Code Enforcement area has many buildings that are in various states of disrepair. The area contains 76% low and moderate income level persons.

 

The CDBG Community Policing area is bounded by several schools. The program utilizes a non- traditional policing method. The area contains 76% low and moderate income level persons.

 

Affordable Housing

 

AP-55 Affordable Housing – 91.220(g)

Introduction

 

Affordable housing will be developed primarily with HOME program funds. HOME program funds will be used to acquire and rehab existing units for the purposes of homeownership through the use of CHDO set-aside funds, which is required by HUD to be 15% of the annual HOME entitlement, as well as

funds to support he Homeownership Program thorugh NHS (HOP), which assists homeowners with costs including down-payment and closing costs.

 

 

One Year Goals for the Number of Households to be Supported

Homeless

0

Non-Homeless

30

Special-Needs

0

Total

30

Table 9 - One Year Goals for Affordable Housing by Support Requirement

 

One Year Goals for the Number of Households Supported Through

Rental Assistance

0

The Production of New Units

3

Rehab of Existing Units

15

Acquisition of Existing Units

12

Total

30

Table 10 - One Year Goals for Affordable Housing by Support Type

 

Discussion

 

HOME Program:

 

  1. housing unts - New Rental Construction

     

  2. housing units - Acquisition Rehab Resale/Rental Program (including CHDO Set Aside)

 

12 households assisted - Homeownership Assistance (closing cost assistance) Program

 

11 housing units - CHIP (housing rehabilitation) Program

 

In addition to the goals in the above tables:

 

Abilities In Motion will utilize CDBG funds to provide ADA improvements to 4 homeowner occupied housing units.

 

Neigborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks will utilize CDBG funds to provide major system improvements to 16 homeowner occupied housing units.

 

Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Berks Inc. estimates that they will receive $20,000 in CDBG program income funds in 2019. NHS plans to re-use the funds for their HOP Program, a

homeownership assistance activity. NHS anticipates that they will issue 1 CDBG program income funded loan to a low and moderate income level households in 2019.

AP-60 Public Housing 91.220(h)

Introduction

 

The Reading Housing Authority provides public housing in Reading. The Authority meets the HUD guidelines for income targeting as a means of serving the lower income residents of the City. The Reading Housing Authority uses Residency preferences for public housing and for Section 8 Vouchers.

 

Actions planned during the next year to address the needs to public housing

 

The Reading Housing Authority maintains the public housing units on an on-going basis utilizing the Capital Fund Program. Housing units are in very good condition. Implementation of the HUD required Asset Management Plans is underway. The Resident Services Department provides an array of services for residents, as described below.

 

Service Coordination: Short-term, intermittent casework services designed to help residents of affordable housing programs meet acute needs, improve their quality of life and increase the likelihood of a successful tenancy. Includes the provision of direct service, information and referral, crisis intervention, mediation and internal and external advocacy. Services are delivered to meet needs associated with physical and mental health, substance abuse, finances, daily living tasks, employment and continuing education, parenting support and child welfare, domestic violence, access to insurances and entitlements, and basis needs such as food or clothing. Services are voluntary and confidential.

 

Chore Services Program: Through assistance with a contracted provider, elderly residents or adult residents with disabilities may be assisted with housekeeping needs. Services are provided when the resident is ineligible for mainstream programs and when they are willing and able to meet the remaining requirements of the lease and the program.

 

Wellness Program: Through collaboration with partner agencies, wellness services are provided to residents to enhance their health and improve their ability to remain in their home environment. Services are delivered by a nurse in areas of direct intervention, individual and group education, preventative screenings and coordination with community medical providers. The program utilizes more than 20 partners per year in the delivery of its group education, including serving as a training site for nursing students from a local community college and university.

 

Reasonable Accommodations Program: Reasonable Accommodations are provided in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. Reading Housing Authority will modify policies, rules, and procedures, or make a structural change to a common area or dwelling, in order to accommodate persons with disabilities so that such individuals can have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the housing program.

Food Pantries: Through collaboration with the regional food bank, pantry services are delivered on-site, and in some cases, to the home, in each public housing development. Monthly distributions are conducted in cooperation with two area churches and volunteers from the respective resident councils.

 

Youth Programs: An after-school and summer camping program are offered to youth residents of Oakbrook and Glenside Homes. In partnership with the local boys and girls club, programming is offered to meet the needs of development youth in areas of character and leadership development, the arts, education and career development, sports, fitness and recreation, and health and life skills. The summer camping program provides opportunities for urban youth to travel to a rural camping lodge for activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating.

