The Consolidated Plan

In order to receive HOME funding, a state or locality must submit a Consolidated Plan to HUD for approval. The Consolidated Plan covers a three- to five-year period and includes a detailed description of the jurisdiction’s housing needs and an explanation of how it will use HOME funding and funding from three other HUD block grant programs to meet its specific housing needs. The Consolidated Plan also describes how the jurisdiction will leverage HOME funds to attract local, private, nonprofit, or other non-federal sources of funds for affordable housing, and it prioritizes projects by type and geographic location. While many activities are eligible uses of HOME dollars, participating jurisdictions must specify in their Consolidated Plan which activities they intend to fund.

As part of the consolidated planning process, PJs submit annual Action Plans that describe the specific activities that a PJ plans to undertake during the year to address its housing needs and make progress towards the goals that are included in its Consolidated Plan. PJs also submit annual performance reports on their use of funds and their progress towards their goals.

The Consolidated Plan is meant to be the product of “a participatory process among citizens, organizations, businesses, and other stakeholders” in a community. The HOME regulations stress community participation, especially by low- and moderate-income individuals, in developing the Consolidated Plan, and jurisdictions must submit a “citizen participation plan” that describes how citizens have been included and consulted in the process.

In 2012, HUD implemented certain changes to the Consolidated Planning process. Specifically, HUD began providing additional data and mapping tools for PJs to utilize for planning purposes. The public can also access these data and mapping tools, which is intended to enable the community to be a more informed part of the consolidated planning process. Furthermore, HUD now requires Consolidated Plans to be submitted through a standardized template in the Integrated Disbursement & Information System (IDIS), the computer system into which PJs report their activities and uses of HOME funds. According to HUD, the new data are expected to help PJs produce better Consolidated Plans that more fully reflect local needs and to increase public participation in the process. The ability to submit plans directly to IDIS through a standard template is expected to make it easier for PJs to produce and submit Consolidated Plans, and to make it easier for HUD to track PJs’ progress toward the goals that they include in their plans.

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