Community Reinvestment

Review Period for the 5-Year Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan, Fair Housing Report, Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area Study and Citizen Participation Plan

The City of Columbus invites members of the public to review and offer comments on its 5-Year Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan, Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) Study and Citizen Participation Plan.

Background

The City of Columbus has developed its 2021-2025 Consolidated Plan and 2021 Annual Action Plan, as well as a fair housing study called the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, and a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) Study of South Columbus. The five-year plan and annual action plan are required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the City to receive federal money through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME programs. These plans have identified community development and affordable housing needs in Columbus and set priorities for investment of federal grant funds. The Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice has identified barriers to equal access to housing and proposed strategies to overcome those impediments. The completion of the NRSA Study serves as an economic development tool, allowing the City to utilize CDBG funding more flexibly to promote investment in South Columbus. Finally, the City has updated its Citizen Participation Plan. The Citizen Participation Plan establishes the number and type of public engagement on the above-mentioned plans and allows citizens to participate, review and comment on all documents prior to submission to HUD.

Public Review Period

The 2021-2025 Consolidated Plan, 2021 Annual Action Plan, Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, NRSA Study and Citizen Participation Plan will be available for public review and comment from June 26 to July 26, 2021. The documents are available for download below.

To Make Comments

The City will receive written comments until 5:00 PM EST on Monday, July 26, 2021. Comments regarding the report may be e-mailed or mailed to the City of Columbus Department of Community Reinvestment at scott.robert@columbusga.org or Attn: Robert Scott, Director of Community Reinvestment and Real Estate, Columbus Consolidated Government, 420 10th Street, Columbus, GA 31901. Alternatively, comments may be made orally at the Public Hearing described above.

Final Consideration by City Council and Submission to HUD

Final drafts of the Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan, Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice, NRSA Plan and Citizen Participation Plan will be considered for action by the Columbus City Council on Tuesday, July 27th at 5:30 PM. If approved, the final version of the Consolidated Plan and Annual Action Plan will be submitted to HUD no later than Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

Consolidated Plan

Introduction

The City's Consolidated Plan for FY2017 – FY2021 is mandated by federal law and regulations promulgated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order for the City of Columbus to receive federal funding for affordable housing and community development initiatives benefiting primarily low- and moderate-income persons. The Consolidated Plan combines into a single document the planning and application requirements for the following federal grant programs:

  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
  • Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME)

The Consolidated Plan is designed to help the City of Columbus assess their affordable housing and community development needs and market conditions, and to make data-driven, place-based investment decisions. The Consolidated Planning process serves as the framework for a community-wide dialogue to identify housing and community development priorities that align and focus funding from the CDBG and the HOME grant programs.

The Consolidated Plan provides data on trends and conditions related to Columbus' current and future affordable housing and community development needs. The analysis of this data has been used to establish priorities, strategies, and actions that the City will undertake to address these needs over the next 5-years. The plan is guided by three overarching goals that are applied according to Columbus' needs. The goals are:

  • To provide decent housing by preserving the affordable housing stock, increasing the availability of affordable housing, reducing discriminatory barriers, increasing the supply of supportive housing for those with special needs, and transitioning homeless persons and families into housing.
  • To provide a suitable living environment through safer, more livable neighborhoods, greater integration of low- and moderate-income residents throughout the City, increased housing opportunities, and reinvestment in deteriorating neighborhoods.
  • To expand economic opportunities through more jobs paying self-sufficient wages, homeownership opportunities, development activities that promote long-term community viability, and the empowerment of low- and moderate-income persons to achieve self-sufficiency.

Consolidated Plan Process

The Consolidated Plan for Columbus has a duration of 5-years, covering fiscal years 2017 – 2021. The Consolidated Plan describes community development priorities and multiyear goals based on an assessment of housing and community development needs, an analysis of housing and economic market conditions and available resources.

The Consolidated Plan is carried out through Annual Action Plans, which provide a concise summary of the actions, activities, and the specific federal and non-federal resources that will be used each year to address the priority needs and specific goals identified by the Consolidated Plan. The City of Columbus provides an assessment on these accomplishments and progress toward Consolidated Plan goals in annual documents known as the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER).

Figure 1: The Consolidated Planning Process

The lead agency for the Consolidated Plan document is the Columbus Consolidated Government Department of Community Reinvestment which also administers the CDBG and HOME programs. Several city departments are active stakeholders in community development projects and improvements, including Engineering, Inspections and Code, Parks and Recreation, the Planning Department, and Public Works.

In developing the Consolidated Plan, the City of Columbus conducted community outreach to engage the community both in the process of developing and reviewing the proposed plan, and as partners and stakeholders in the implementation of CPD programs.

By consulting and collaborating with other public and private entities, the City of Columbus can align and coordinate community development programs with a range of other plans, programs and resources to achieve greater impact. In addition, the Housing Authority of Columbus Georgia (HACG) plays a large role in providing and managing housing programs covered by this plan. Coordination with various non-profit organizations will also be important in meeting the goals outlined within the Consolidated Plan.