 

Actions to encourage public housing residents to become more involved in management and participate in homeownership

 

Reading Housing Authority operates under a Memorandum of Understanding with the RHA Citywide Resident Council, which serves as the umbrella organization for seven development-based resident councils that are charged with promoting quality of life and resident satisfaction, and participating in self-help initiatives to enable residents to create a positive environment for families living in RHA programs. The CWRC and development-based resident councils assist RHA during the Annual Planning process, and on an ongoing basis, in making decisions related to the budgetary process, occupancy, general management, maintenance, security, resident training, resident employment, social services and modernization.

 

Resident Councils function as the ‘united voice’ for each public housing development. Council membership is open to all residents of the respective development. Monthly general meetings are held in each location, with agenda items focused primarily upon housing-based issues and planning for recreational activities. Duly elected council officers chair monthly meetings, manage council finances, record meeting minutes and represent the membership at large in agency policy and procedures. Staff attend monthly general meetings, monthly executive planning meetings, committee meetings as appropriate, and provide ongoing support and assistance. The RHA Citywide Resident Council (CWRC) serves as the umbrella organization for all development-based resident councils, and is comprised of the elected officers of each location. An integral responsibility of the CWRC is to function as the agency’s Resident Advisory Board in the preparation and review of the agency’s 5-year and Annual Plans.

 

If the PHA is designated as troubled, describe the manner in which financial assistance will be provided or other assistance

 

N/A

Discussion

 

The Reading Housing Authority continues to work to address public housing needs through the implementation of various programs. They also work closely with a resident advisory group to address needs and develop strategies for addressing those needs.

AP-65 Homeless and Other Special Needs Activities – 91.220(i)

Introduction

 

This section discusses homeless needs that will be addressed with ESG funding.

 

Describe the jurisdictions one-year goals and actions for reducing and ending homelessness including

Reaching out to homeless persons (especially unsheltered persons) and assessing their individual needs

 

Street outreach has been one of the biggest tasks undertaken by the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness, and one of the most effective ways of getting homeless individuals the help they need. New emphasis placed on street outreach by HEARTH will increase our ability to fund those activities.

 

Funds used for street outreach and emergency shelter activities will be limited to the greater of 60 percent of our total fiscal year grant for ESG or the hold-harmless amount established by the section 415(b) of the McKinney-Vento Act for such activities during fiscal year most recently completed before the effective date under section 1503 of the HEARTH Act.

 

The City has provided and continues to provide CDBG and ESG funding to agencies that help prevent homelessness and to agencies that assist homeless persons.

 

Addressing the emergency shelter and transitional housing needs of homeless persons

 

The City of Reading places a high priority on homeless families and individuals including those who are chronically homeless. Shelter, transitional and permanent housing are each valuable components of the overall Continuum of Care, and there are unmet needs for both transitional and permanent housing.

The City of Reading strives to meet these needs by providing optimum support to agencies providing emergency shelter as well as transitional housing.

 

Helping homeless persons (especially chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans and their families, and unaccompanied youth) make the transition to permanent housing and independent living, including shortening the period of time that individuals and families experience homelessness, facilitating access for homeless individuals and families to affordable housing units, and preventing individuals and families who were recently homeless from becoming homeless again

The City of Reading’s homeless priorities revolve around a concentrated effort of both prevention and intervention. The Berks Coalition to End Homelessness places an emphasis on chronic homelessness and homeless families who are more episodically homeless. The locally developed plan to reduce homelessness details priorities.

 

The priority needs relate to the Strategic Plan in that they center on the principles of prevention and intervention. The Prevention section consists of the following four (4) methods: (1) Emergency prevention: provides emergency services to percent loss of housing. (2) Systems prevention: examine and change institutional policies and regulations that adversely impact housing. (3) Outreach: identify Street homeless and at-risk persons and families. (4) The final prevention method consists of services and maximizing the utilization of mainstream resources. The intervention strategy consists of four components, they are: (1) Rapid Re-housing which is identified in The Housing First Model. (2) Supportive transitional housing for chemically-dependent homeless individuals. (3)The expansion of permanent housing revolving around the development of safe and affordable housing and finally (4) Income: Job training and services accessible for homeless individuals.

