The mission of the Office of Neighborhood Services is to improve the quality of life for Columbia’s residents through fairly and swiftly enforcing city codes related to residential life and build a sense of community by offering valuable volunteer opportunities, providing resources for neighborhood leaders to solve issues independently and managing donations to support our community.
2015 - 2019 Consolidated Plan
What is a Consolidated Plan?
The Consolidated Plan is a planning document required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Consolidated Plan requirements are designed to help states and local jurisdictions 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 and priorities for utilizing HUD funding. The City receives CDBG and HOME funding according to a federal formula annually due to its size, demographics and housing characteristics.
Survey Opportunities - PLEASE SHARE YOUR OPINIONS!
Each year the City of Columbia receives federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) due to its population, demographics and available funding. The City estimates it will receive approximately $800,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and $400,000 in HOME funds each of the next 5 years. These funds primarily benefit low to moderate income households, and can be used for these five program areas: economic development, fair housing, community facilities, neighborhood needs, and affordable housing. Public input is vital in prioritizing the community development needs these funds are intended to finance. Please take a moment to complete the following surveys:
- Community Development General Needs Survey: This survey is designed to collect public opinion regarding how the City should use funding among the five different program areas.
- Affordable Housing Needs Assessment Survey: Priorities to be ranked in this survey include rehabilitation of owner-occupied and rental residences, homeownership assistance, rental housing for seniors, accessibility improvements for persons with disabilities, and multiple other housing priority issues.
- Community Facilities Needs Assessment Survey: Priorities to be ranked in this survey include youth services, homeless shelters, transitional housing, senior services, services for persons with disabilities, employment services, and health services.
- Neighborhood Needs Assessment Survey: Priorities to be ranked in this survey include trash and debris removal, tree scaping, community gardens, exterior code enforcement of buildings, demoltion of dilapidated buildings, water and sewer improvements, street and sidewalk improvements, railroad crossings, parks and trails improvements, and bus shelters.
- Economic Development Needs Assessment Survey: Priorities to be ranked in this survey include micro-lending, vocational training, commercial and industrial development or rehabilitation, and business mentoring.
Key components of the Consolidated Plan include:
- Consultation and Citizen Participation. Through the Consolidated Plan (often called the "Con Plan"), grantee jurisdictions 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, grantees can align and coordinate community development programs with a range of other plans, programs and resources to achieve greater impact. Clink here for the current schedule of public input focus groups.
- The Consolidated Plan. The 3 to 5-year Consolidated Plan describes the jurisdiction's 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 Annual Action Plan. 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.
- Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER). In the CAPER, grantees report on accomplishments and progress toward Consolidated Plan goals in the prior year
What is Community Development Block Grand (CDBG) and HOME Funding?
CDBG is a flexible funding source that can be used for a variety of community development activities targeted towards low to moderate income individuals, households and neighborhoods (80% Area Median Income and below). The CDBG program works to ensure decent affordable housing, to provide services to the most vulnerable in our communities, and to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses. CDBG is an important tool for helping local governments address serious challenges facing their communities.
Examples of projects:
- Streets, sewers, sidewalk construction
- Construction or renovation of public facilities
- Vocational training
- Micro lending
- Housing rehabilitation
- Fair housing counseling
- Economic development
The HOME Program is the largest Federal block grant to State and local governments designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households. Each year it allocates approximately $2 billion among the States and hundreds of localities nationwide.
The eligibility of households for HOME assistance varies with the nature of the funded activity. For rental housing and rental assistance household incomes must be no more than 60 percent of the HUD-adjusted median family income for the area. For homebuyer activities, the incomes of households receiving HUD assistance must not exceed 80 percent of the area median. HOME income limits are published each year by HUD.
Examples of projects:
- Single family residential construction
- New multi-family rental construction
- Rental assistance
- Homebuyer assistance
- Home rehabilitation