Forms of Assistance
This program offers deferred payment or reduced interest rate loans that may be used to assist with down payments, closing costs, construction, rehabilitation, and soft costs associated with the development. The amount of funds contributed to the development is directly connected to the purpose of providing units that are affordable to lower income households and cannot be greater than the reasonable amount needed to accomplish that purpose. Funds are considered committed to the development when a legally binding agreement has been executed between the developer and the participating jurisdiction.
Funds can be used to assist developments involving acquisition and rehabilitation or new construction. Properties may be privately or publicly owned. There is no minimum or maximum number of units that may be included in an assisted development. Properties may include units in one or more buildings that are under common ownership, management and financing. Funds may not be used to assist properties funded under Title VI of the National Affordable Housing Act - Prepayment of Mortgages Insured under the National Housing Act, Public Housing projects, or properties that have been assisted under other County programs. Funds are provided for a specific number of assisted units. All units within a development do not need to be assisted units.
Only units receiving funds are considered "Assisted Units." Strict occupancy and purchase price controls apply to assisted units. Occupancy and purchase price controls do not apply to units in a development that are not assisted units. Minimum and maximum expenditures are calculated on the basis of assisted units and not on the total number of units within a development. Purchase prices are based on the amount affordable to a lower income household. Generally, affordability is defined as a price at which a lower income household spends no more than 30% of it's gross annual income for principal, interest, taxes and insurance. But such percentages are flexible and will depend on the lending environment in which the purchase occurs. However, in no case can homes assisted under this program sell for more than 90% of the FHA 203(b) maximum loan amount.
In order to promote mixed income development Pinellas County will give priority to proposals where assisted units will constitute no more than 20% of units within a multifamily development or 25 more units.
Amount of Investment
The minimum investment is $1,000 per assisted unit. The maximum per unit investment of funds is based upon the amount realistically needed to make the assisted unit affordable to low income households. However, in no case can the investment exceed the limits of the federal HOME program.
Households with annual incomes at or below 80% or less of Area Median Income (as adjusted for family size) must occupy at least 20% of the units. Depending on availability of funds, assistance may be available for households with incomes up to 120% of Area Median Income. The unit purchased must be the buyer's primary residence; second homes and vacation homes are not eligible.
In general all assisted units must be in good condition. If the activity involves the acquisition of units that will not be rehabilitated, the units must meet or exceed Federal Housing Quality Standards. If rehabilitation is involved the units must meet or exceed the Pinellas County Consortium's Rehabilitation Standards. New construction must comply with all local codes and meet Energy Star certification requirements. The Community Development Department reserves the right to review plans and set criteria for design, specifications, and amenities.
A number of local, State, and Federal rules regulations, and policies apply to this program. Pinellas County is responsible for insuring that developments funded through this program meet all applicable requirements. While it is not practical to list all possible requirements in this abbreviated format, applicants should be particularly aware of the following:
- Occupancy is subject to all Equal Opportunity and Fair Housing legislation and rules.
- To the maximum extent possible opportunities for employment and contracting must be provided to minority and women owned businesses and to business concerns which are located in the program service area.
- Developments containing 5 or more units are subject to affirmative marketing requirements intended principally to reach persons not likely to apply for housing without special outreach.
- Occupied properties may be subject to relocation requirements under the Uniform Relocation Act.
- All units in an occupied property must comply with regulations implementing the Lead-Based Paint Poisoning Prevention Act.
- Davis-Bacon wage compliance and other Federal laws and regulations pertaining to labor standards may apply to all construction contracts for 12 or more assisted units.
- Flood insurance is required for any development located within a flood zone.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Community Development and Planning Division
440 Court Street, 2nd Floor
Clearwater, Florida 33756