 

Reading and Berks County seek to reduce the number of homeless families/persons in Emergency shelters by 5% in the coming year (25% over five years).

 

Helping low-income individuals and families avoid becoming homeless, especially extremely low-income individuals and families and those who are: being discharged from publicly funded institutions and systems of care (such as health care facilities, mental health facilities, foster care and other youth facilities, and corrections programs and institutions); or, receiving assistance from public or private agencies that address housing, health, social services, employment, education, or youth needs.

 

Homelessness prevention activities include providing short-term subsidies to defray rent and utility arrearages for families that have received eviction or utility termination notices; security deposits or first month's rent to permit a homeless family to move into its own apartment; mediation programs for landlord-tenant disputes; legal services programs for the representation of indigent tenants in eviction proceedings; payments to prevent foreclosure on a home; and other innovative programs and activities designed to prevent the incidence of homelessness. An ability to fund more of these activities will greatly assist in the elimination of chronic homelessness.

 

Homelessness prevention is based on working with mainstream resources to stop the flow of people toward homelessness. The Continuum of Care application identified one implementation strategy that would significantly decrease the homeless population.

The Plan to End Homelessness identified systems prevention strategies to pursue over the longer term:

 

  1. Work with Berks County Prison officials to develop adequate facilities for on-site community involvement

     

  2. Coordinate activities of County Prison, County Parole office, State Parole office and community providers

     

  3. Provide post-release housing assistance and information to prisoners re-entering the community

     

  4. Work with State mental health officials on community re-integration programs and funding

     

  5. Coordinate with local hospitals on discharge planning for homeless persons

     

  6. Encourage youth in foster care to take advantage of transitional and preparatory programs that prevent homelessness

 

The Continuum of Care applications provide an overview of the state of the discharge planning efforts in Berks County. The components consist of the following elements: Foster Care, Health Care, Mental Health and Corrections.

 

Foster Care: Formal Protocol Finalized - Berks County Department of Children and Youth Services (CYS) provides transitional living services for youth in foster care and those in out-of-county placement foster care returning to Berks County. Youth are to be screened for risk of becoming homeless and extended care provided until they are able to support themselves. Youth are not discharged to homeless shelters or facilities. CoC and CYS have implemented this policy that is understood and agreed upon by both parties.

 

Health Care: Reading and St. Joseph’s Hospitals are the primary health institutions in the county. We are working with the hospitals to identify homeless individuals and to find appropriate housing placement.

 

Mental Health: Persons hospitalized locally and at the state facility in Wernersville receive discharge planning from the Berks County Office of Mental Health and Retardation. Community treatment and housing assistance are provided to ensure a safe return to the community. Persons are not returned to the community through the homeless shelters or housing facilities supported by McKinney funds. The CoC and institutions providing treatment have agreed to and understand this protocol.

Corrections: Berks Connections/Pre-Trial Services, in cooperation with Berks County MH/MR, the Council on Chemical Abuse and the Berks County prison, provides discharge planning and screening. Persons with mental health and substance abuse problems will receive services from community providers before release with a plan for continued treatment after release. Integrating community services in the prison provides continuity and connectivity that follows inmates back into the community which results in a reduction in relapse, re-incarceration and homelessness. Persons returning to the community are not discharged to beds supported by McKinney funds. The CoC agencies and Berks Co.

Prison have agreed to and understand this protocol.

 

Discussion

 

Funding will be provided to several agencies that will focus on providing emergency shelter, street outreach, and essential services to homeless families and individuals. Funding will also be provided to agencies for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing.

 

AP-75 Barriers to affordable housing – 91.220(j)

Introduction:

 

This section will discuss the City of Reading's Action Plan barriers to affordable housing.

 

Actions it planned to remove or ameliorate the negative effects of public policies that serve as barriers to affordable housing such as land use controls, tax policies affecting land, zoning ordinances, building codes, fees and charges, growth limitations, and policies affecting the return on residential investment

 

The Berks County and the City of Reading Comprehensive Plans have cited the following objectives for the development of decent, affordable housing in order to remove or ameliorate negative effects of public policies:

 

Encourage government officials to revise their local zoning ordinances to reflect more opportunities for affordable housing development. Using cost-benefit analyses, illustrate how family housing and clustered single-family development can be more cost-effective to local elected officials. Encourage local units of government to revise their ordinances to be consistent with the Berks County Comprehensive Plan

 

Developers identified the insufficient supply of land zoned for multi-family housing as one of the factors driving up the cost of land acquisition and development. Lack of infrastructure is often the reason for limited multi-family zoning. Outreach initiatives focused on educating public officials and planning commissions on the benefits of affordable housing may encourage the rezoning of more land to multi- family zoning designations, as well as eliminate unnecessary and excessive development standards for multi-family housing.

