3-5 Year Strategic Plan This document includes Narrative Responses to specific questions that grantees of the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnership, Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS and Emergency Shelter Grants Programs must respond to in order to be compliant with the Consolidated Planning Regulations. GENERAL Executive Summary The Executive Summary is required. Include the objectives and outcomes identified in the plan and an evaluation of past performance. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Executive Summary: The City of Biddeford has worked diligently to develop a Consolidated Plan that meets the requirements for submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, while at the same time is aimed at addressing the community development needs of the City's low and moderate income population. Particular attention has been given to formulating a program that provides needed public services and improvements to public facilities and infrastructure in the City's oldest downtown neighborhoods. Special efforts have also been made to develop a Consolidated Plan that is comprehensible and workable for the community at large. While the City has formulated a multi-dimensional action plan aimed at addressing a variety of important needs, a principal focus of CDBG funds is on upgrading public facilities serving LMI neighborhoods (e.g. streets, sidewalks, park improvements, etc.). The need for such improvements is well documented and due to budget constraints and competing demands, such needs are not likely to be addressed for years and decades to come. Biddeford's Consolidated Plan is comprised of a housing and community development analysis, a three-year strategic plan from 2005 to 2008, and a one-year action plan. The City will submit an annual action plan, a new plan in the third year, and annual Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Reports to chart progress and ensure activities are on target. The plan may be amended at any time and the process for amendments, as well as citizen participation is stated in the Citizen Participation Plan that was adopted in March 2005 by the City Council. The Citizens Advisory Committee and the citizens of Biddeford have through public hearings, meetings with city staff, social services, housing authorities, drive by surveys and the media, determined that the highest priority is public infrastructure/facilities, followed equally by social services, housing and economic development. This multi-faceted approach along with job creation for LMI persons is a pervading theme throughout the other three categories. The CAC felt that 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 1 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. infrastructure and public facilities, social services, housing projects and economic development over the next three years should create economic opportunities whenever possible for LMI persons, in order to provide a transition to a sustainable improved quality of life. Examples are social service programs that are educational in nature, and housing and infrastructure improvements that create a better environment for health, safety and the ability to access businesses, jobs and services in the downtown core. While the City addresses its housing issues during the first year of the Plan, infrastructure and public facility improvements, and beautification projects in LMI neighborhoods will address not only access and safety issues, but will enhance the sense of "wholeness" in the community. In addition, an adult education retraining program, senior advocate, and childcare and dental clinic will target a wide variety of needs for all age groups of the community over the next three years. Also, the purchase of a van for LMI youth and seniors to enable access to services and programs will also provide the possible spin-off of additional mentoring and mixed age related activities. During the second and third years of the plan, a downtown facade program will begin to address blighted buildings by enabling present and potential businesses opportunities that until now have been unaffordable. Revitalization and business attraction efforts are beginning through the partnership of the City and "Heart of Biddeford", a downtown attraction and revitalization non-profit corporation. Attracting and retaining long term businesses to the downtown, as well as growing the local entrepreneurial sector is a focus of the partnership to enable job creation. In conjunction with the downtown projects is the formulation of a conceptual redevelopment plan for Biddeford's mill complex. As in many cities across the U.S., the redevelopment of old mill structures is a major challenge. Located in the downtown, these mills are an integral piece in the revitalization strategy of Biddeford. A flexible community in the midst of change, Biddeford's various agencies and organizations continue to seek solutions by sharing resources, searching for innovative funding sources and project/program collaboration, to enable the Consolidated Plan to be a viable tool kit for the next three years and beyond. Strategic Plan Due every three, four, or five years (length of period is at the grantee’s discretion) no less than 45 days prior to the start of the grantee’s program year start date. HUD does not accept plans between August 15 and November 15. Mission: "To create a Strategic Plan that enhances the community and economic development of the City of Biddeford through targeted public facility and infrastructure improvements, social services, housing, economic development projects and activities that benefit residents, including low to moderate income persons and special population groups." 