The Rental Housing Program provides assistance for the rehabilitation of existing rental properties as well as for the construction of new rental housing units. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME Program). Projects are required to be affordable to and occupied by lower income households for a period of 5 to 20 years, depending on the type of project (new construction vs. rehabilitation) and the amount of funding invested by the Redevelopment Authority.
Projects with a mix of unit types and affordability levels are encouraged, but are not required. Only the Redevelopment Authority assisted affordable units (not the market rate units) are subject to the gross rent and income restrictions listed below. These gross rent and income limits are published annually by HUD.
- The rent for at least 60% of the assisted units shall not exceed 30% of the annual income of a family whose income equals 50% of the Lancaster County median income, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for smaller and larger families. These are called Low HOME Rent Units and must be occupied by very low income families (that is, families earning less than 50% of the Lancaster County median income).
- The rent for the remaining assisted units shall not exceed 30% of the adjusted annual income of a family whose income equals 60% of the Lancaster County median income, as determined by HUD, with adjustments for the number of bedrooms in the units. The rent limits provided by HUD will include average occupancy per unit and adjusted income assumptions. These are called High HOME Rent Units and shall be occupied by families earning less than 60% of the Lancaster County median income.
- In no instance may any rent, the Low HOME Rent or the High HOME Rent, exceed the fair market rent for existing housing for comparable units in the area as established by HUD for the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.
- An allowance for utilities to be paid by the tenant family must be subtracted from the gross rents. This allowance is calculated using the Utility Schedule of the Lancaster County Housing Authority for the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program.
Nothing herein prohibits the developer from establishing more restrictive rent and income guidelines for the project, such as when the project is being developed in conjunction with the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.
Projects must comply with all applicable federal, state and local building and health codes.
Projects must comply with Redevelopment Authority design standards and minimum room sizes, local code and accessibility standards, environmental due diligence, Rental Housing Program guidelines, and regulations of the HOME Program including, but not limited to, loan underwriting, subsidy layering and affirmative marketing guidelines. Additionally, all projects must comply with the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as applicable.
If a project proposes a mixed-use project, the non-residential space in the project can be no more than 49% of the gross area of the project. The types of non-residential uses are subject to Redevelopment Authority approval. HOME program funds cannot be used in the development of non-residential space.