 

Educate and inform owners of tax-credit developments and County assessors about Act 39 of 2003 (HB 1854), a law that instructs assessors to consider rent restrictions, affordability restrictions, and the income approach to value rather than comparable sales approach to value, when assessing affordable housing developments

 

Encourage “streamlined” approaches to obtain permits and funding for affordable housing projects.

 

Active and productive nonprofit housing developers need ready access to capital in order to finance the front-end soft costs associated with new development. Utilizing a less restrictive source of financing for this (such as Act 137 Housing Trust Fund resources) would enable nonprofits to seek out more development opportunities, and to fully investigate the financial feasibility of potential projects early on.

Encourage land use policies that diversify the affordable housing stock to address needs of smaller families, people with disabilities needing supportive housing, and seniors; encourage multi-use residential development in commercial structures in business zones; and encourage mixed use development. Mixed use developments will contain a mix of stores, restaurants, and professional offices that would be appropriate settings for low to moderate-income housing at an increased density.

 

Support the adoption of building codes that facilitate the rehabilitation of existing homes.

 

Encourage the establishment of new residential uses and/or neighborhoods at appropriate locations including upper-story reuse.

 

Discussion:

 

The City of Reading has a ready supply of affordable housing. Housing is particularly inexpensive

in Reading compared to neighboring municipalities and counties. However the low cost of housing is, at least in part, tied to several negative factors. Further exacerbating the problem is that the depressed housing market suppresses new housing development.

 

The impediments to housing are:

 

Older housing stock that requires extensive modernization and rehabilitation.

 

Shrinking state and federal funding sources to subsidize affordable housing projects and rehabilitation. Over density, lack of parking, small yards, limited open space and privacy negatively impact housing.

The City accommodates a disproportionate share of the county’s low income persons and special needs housing. Lower housing values depress the tax base which results in a higher mil rate than surrounding municipalities.

 

Developers frequently cite the problems of working through zoning issues in most as a cost factor that impedes development.

AP-85 Other Actions – 91.220(k)

Introduction:

 

This section will explain actions planned to address obstacles to meeting underserved needs, to foster and maintain affordable housing, reduce lead paint hazards, reduce the number of poverty level families, develop institutional structure, and enhance coordination between various types of agencies.

 

Actions planned to address obstacles to meeting underserved needs

 

The primary obstacle to meeting underserved needs is the limited resources available to address the identified priorities. The City of Reading will partner with other agencies when feasible to leverage resources and maximize outcomes in housing and community development.

 

Actions planned to foster and maintain affordable housing

 

The following actions will be undertaken in the next year to foster and maintain affordable housing. They include strategies for acquiring and rehabbing existing units, providing fair housing discrimination education, landlord tenant mediation, and homelessness prevention services that will increase the availability and accessibility of decent, affordable housing.

 

Housing Rehabilitation

 

ADA Improvements - AIM - ADA improvements to a home - 4 low mod housing units

 

Historic Preservation Residential Facade Improvement Program - Improvements to the facade of a residential building. 3 residential buildings

 

CDBG Fair Housing, Landlord Tenant Mediation, and Homelessness Prevention Assistance services Berks Coalition To End Homelessness – Homeless (and at risk) Assistance - 50 persons

Claire of Assisi – Homeless Assistance - 12 persons

 

Family Promise of Berks County Hospitality Network – Homeless Assistance - 100 persons Family Promise of Berks County U-Turn – Homeless Assistance - 90 persons

Human Relations Commission – Fair housing discrimination education and enforcement - 673 persons Human Relations Commission – Landlord Tenant Mediation - 116 persons

Human Relations Commission – Homelessness Prevention - 745 persons

Neighborhood Housing Services MSRP Program - Owner Occupied Housing Rehab - 16 housing units ESG Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Assistance - 380 persons

Decent, Affordable Housing HOME Program:

  1. housing unts - New Rental Construction

     

  2. housing units - Acquisition Rehab Resale/Rental Program (including CHDO Set Aside) 12 households assisted - Homeownership Assistance (closing cost assistance) Program 11 housing units - CHIP (housing rehabilitation) Program

    NHS HOP (CDBG income funds received by NHS) - Homebuyer Assistance - household

     

    Reading Housing Authority - will work to address public housing needs through the implementation of various programs and work closely with a resident advisory group to address needs and develop strategies for addressing those needs

     

    Actions planned to reduce lead-based paint hazards

     

    The City of Reading requires all of the CDBG, ESG and HOME funded activities to comply with HUD’s Lead Rule. In addition the City of Reading has a lead ordinance that is enforced by the City’s Property Maintenance Division.