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 2 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. CITY OF BIDDEFORD CONSOLIDATED PLAN PRIORITIES, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS Priorities are listed in the order in which they rank (highest Priority #1, etc.) Each is addressed within the Consolidated Plan and Year 1 Action Plan and are part of the multifaceted approach to addressing the City’s issues. Priority 1 - To eliminate slum and blight in the downtown area through infrastructure and public facilities improvements that benefit LMI neighborhoods. Objective 1 - Increase access and provide public facilities that provide for the health and safety of LMI neighborhoods. Actions: 1. Implement sidewalk, street paving and beautification projects in LMI neighborhoods for safe and adequate access to services and facilities. 2. Implement park and vacant lot developments in LMI neighborhoods for safe and adequate recreation needs. 3. Provide transportation for LMI citizens to services and community programs. Objective 2 - Increase business attraction and the elimination of slum and blight through the implementation of downtown improvements. Actions: 1. Provide loan/grant assitance to commercial property owners in the downtown core along with design assistance for a Downtown Program. 2. Develop a plan for redevelopment of the mills and adjacent downtown area. Priority 2 - To provide a strategy to meet the increasing need for transitional to affordable and supportive housing. Objective 1 - Increase the supply of affordable housing for low to moderate-income persons. Actions: 1. Consider making the City's "surplus" and/or tax acquired real estate available for the development of affordable housing. 2. Consider revisions to the City's zoning and land use standards which would provide incentives, e.g. density bonuses for the development of affordable housing. 3. In partnership with other public/private parties, explore the adaptive re-use and redevelopment of non-residential properties, e.g. mills, into affordable housing. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 3 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Objective 2 - Increase opportunities for homeownership for low and moderate income persons. Actions: 1. Consider a partnership with other public/private organizations to pool resources to help finance home ownership, e.g. down payments, loan assistance, mortgage interest rate write-downs, and other financing mechanisms. Objective 3 - Preserve and upgrade the City's housing stock serving low to moderate income persons. Actions: 1. Consider establishment of low interest loan programs to help finance the rehabilitation of the City's downtown housing stock. 2. Undertake a systematic and concentrated program of code enforcement to ensure life - safety standards are met and to prevent blighting influences on neighbohoods. 3. Provide funding to low to moderate income homeowners for improvements aimed at energy conservation. Priority 3 - Implement strategies to aid the elderly and special needs populations in access to information and services to increase health and safety and reduce reliance of the City's overburdened Health and Welfare Department that can only provide minimal assistance. Objective 1: Improve the health and safety of the elderly. Actions: 1. Provide for an outreach elderly advocate through the City's Health and Welfare Department to assist the elderly in accessing programs and services such as Medicare D. Priority 4 - Provide educational and work opportunities for homeless persons, LMI and special needs populations that provide avenues to obtain jobs and/or better paying jobs. Objective 1 - Increase the economic prosperity of low to moderate income persons and their ability to afford housing and health and safety amenities. Actions: 1. Provide opportunities for low to moderate income persons to attend training and educational programs that can lead to higher wages. 2. Provide child care programs that increase the opportunity for low to moderate income persons to attend educational and training programs. 3. Link local programs to institutions that would be the "next step" for low to moderate income persons. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 4 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Priority 5 - To reinforce and strengthen the emergency shelter and transitional housing system that is already in place which includes housing, counseling, education and a wide variety of homeless, special needs and LMI assistance. Objective 1 - Assist and work with the City's Health and Welfare Department, volunteer organizations and agencies to seek collaborative efforts to assist homeless, LMI and special needs populations in Biddeford. Actions: 1. Encourage network meetings of area resources and services. * The following falls under all priority listings and pertains to special needs populations thus giving it a stand alone Objective and Action. Objective 1 - Provide for a seamless network of social services and assistance for special needs populations. Actions: 1. Conduct a study to gather all social service information and examine gaps in existing systems for all special needs population groups (includes diagnostic, rehabilitative, educational, housing and work opportunities). General Questions 1. Describe the geographic areas of the jurisdiction (including areas of low income families and/or racial/minority concentration) in which assistance will be directed. 2. Describe the basis for allocating investments geographically within the jurisdiction (or within the EMSA for HOPWA) (91.215(a)(1)) and the basis for assigning the priority (including the relative priority, where required) given to each category of priority needs (91.215(a)(2)). Where appropriate, the jurisdiction should estimate the percentage of funds the jurisdiction plans to dedicate to target areas. 3. Identify any obstacles to meeting underserved needs (91.215(a)(3)). 