 

National Resources

  • Consolidated Planning Information Page

https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/consolidated-plan/

  • CDBG Program Fact Sheet

https://files.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/About-the-CDBG-Program.pdf

  • Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/fair_housing_equal_opp

 

Analysis of Impediments Data Resources

  • HUD Fair Housing Mapping Tool

https://egis.hud.gov/affht/

  • US Census

https://data.census.gov/

  • Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy (CHAS) Data

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/cp.html

  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Data

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/hmda/

  • A Picture of Subsidized Households

https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/assthsg.html

The AI also incorporates state and local data on schools, transit, health, public housing, and environmental hazards.

 

Annual Action Plan

Introduction

The Consolidated Plan is carried out through Annual Action Plans. The goal and purpose of the Annual Action Plan is to articulate the funding decisions for projects and activities that are expected to be implemented and funded with CDBG and HOME funding throughout the duration of the Consolidated Plan. Under the City's current Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plans will be produced for Fiscal Years 2017 – 2021.

Federal HUD funding is intended to provide low- and moderate-income (LMI) households with viable communities including decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities. Through the use of federal, state, and local funds, the City plans to carry out the objectives set forth in Consolidated Plan:

  1. Improve access to and quality of housing
    High housing costs reduce economic opportunities and access to prosperity. Existing affordable housing that is lost from the inventory will increase competition for remaining units and decrease access to affordable housing overall.
  2. Remove slum and blight
    Blighted properties detract from the quality of life for neighboring properties and preclude achieving a suitable living environment.
  3. Economic development
    Economic development through direct technical and business assistance are the catalyst for the retention and creation of new jobs.
  4. Provide public services
    The provision of public services. Public services have a 15% cap for each annual allocation.
  5. Housing/services for persons who are homeless
    The homeless/those at risk of homelessness depend on services funded by community development programs.
  6. Improve public facilities and infrastructure
    Based on physical inspection and interviews conducted during planning consultation process, existing public facilities are in need of upgrading and expansion. Outdated and deteriorating infrastructure needs to be improved or replaced.
  7. Planning and administration
    Effective and efficient implementation of CDBG and HOME funding requires adequate resources for program planning and administration.

The system for establishing the priority for the selection of these projects in Columbus is predicated upon the following criteria:

  • Meeting the statutory requirements of the CDBG and HOME program
  • Meeting the needs of LMI residents
  • Focusing on LMI areas or neighborhoods
  • Coordination and leveraging of resources
  • Response to expressed needs
  • Sustainability and/or long-term impact
  • The ability to demonstrate measurable progress and success

Priority CDBG funding areas include areas where the percentage of low- and moderate-Income persons is 51% or higher.

The primary impediment to the City's ability to meet underserved needs is the limited amount of CDBG funding to address identified priorities. The City will continue to seek public and private resources to leverage its entitlement funds in assisting with implementation of policies and programs. The City works in partnership with public institutions, private and nonprofit partners to implement activities and projects that require multiple funding sources. The reduction of funding at the local, state, and federal levels will significantly limit the resources available to meet the needs of low- and moderate-income residents. The City continues to place more emphasis on its efforts at leveraging funds with other agencies/organizations to meet the short fall.

Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER)

Introduction

The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) is a summary of the activities and accomplishments toward the goals/objectives outlined in the City's Consolidated Plan. The Community Reinvestment Department prepares the CAPER report each year which includes detailed information on the activities funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) formula grant programs: CDBG and HOME.

The CAPER also assesses the progress made in meeting community development, housing, and homeless needs in the Community. The City of Columbus utilizes the CAPER report to measure its accomplishments and progress toward the specific goals outlined by the Consolidated Plan. The CAPER's findings determine what projects need to be modified or removed.

Public Input and Community Feedback

The Community Reinvestment Department provides for and encourages citizens to participate in the development, revision, amendment, adoption, and implementation of all HUD required documents and plans. In accordance with the Columbus Consolidated Government's Citizen Participation Plan, the notice of availability for draft Annual Action Plans/CAPER Reports and holding of a public meeting will be published in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer Newspaper. Additionally, draft copies of these documents are made available at the following public library locations throughout the City and online at the Community Reinvestment department website:

  • 420 10th Street - Columbus Consolidated Government Annex Building, 2nd Floor, Community Reinvestment Department
  • 3111 Citizens Way - Columbus Consolidated Government, City Services Center
  • 3000 Macon Road - Columbus Public Library
  • 640 Veterans Parkway - Mildred L. Terry Public Library
  • 5689 Armour Road - North Columbus Public Library
  • 2034 South Lumpkin Road - South Columbus Public Library

In addition to the public meetings, staff from the Community Reinvestment Department regularly correspond with various agencies and organizations involved in affordable housing, homelessness, educational services, economic development, and services for the elderly and/or disabled.

If you are a part of a nonprofit organization or a citizen and would like more information regarding our programs, please call (706) 225-4313.