HOME funds are awarded annually to Pinellas County as a participating jurisdiction. The program's flexibility allows HOME funds to be used for grants, direct loans, loan guarantees or other forms of credit enhancement, or rental assistance or security deposits.
The eligibility of households for HOME assistance varies with the nature of the funded activity. For rental housing and rental assistance, at least 90 percent of benefiting families must have incomes that are no more than 60 percent of the HUD-adjusted median family income for the area. In rental projects with five or more assisted units, at least 20% of the units must be occupied by families with incomes that do not exceed 50% of the HUD-adjusted median. 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.
Participating jurisdictions, such as Pinellas County may choose among a broad range of eligible activities, using HOME funds to provide home purchase or rehabilitation financing assistance to eligible homeowners and new homebuyers; build or rehabilitate housing for rent or ownership; or for "other reasonable and necessary expenses related to the development of non-luxury housing," including site acquisition or improvement, Demolition of dilapidated housing to make way for HOME-assisted development, and payment of relocation expenses. HOME funds may be used to provide tenant-based rental assistance contracts of up to 2 years if such activity is consistent with the Consolidated Plan and justified under local market conditions. This assistance may be renewed. Up to 10 percent of the annual allocation may be used for program planning and administration. HOME-assisted rental housing must comply with certain rent limitations. HOME rent limits are published each year by HUD. The program also establishes maximum per unit subsidy limits and maximum purchase-price limits.