Housing group to get $1M, info fair set soon

Published 1:42 pm Friday, June 11, 2021

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Bogalusa Rebirth, a state certified Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO), is honored to have received award notification for the conditional awarding of $1 million, to be used for the purpose of producing affordable housing utilizing the CHDO Annual Awards Program (CHAAP). The money will be conditionally awarded from the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC).

Uses of these funds will include the new construction of five single-family housing units. The sites have been already been determined and the project has already received Authorization to Use Grant Funds from The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“We are excited to see this project advance onward, and look forward to getting these units constructed,” said Wendy Williams Dupont, executive director of Bogalusa Rebirth. “These much-need funds will allow us to continue our mission of providing affordable housing to our underserved communities. If you are interested in qualifying for one of these homes, we urge you to attend our fifth annual Housing Resource Fair, a free event, on Saturday, June 26, at ESM United Methodist Church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to obtain more information about eligibility determination and the application process.

“We would like to thank our six-member Board of Directors for their service and commitment to the organization and for their continued vision to fulfill our strategic plan. Bogalusa Rebirth Board members are Chairman Levi Lewis, Sr., Vice-President Dana Walker, Secretary/Treasurer Linda Mizell, and members Kim Wagner, Judy Sapp and Tracey Williams.”

To receive these funds, A CHDO must be a nonprofit corporation with a 501(c)(3) from the Internal Revenue Service and follow guidelines provided by the state finance agency. LHC offers the CHAAP for awarding funds for CHDO set-aside activities and Operating Cost Assistance. Under the program, LHC will reserve 25 percent (but not less than $2 million) of its HOME allocation for use in funding eligible projects proposed by state certified CHDOs on an annual basis. HUD HOME funds are only awarded to qualified development organizations.

The Louisiana Housing Corporation’s mission is to ensure that every Louisiana resident is granted an opportunity to obtain safe, affordable, energy-efficient housing.

These grants help communities and support CHDO’s around the country to provide decent housing opportunities to lower income persons, at a grassroots level. The organizations work closely with local jurisdictions to further promote these activities.

The HOME program allows the following activities.

  • Providing home purchase or rehabilitation financing assistance to eligible homeowners and new homebuyers.
  • Building or rehabilitating housing for rent or ownership.
  • Site acquisition or improvement, demolition of dilapidated housing to make way for HOME-assisted development.
  • HOME-funded housing units must remain affordable (20 years for new construction of rental housing; five to 15 years for homeownership housing and housing rehabilitation).
  • HOME regulations require that 15 percent of HOME funds each year must be allocated to projects owned by Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO). The CHDO designation is granted to a nonprofit, community-based service organization whose staff members have the capacity to develop affordable housing for the community it serves. The CHDO designation is tied to the specific role a nonprofit organization plays in a particular project. The nonprofit is responsible for maintaining the capacity to fulfill that role throughout the affordability period of the project.

Applications for the program can be picked up at the Bogalusa Rebirth office, located inside the Bogalusa Post Office at 305 Ave B. Once you apply, you may be eligible for free homebuyer counseling services.