Community Development Block Grant-Recovery (CDBG-R)

General Information Program/Project Name: Community Development Block Grant-Recovery (CDBG-R)

Funding Category: Growing Philadelphia’s Businesses, Economy & Workforce

Program Description
Federal Grant Name: Community Development Block Grant-Recovery (CDBG-R)

Programs Supported Through Funding: Commercial Corridor Development, Affordable Housing Development, Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program, Basic Systems Repair Program, Creative Industry Workforce Grants.

Why Apply for this Grant?

Use of Funds: CDBG-R funds are formula entitlement funds available to the CDBG grantee for the City (Office of Housing & Community Development).

CDBG-R funds will be support the following activities:

Transit-Oriented and Livable Communities Commercial Development Fund.
(Lead Agency: Commerce) — $4,396,629
The Transit Oriented and Livable Communities Commercial Development fund maximizes its economic benefit by leveraging public investment with private funds to create sustainable projects. These funds target strong businesses that have been severely hurt by the recession that has crippled banks and made credit almost impossible to obtain. The City uses commercial bank underwriting standards and follows tested lending criteria to ensure that the projects are financially sustainable, will be successful and that the jobs created will exist long after the public funding stops. The leverage of using these funds with private investment from banks or capital investors allows these dollars to have a greater economic impact.

The Transit Oriented and Livable Communities Commercial Development fund is targeted to neighborhood businesses that are either unable to grow because of the freeze in the credit markets or need capital to stabilize unpredictable revenues. It is required, as part of the funding, that businesses either retain or create jobs in order to qualify for the program. These funds are targeted at neighborhood businesses that have seen the recession jeopardize or reduce conventional debt and put expansion or capital projects at risk of cancellation.

Affordable Housing Development (Lead Agency: Office of Housing & Community Development; activity will be carried out by the Redevelopment Authority) – $5,750,000
The City’s Affordable Housing Program assists those most impacted by the recession by providing affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for those of low- and moderate-income. This activity, which will fill gaps in financing for projects ready to go to construction, will create or retain construction jobs and may reduce the reliance of low-income persons on essential government safety-net programs. The City’s Affordable Housing Development programs, which support rental, homeownership and special needs development, are described in detail in the Year 34 Consolidated Plan. Approximately 80 new housing units will be built or rehabilitated.

Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program. (Lead Agency: Office of Housing & Community Development) — $1,000,000
The City’s Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program assists those most impacted by the recession, in particular, those facing residential mortgage foreclosure. The program includes intensive outreach efforts to those facing foreclosure, court-mediated negotiation with lenders, specialized housing counseling about mortgage workouts and other options, and legal services. This activity will create or retain approximately 10 permanent jobs. Approximately 1700 households will be served.

Utility Emergency Services Fund. (Lead Agency: Office of Housing & Community Development) — $1,000,000
UESF provides grants to low-income families who have utility arrearages and are in danger of having utility services discontinued. Utility companies match grants on a dollar for dollar basis.

Basic Systems Repair Program. (Lead Agency: Office of Housing & Community Development; activity will be carried out by Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation). — $850,000
The City’s Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP) provides repairs to owner-occupied houses in need of essential repair or replacement of roofs, electrical, plumbing and heating systems. The City’s BSRP program is described in detail in the Year 34 Consolidated Plan. Approximately 100 houses will be repaired.

Creative Industry Workforce Grants. (Lead Agency: Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy) — $500,000
The Creative Industry Workforce Grants will support shared office space for creative industry businesses, reducing operating costs for existing and new businesses and increasing the sub-recipients’ economic efficiency. Grants will also support the creation of new or renovated mixed-use facilities and creative industry incubators, designed to attract new businesses and new jobs. In the case of rehabilitation and new construction, energy-efficient developments will receive priority.

Administrative Costs. $550,000
Eligible planning and administrative costs as allowed by CDBG regulations at 24 CFR 570.205 and 24 CFR 570.206.

Grant Achievements for the Quarter: 

The City continued to make progress in this quarter in committing and expending CDBG-R funds:

Chandler Supported Independent Living, the rehabilitation of 6 housing units, is 100% complete.  Lehigh Park II, a 48 unit affordable rental building is 76% complete.

The activities under the Transit Oriented Development and the Creative Economy programs for this quarter are as follows: 1) Beech International Student Housing Project and River City Flats are completed and funds have been disbursed in prior quarters; 2) The Falls Center loan was closed in April 2011 and PIDC anticipates disbursing the CDBG-R funds during the first quarter of 2012; and 3) This quarter the City approved the  $1,000,000 loan to the Pennsylvania Ballet which will create a new performing arts and programmatic space at 321-331 North Broad Street and 1315-1347 Wood Street; and 4) the City is underwriting a $400,000 loan for the Spectrum Heath Services and Haddington Health Center project to be located at 5201-15 Haverford Avenue in West Philadelphia.  The proposed project, a 36,000 square foot, three-story community health center, will bring expanded medical services ton an underserved area and create approximately 68 jobs.  The City anticipates closing this loan early 2012.

Last quarter $107,000 was drawn to support activities for four of the seven projects under the Creative Economy program:  1) Octo Enterprises, a total of $100,000 CDBG-R funds will go toward the renovation of a 19th Century former biscuit factory into indoor/outdoor artist studio space in Point Breeze;  2) Crane Old School, a total of $100,000 in CDBG-R funds will go toward the renovation of 26,000 square feet of an historic school to create 26 artist work studios at 1400 N. American Street; 3) Vox Populi, the $30,000 CDBG-R grant is funding the expansion of this facility in the Callowhill neighborhood to create a new venue for artists; and 4) Revolution Recovery, a $40,000 CDBG-R grant to create workforce and office space for a community-based artist in residency program in Northeast Philadelphia.

Actual # of FTE jobs created for the quarter*:

Q8: 16.82

Q9: 2.33

Q10: 5.10

*In the City of Philadelphia’s quarterly federal report, also know as Section 1512 reports, jobs are calculated based on hours worked, instead of the number of people at work. It also looks only at jobs funded directly by the Recovery Act, and does not include jobs created indirectly. Direct jobs are counted quarterly and are not cumulative.

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