3-5 Year Strategic Plan General Questions response: 1. Geographic Area Biddeford is bordered by the towns of Saco, Dayton, Arundel and Kennebunkport. It is comprised of 30 square miles with a population of approximately 21,000 people. Although benefits will be citywide, the concentration of this Plan's efforts will be in the 30 block downtown area comprised of the following Block Groups: Tract 252_01 Block Group 4, Tract 252_01 Block Group 1, Tract 252_02 Block Group 1, Tract 252_02 Block Group 9, Tract 252_01 Block Group 3, Tract 252_01 Block Group 2, Tract 252_02 Block Group 6, Tract 252_02 block Group 7, and Tract 252_02 block Group 8 (see map attached). A majority of the Census Block Groups are comprised of at least 51% low to moderate income households, with Tract 252_02 Block Group 1 at 77.9% LMI households and Tract 252_01 Block Group 1 at 85.9%. Only Tract 252_02 Block Group 8, Tract 252_02 Block Group 6 and Tract 252-01 Block Group 3 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 5 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. are under the 51% LMI household requirement. However, it is believed that through an income survey, if needed, these census blocks could qualify as over the 51% requirement. Projects in the Plan are targeted to benefit LMI persons or are located in LMI neighborhoods determined to have the greatest need and/or highest percentage of LMI persons. 2. Basis for Assigning Priority The City and Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) determined that after review of the various projects/programs coming forward for funding that a three-year plan would be the best course of action. The CAC then tasked itself with reviewing the types of programs/projects being developed on Community Development Project Worksheets available to any entity through the Community Development Coordinator's Office. The CAC also reviewed information gathered on "need" from City Departments, U.S. Census, the Department of Health and Human Services, Housing Authorities, social service organizations, and public hearings and comment. Following this, the CAC made its recommendations and the City unanimously agreed to fund Administration and Planning at 13% and social services at 9.8% the first year. The remainder of the first year allocation would be divided amongst public infrastructure/facility and community improvement projects. The CAC felt that it would need a year to develop a comprehensive approach to effectively examine and begin to address all the various housing issues and provide economic development opportunities involving large-scale collaboration in years 2 and 3. It was also felt by the CAC that the visible results of public infrastructure/facilities needed in the downtown core, such as sidewalks, pocket parks, etc., would encourage greater participation and enthusiasm from citizens during the first year. The basis for allocating investments geographically in the downtown core area was determined after the City and CAC examined the City's Capital Improvements Program and maps of Census Blocks comprising the area. Highest priority was given to infrastructure improvements including sidewalk construction and street paving over the next three years on streets in LMI neighborhoods that are not covered under the Capital Improvements Plan due to budget constraints. An additional priority was given to LMI neighborhoods with public housing and senior complexes, as well as those that have a high rate of foot traffic and no sidewalks. Park improvements were also given highest priority in LMI neighborhoods where access to a park is an important component of recreation. In Social Services, the priority was a multifaceted approach involving programs designed to assist all age groups, their families and the City. The first year this included; an advocate to assist seniors to access programs and services, and a new worker retraining program for adults through Adult Education to provide an avenue to better paying jobs. The second year, an expanded childcare program and new dental clinic is planned to enable parents the ability to participate in educational and employment opportunities. These programs will be available to LMI persons citywide. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 6 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 3. Obstacles In Meeting Underserved Needs The greatest obstacle to meeting underserved needs will be the restrictions due to available staff and funding. The Community Development Coordinator currently is tasked with the entire administration of the program. In addition, the demand for social services is high in Biddeford and smaller organizations seeking support for projects/programs may not be able to handle the strains of extra staff and costs incurred to offer an expanded or new service. Also, the reality that only 15% of the total allocation may be spent in the social services sector limits the amount of activities that can be implemented. The Community Development Coordinator will develop a system to gather the needs of these smaller organizations and encourage collaborations and the seeking of other funds to supplement the stated needs. Another obstacle is the spiraling increase in rental housing costs and lack of affordability for persons of low to moderate income. Housing strategies such as the possible conversion of vacant mill buildings into affordable housing will need to be explored over the second year. In addition, the City's Health and Welfare Department is overwhelmed in addressing the basic shelter and food provisions of the homeless and families in desperate need. A coalition of resource agencies is meeting regularly to initiate dialogue and assess what services are available. Coordination of these services including educational resources and programs to remove barriers that prevent persons from acquiring services and employment will need to be developed, as well as coordination of advocacy for these populations. Managing the Process (91.200 (b)) 1. Lead Agency. Identify the lead agency or entity for overseeing the development of the plan and the major public and private agencies responsible for administering programs covered by the consolidated plan. 2. Identify the significant aspects of the process by which the plan was developed, and the agencies, groups, organizations, and others who participated in the process. 