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With consortium, more local communities eligible for largest federal block grant to affordable housing

Published: 5/11/2015

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Rob Rolison (District 8 – City and Town of Poughkeepsie) today announced that the Legislature has unanimously approved an agreement between the county and City of Poughkeepsie to create a consortium eligible for direct funding to support housing for its residents. The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), administered by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), is the largest federal block grant exclusively designed to support affordable housing. Under HOME, individual communities that do not qualify for their own allocation through the program’s funding formula can “join with one or more neighboring localities in a legally binding consortium whose members' combined allocation would meet the threshold for direct funding,” according to the HUD website. During the period covered by the last consortium agreement, 2013 to 2015, HOME funds were used to assist with the creation of 173 high-quality affordable housing units in the City of Poughkeepsie.

HOME funds are provided to private and non-profit developers through a competitive annual application process, and county and city HOME funds are administered through the county Department of Planning and Development in consultation with the City of Poughkeepsie. Dutchess County and the City of Poughkeepsie first entered into a consortium agreement in 1995; the current consortium period ends this year and needs to be reauthorized prior to the start of the federal fiscal year on October 1. The Legislature’s Environment committee unanimously approved the measure at its May 7 meeting. Under the terms of the agreement, there is no fiscal impact to the county.

The resolution also calls for the City of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County to equitably share any HOME funding which becomes available pursuant to the program. The agreement will cover the period of October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2018 and will govern activities to be carried out with annual HOME grants from federal fiscal year 2016, 2017, and 2018 appropriations.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “We are pleased to continue this partnership with the City of Poughkeepsie. This partnership enables developers in the City of Poughkeepsie to have local access to HOME dollars and the County has been able to invest some of its HOME resources in critical housing projects such as the transformation of the 26-30 North Hamilton Street property and High Ridge Gardens.”

“Adequate capacity of affordable housing enhances the lives of our residents, increases local economic activity, and improves overall quality of life in the city,” said Rolison. “I applaud my colleagues for unanimously approving this vital county-city agreement to support affordable housing for Poughkeepsie’s residents.”

A copy of the resolution can be found here.