City Council Work Session


Return to the Search Page Return to the Agenda
  9.       
Meeting Date: 11/10/2020  
From: Kristine Pavlik, Housing and Grants Administrator
Department: Community Development  
Co-Submitter:

TITLE:
Presentation and Recommendations: regarding additional CDBG-CV (Community Development Block Grant funding for prevention, preparation and response to Coronavirus) funds provided to the City of Flagstaff by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.
DESIRED OUTCOME:
Housing Staff is seeking direction from Flagstaff City Council on the allocation of $766,551 in additional CDBG-CV (Community Development Block Grant funding for prevention, preparation, and response to Coronavirus) funding provided to the City of Flagstaff by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act. Staff will come to the Council for a final funding decision for the use of these funds on November 17, 2020.

In order for the City of Flagstaff to allocate the additional CDBG-CV funds as directed by Council, Flagstaff City Council must approve the submission of a third substantial amendment to the 20019/2020 Annual Action Plan to HUD.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
Housing Staff is seeking Council direction on funding recommendations for the use of $766,551 in additional CDBG-CV funding. Staff requires this direction in order to bring forward a resolution on November 17, 2020, for approval of the required submission of a third substantial amendment of the 2019/2020 Annual Action Plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
INFORMATION:
Financial Impact:
Approval of Resolution 2020-61 will substantially amend the City of Flagstaff’s 2019/2020 Annual Action Plan for the 3rd time in order to incorporate additional CDBG-CV funds and funding allocations.  Due to the health and safety concerns caused by the pandemic the amendment of the 2019/2020 Annual Action Plan is necessary to expedite CDBG-CV funding into the Flagstaff community. The amendment will incorporate CDBG-CV funds provided by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act and funding allocations as directed by Council. The second City of Flagstaff CDBG-CV allocation is $766,551.00. The cumulative amount for all allocation rounds for the City of Flagstaff is $1,126,155. For this proposed allocation, the City has waived the indirect rate of 10% and applied a flat rate as opposed to 10% for allocation to administration in order to maximize community benefit.

Policy Impact:
The City of Flagstaff Council's CDBG Priorities: 
  • Provide affordable housing (rental and ownership)
  • Address homelessness
  • Improve neighborhood revitalization
  • Promote workforce job training
  • Support education/ early childhood development
Connection to PBB Key Community Priorities/Objectives & Regional Plan:

REGIONAL PLAN:


Goal NH.1. Foster and maintain healthy and diverse urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the Flagstaff region.
  • Policy NH.1.1. Preserve and enhance existing neighborhoods.
Goal NH.4. All housing is safe and sanitary.
  • Policy NH.4.1. Expand the availability of affordable housing throughout the region by preserving existing housing, including housing for very low-income persons.
  • Policy NH.4.3. Address accessibility issues and other housing barriers to persons with disabilities or special needs.
  • Policy NH.4.4. Encourage green practices in housing construction and rehabilitation that support durable, healthy, and energy efficient homes.
  • Policy NH.4.5. Renovate the existing housing stock to conserve energy and reduce utility and maintenance costs for owners and occupants.
  • Policy NH.4.7. Enforce compliance with fair housing laws.
Goal NH.5. Eliminate homelessness.
  • Policy NH.5.1. Provide adequate resources for families with children experiencing homelessness.
  • Policy NH.5.2. Provide adequate resources for individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • Policy NH.5.3. Support and expand programs that prevent homelessness.
  • Policy NH.5.4. Make transitional housing resources available to populations experiencing homelessness.
Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:

Staff received Council direction on local CDBG priorities at the January 29, 2019, Council meeting. Those priorities are identified in Policy Impact above and Background/ History below. On April 10, 2020, Council approved the first substantial amendment to the 2019/2020 Annual Action Plan. This initial amendment permitted Flagstaff Shelter Services to provide infectious disease prevention services instead of the previously intended employment services. FSS has provided expanded shelter and services in response to the Coronavirus for the past 7 months. Staff received Council direction on the 1st round of CDBG-CV funds allocated to the City of Flagstaff on May 12, 2020. Council then approved a 2nd substantial amendment to the 2019/2020 Annual Action Plan incorporating the CDBG-CV funds and Council directed allocations to Flagstaff Shelter Services, Coconino County Health and Human Services and Catholic Charities for public service programs preparing for, responding to, and preventing COVID-19.

Options and Alternatives:
  1. Approve the Resolution and authorize the submission of the Amended 2019 Annual Action Plan to HUD.
  2. Modify the Resolution and authorize the submission Amended 2019 Annual Action Plan to HUD.
  3. Not approve the Resolution
Background/History:

In order to receive and incorporate CDBG-CV funding, the City must submit to HUD the required substantial amendment to the 2019-2020 Annual Action Plan. This amendment describes how CDBG-CV funds will be used.

To determine the most efficient and effective use of the CDBG-CV funds, Housing Staff contacted the three local, non-profit agencies who received allocations of CDBG-CV funds for projects preventing, preparing for, and responding to the Coronavirus in May 2020. These three agencies provide essential community services to vulnerable and low-moderate income community members and have successfully administered the City of Flagstaff's CDBG funded projects within the last 6 years. Staff discussed the urgent and critical funding needs for COVID-19 response with the directors of Flagstaff Shelter Services, Catholic Charities, and Coconino County Health and Human Services. The second disbursement of CDBG-CV funds provided by the CARES Act and allocated to the City of Flagstaff by HUD equals $766,551.00.

Below is a list of the agency needs discussed with Housing Staff. All agency needs are in the public service category.
For CDBG-CV allocations, HUD has waived the required 15% public service cap for projects aiming to prevent, prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus.
 
