The Federal HOME Investment Partnership program (HOME) was created under the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 and became available in 1992. The purpose of HOME funds is to expand the supply of affordable housing for low and very low-income families and individuals. Since 1992, the Clark County HOME Program has assisted in the development of over 1,000 affordable rental units.
How can communities use HOME funds?
Unlike traditional categorical grant programs, HOME funds give Clark County the flexibility to undertake a broad range of affordable housing activities. HOME funds may be used to:
- Acquire Property.
- Construct new housing for rent or home ownership.
- Rehabilitate rental or owner-occupied housing.
Serving low-income families
At least 90% of HOME funds used for rental housing must be invested in units that are occupied by families earning no more than 60% of the area median income, with the remaining families earning no more than 80% of the median income. The rents in HOME-assisted units must be affordable to low-income families during a period designated by HOME regulations. Homeowners assisted with HOME funds must have incomes at or below 80% of the area median income.
Leveraging community resources
Two key features of the HOME program help develop affordable housing. First, HOME encourages localities to mobilize their own resources through a requirement that the County contribute or match 25 cents for each dollar of HOME funds spent on affordable housing. As a rule of thumb, investments from State or local government or the private sector qualify as matching contributions, whereas Federal funds (such as Community Development Block Grants) do not qualify. But sources of match include far more than cash-the county can also use the value of donated land, construction materials, voluntary labor, and forgone interest or taxes, as well as many other services and benefits that nonprofit development can attract.
HOME also helps foster the growth and capacity of local nonprofits by requiring that 15% of the County HOME allocation is set-aside to fund housing that will be owned, developed, or sponsored by entities designated as community housing development organizations (CHDOs). These are private, nonprofit agencies organized under State law, accountable to the community they serve, and committed to and experienced in providing decent and affordable housing for low-income people.
The application process occurs annually, beginning in October. A proposal workshop is held in the first part of that month. In November, the HOME pre-application is due. The final application is due in December. The recommendations for funding awards occur in March at the Urban County Policy Board meeting and the first week of July is the official start of the program year.