     

    Actions planned to reduce the number of poverty-level families

     

    The overall anti-poverty strategy implemented by the City of Reading will follow the Continuum of Care model set forth and discussed earlier. This model details a cohesive plan to combat chronic homelessness, identify and concentrate on key priority needs while recognizing the barriers to affordable housing.

     

    Poverty is a function of income, which is related to education, job training and employment. The City of Reading remains committed to addressing the needs of its citizens who live at or below the poverty level. It is also recognized that the presence of poverty and the related social and economic problems are a destabilizing element in our communities. The majority of impoverished households are located within the City of Reading with a few existing in adjacent townships and boroughs.

    The Berks Coalition to End Homelessness is a key component within the anti-poverty strategy. Working together to achieve common ends brought the Coalition members together initially and is still a driving force behind all Coalition activities. The recognition that no one agency could address the problem of homelessness was the impetus behind formation of the Berks Homeless Coalition in 1995. It began with only a dozen or so members, most of whom represented the organizations that sheltered homeless people. In consultation with the City of Reading/County of Berks Continuum of Care (CoC), the City of Reading and County of Berks developed policies and procedures for effectively serving individuals with ESG funding.

     

    The Berks Coalition to End Homelessness (BCEH) will remain key in implementing the upcoming year’s homeless prevention, essential and emergency shelter services for individuals who are currently homeless or those in imminent danger of being homeless. After consulting with the BCEH, the Community Development Department was able to better gauge the needs of organizations working to prevent homelessness throughout the community.

     

    Actions planned to develop institutional structure

     

    The City's Community Development Department has been assigned the task of carrying out the Consolidated Plan for the City. When appropriate, the Department will work with non-profit organizations and public institutions to implement the Plan.

     

    Actions planned to enhance coordination between public and private housing and social service agencies

     

    The City's Community Development Department has been assigned the task of carrying out the Consolidated Plan for the City. When appropriate, the C.D. Department will work with non-profit organizations and public institutions to implement the Plan.

     

    The City will partner with non-profit agencies that assist homeowners in repair and rehabilitation of their homes.

     

    Reading-Berks Habitat for Humanity provides affordable housing, counseling and home-ownership education to families in Berks County and the City of Reading who are at or below 60% of the area median income. The Habitat program requires 400 hours of “sweat equity” from participants, and seeks to stabilize neighborhoods by providing an influx of committed, trained home-owner residents.

     

    Neighborhood Housing Services of Reading, Inc. (NHS) has been certified as a CHDO for the City and the County. The agency provides a full range of housing services (from education, financing and single-family development to community organizing).

    The City will continue to remain open to partnerships with other groups. However, the technical complexity of the development process, operating and start up costs, resource availability and the experience necessary to operate a non-profit housing corporation will inevitably limit the number of potential partners to those who are the most qualified. The City will encourage non-profit organizations that have little or no experience in housing development to "partner" with one of the more experienced development organizations.

     

    Discussion:

     

    Program Specific Requirements

    AP-90 Program Specific Requirements – 91.220(l)(1,2,4)

    Introduction:

     

    Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) Reference 24 CFR 91.220(l)(1)

     

    Projects planned with all CDBG funds expected to be available during the year are identified in the Projects Table. The following identifies program income that is available for use that is included in projects to be carried out.

     

    1. The total amount of program income that will have been received before the start of the next program year and that has not yet been reprogrammed

     

    6,857

    2. The amount of proceeds from section 108 loan guarantees that will be used during the year to address the priority needs and specific objectives identified in the grantee's strategic plan.