Public Service Activity Proposal/Project Request
Flagstaff Shelter Services COVID-19 Response for Individuals and Families $250,000
Catholic Charities Closing the Gap and Jail Reentry Programs $80,000
Catholic Charities Front Door $40,000
Coconino County Health and Human Services Shelter for COVID-19 Positive Individuals $200,000

Key Considerations:

All four projects administered by these agencies serve community members that are homeless, seriously mentally ill, exiting the justice system or incarceration, and/or positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus. Non-Congregate sheltering of individuals positive for and/or at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 protects not only our most vulnerable community members but the Flagstaff community as a whole by preventing the substantial spread of COVID-19 and the overburdening of our healthcare systems.

Expanded Financial Considerations:

For the third substantial amendment to the 2019/2020 Annual Action Plan, Housing Staff is recommending that the City of Flagstaff utilize a portion of the CDBG-CV funds primarily for services provided to individuals and families experiencing homelessness administered by Coconino County Health and Human Services, Flagstaff Shelter Services and Catholic Charities. The remaining funds will be brought back to City Council for allocation as part of the 2021/2022 Annual Action Plan process.  
 
CDBG-CV Allocation  
1st Disbursement $359,604.00
2nd Disbursement $766,551.00
Total CDBG-CV Funds $1,126,155.00
   
Allocated May 2020 $359,604.00
   
Administration  
Grant Compliance and Administration (Flat Amount vs 10%) $20,000.00
Estimated City Indirect Rate of 10% Waived
Total Administration $20,000.00
   
   
Total Available for Allocation $746,551.00
 
CDBG-CV Allocation Recommendations    
Public Service Activities (15% Cap) Recommended Funding Serving
Flagstaff Shelter Services COVID-19 Infectious Disease Response for Individuals and Families $250,000.00 2000 individuals and
40 households
Catholic Charities Closing the Gap and Jail Reentry Housing Programs $80,000.00 500 Individuals
Catholic Charities Front Door Housing Navigation $40,000.00 400 Individuals
Coconino County Health and Human Services Shelter for
COVID-19 Positive Individuals
$200,000.00 240 Individuals
     
Total Public Service Activities $570,000.00  
     
Administration (Flat Amount vs. 10%) $20,000.00  
CDBG-CV Held in Reserve for Allocation with
City of Flagstaff 2021/2022 CDBG Grant Cycle
$176,551.00  
Total Current CDBG-CV Allocation $590,000.00 3,040 individuals
40 households

Community Benefits and Considerations:

Considering overall community health as well as the health of Flagstaff’s most vulnerable community members, Housing Staff is recommending the funding of all four projects serving community members that are homeless, seriously mentally ill, exiting the justice system or incarceration and/or positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the Coronavirus that are listed above.
 
Non-congregate sheltering of individuals positive for and/or at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 protects City-wide public health and prevents the substantial spread of COVID-19 amongst the homeless population and the entire community. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has encouraged consideration of approaches that prioritize the unique needs of low- and moderate-income persons and the development of partnerships between all levels of government and the private for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
 
Housing Staff is recommending that the Council hold $176,551 of the $766,551 disbursement in reserve for allocation alongside the City of Flagstaff CDBG 2021/2022 Annual Entitlement. Staff intends to establish priorities with newly appointed Council members in December 2020 in order to release the Notice of Available Funds to the community as soon as possible. This allows potential sub-recipients, including those that may be new to the City’s CDBG grant process, sufficient time to evaluate COVID-19 related needs, and develop eligible and essential programs that aim to prevent, prepare for and respond to the Coronavirus and complete the grant application in a timely manner. The grant application will be simplified yet still allow Housing Staff and the CDBG Ranking Committee to perform a thorough Risk Assessment of all potential sub-recipients. This will permit new community partners serving low-moderate income community members impacted by COVID-19 to apply for CDBG-CV grant funding. The Public Service funding category cap requirement of 15% has been waived by HUD for CDBG-CV funds possibly making available nearly double the funds available for Public Service projects, historically the most competitive funding category for the City of Flagstaff CDBG. 
 
Given the rapidly changing community needs from the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, Housing Staff believes that waiting to allocate the remaining funds is prudent and allows the City and its partners time to assess community needs related to COVID-19, brainstorm potential long term solutions and expand Community Involvement and Public Participation by utilizing the CDBG Ranking Committee in its recommendation process and providing a lengthier public comment period.

Community Involvement:

The CARES Act adds additional flexibility for CDBG-CV funding requirements in these unprecedented times. The required public comment period is reduced to not less than 5 days and grantees may use virtual public hearings when necessary for public health reasons.

Utilizing these waivers of regulations, there was a five-day (instead of a 30 day) Public Comment Period from Nov 4th – 9th, 2020.  An advertisement for Public Notice was published in the Arizona Daily Sun on Nov 3rd, and the proposed DRAFT Resolution and the DRAFT 2019/2020 Amended Annual Action Plan were made available on the City of Flagstaff website starting Nov 3rd, 2020.

With efforts to eliminate the risk of supplanting and duplication of benefits in federal spending, all while expediting CDBG-CV dollars to the greatest need, housing staff contacted the three local, non-profit agencies who received CDBG-CV funds for projects preventing, preparing for, and responding to the Coronavirus. These three agencies provide essential community services to vulnerable and low-moderate income community members and have successfully administered the City of Flagstaff CDBG funded projects within the last 6 years. Staff discussed the urgent and critical funding needs for COVID-19 response with the directors of Flagstaff Shelter Services, Catholic Charities and Coconino County Health and Human Services.

Attachments
CDBG-CV Presentation


    

Level double AA conformance,
                W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0

AgendaQuick ©2005 - 2020 Destiny Software Inc. All Rights Reserved.