     

    0

    3. The amount of surplus funds from urban renewal settlements

    0

    4. The amount of any grant funds returned to the line of credit for which the planned use has not been included in a prior statement or plan

     

    0

    5. The amount of income from float-funded activities

    0

    Total Program Income:

    6,857

     

    Other CDBG Requirements

     

    1. The amount of urgent need activities 0

       

    2. The estimated percentage of CDBG funds that will be used for activities that benefit persons of low and moderate income.Overall Benefit - A consecutive period of one, two or three years may be used to determine that a minimum overall benefit of 70% of CDBG funds is used to benefit persons of low and moderate income. Specify the

years covered that include this Annual Action Plan. 0.00%

HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) Reference 24 CFR 91.220(l)(2)

  1. A description of other forms of investment being used beyond those identified in Section 92.205 is as follows:

     

    N/A

     

  2. A description of the guidelines that will be used for resale or recapture of HOME funds when used for homebuyer activities as required in 92.254, is as follows:

     

    The City of Reading will use HOME funds for homebuyer programs. The City of Reading only uses Resale provisions and Resale requirements, which are met though a “presumption of affordability” classification, as required by 92.254(a)(5)(i)B.

     

  3. A description of the guidelines for resale or recapture that ensures the affordability of units acquired with HOME funds? See 24 CFR 92.254(a)(4) are as follows:

     

    Units developed with HOME funds must remain affordable to income-qualified individuals for varying lengths of time depending upon the amount of HOME funds provided as assistance. All homebuyer assistance loans will be secured by a lien and deed restriction on the property coinciding with the HOME Period of Affordability. The City has such a high number of low-income households that we have a presumption of affordabilty that presumes subsequent buyers will also be low income.

     

  4. Plans for using HOME funds to refinance existing debt secured by multifamily housing that is rehabilitated with HOME funds along with a description of the refinancing guidelines required that will be used under 24 CFR 92.206(b), are as follows:

 

N/A

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Reference 91.220(l)(4)

 

  1. Include written standards for providing ESG assistance (may include as attachment)

     

    See City of Reading/County of Berks Policies and Procedures Manual, attached.

     

  2. If the Continuum of Care has established centralized or coordinated assessment system that meets HUD requirements, describe that centralized or coordinated assessment system.

     

    Subrecipients are required to input HMIS client data as soon as feasibly possible, and at least on a bi-weekly basis.

     

  3. Identify the process for making sub-awards and describe how the ESG allocation available to private nonprofit organizations (including community and faith-based organizations).

     

    The City of Reading and the County of Berks provide ESG applicant's with a joint City/County

    ESG application. At the end of the application acceptance period, the applications are forwarded to the Berks CoC for their review and funding recommendations to the City and County ESG Programs. Factors for award include, but are not limited to, matching funds, number of clients to be served by the funding, performance of the provider in the past, monitoring results, etc. As one would expect, requests exceed the amount of funds available. Applications for funding by the City are ultimately decided by the Mayor and City Council. Applications for funding by the County are ultimately decided by the Board of County Commissioners.

     

  4. If the jurisdiction is unable to meet the homeless participation requirement in 24 CFR 576.405(a), the jurisdiction must specify its plan for reaching out to and consulting with homeless or formerly homeless individuals in considering policies and funding decisions regarding facilities and services funded under ESG.

 

The City of Reading/County of Berks’ CoC actively works to involve currently and formerly homeless individuals in important decision-making elements of the Continuum including the ESG process and policy-making. Currently, the CoC has homeless and formerly homeless individuals serving on the board, and attending regular CoC meetings.

 

5. Describe performance standards for evaluating ESG.

 

The performance goals will be measured for each recipient as well as across the CoC. Performance goals are going to be the cornerstone of CoC funding as well, and HUD is encouraging CoCs to take steps now to develop and implement measurement systems.

Performance measures:

 

Targeting those who need the assistance most. Benchmark: There will be a reduction in first-time homelessness among individuals and families of 5%.

 

Reducing the number of people living on the streets or emergency shelters. Benchmark:There will be a reduction in the number of unsheltered persons counted during the Point-in-time from the previous year.

 

Shortening the time people spend homeless. Benchmark: The number of nights that an individual or family stays in shelter will be reduced by 5% from the prior year.

 

Reducing each program participant’s housing barriers or housing stability risks. Benchmark 1: Recidivism (return to shelter) will be reduced by 5% over 2 years. Benchmark 2: 10% of shelter clients will have an increase in income or resources from entry to exit.

 

Preventing and ending homelessness for Veterans. Benchmark: There will be a reduction of 5% per year in homeless Veterans.

 

Setting a path to end all types of homelessness. Benchmark: There will be an increase of 5% per year in the amount of community resources provided to prevent homelessness.