3. Describe the jurisdiction's consultations with housing, social service agencies, and other entities, including those focusing on services to children, elderly persons, persons with disabilities, persons with HIV/AIDS and their families, and homeless persons. *Note: HOPWA grantees must consult broadly to develop a metropolitan-wide strategy and other jurisdictions must assist in the preparation of the HOPWA submission. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Managing the Process response: l. Lead Agency The Economic Development Department comprised of the Director and Community Development Coordinator of the City of Biddeford will serve as the lead agent for the Consolidated Plan planning process and implementation. The Economic Development Department collaborated with City Departments, statistical bureaus, various 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 7 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. organizations and citizens during the planning phase and will continue this process throughout the Entitlement Program. The Department will be responsible for all required documentation, training and compliance issues with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and will work with the CAC with full support from the City of Biddeford. 2. Process for Plan Development On July 20th, 2004, the City Council of Biddeford voted unanimously to accept a CDBG Entitlement Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A Community Development Coordinator was hired to administer and serve as the contact for the planning and implementation of the Consolidated Plan. An educational effort was launched in February to provide information about the program to the general public. A Citizens Participation Plan was drafted and a public hearing was held on February 24th regarding the process by which citizens would participate in the planning process. The City Council adopted the plan on March 15 th. During this time, the Director of Economic Development and Community Development Coordinator met with City staff, Public Works, Health and Welfare, the Heart of Biddeford, a downtown revitalization program, Parks and Recreation, the YMCA, Adult Education and Community Center staff to receive input regarding the social and economic needs of the people. The Community Development Coordinator did one on one information sharing in the downtown when the opportunity presented itself regarding the program and public hearings. A driveby assessment of sidewalks was conducted in LMI neighborhoods in February. A call for proposed projects was implemented and entities were given a workable project worksheet to fill out and submit. Projects began to pour into the Department by early March and the CAC met to review the initial flood of requests and gain a sense of need in the community. A public hearing was held on March 10th to solicit citizens input for projects and determine if any collaborations could be built between enitities. Meantime, the U.S. Census Bureau and Maine State Housing Authority gave technical assistance to the City for statisitcal analysis of the housing and homeless situation. The CAC continued to work through March to assess and priortize the various projects/programs suggested for inclusion in the Consolidated Plan. A folder was started for projects not qualifying for CDBG funding in event resources could at some point be found for the project/program. A draft plan was developed including the itemized projects for the first year prioritized by the Project Review Criteria included in this Plan. A public hearing was held on March 31st to receive input and comments on the plan. This was followed by a 30-day comment period in which any comments and input were taken into consideration. On April 5th the Biddeford Economic Development Department gave a presentation to the City Council regarding the proposed Consolidated Plan and First Year Annual Action Plan to receive input. The final draft of the Plan was adopted by the City Council on May 3rd. The CAC met March 15th to review Project/Program Review Criteria and review projects. They then met on March 23rd to discuss the draft Consolidated Plan and review additional submitted projects. They met again on April 20th to review any public comments and review any changes or additions to the Plan. They also added additional criteria to the Project/Program Review Criteria. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 8 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. One of the most significant aspects of the process was the grassroots participation by citizens and those agencies participating in the CDBG process for the first time. A significant moment came during a public hearing when one participant stated in an emotional testimony how the child care an agency provided enabled her to attend school. 3. Consultations A survey was conducted as part of Biddeford's 1999 Comprehensive Plan. It queried citizens to comment on many aspects of the community including public housing, youth activities, elderly needs, etc. This survey was used as a baseline reference in the development of the Consolidated Plan. The City of Biddeford sponsored a meeting with area resource providers to meet and share information about their programs and services they provide. The Community Development Coordinator attended the meeting and received valuable information regarding the pressing social service needs in the City including homelessness, the elderly, and special needs groups. The City's Health and Welfare Department met with the Economic Development Department and provided comprehensive homeless data for the entire year. In consultation with the York County Homeless Shelter, data was obtained on the various shelter and transitional housing available. Various City departments such as Recreation and the Public Works and Parks Director provided information on LMI neighborhoods, needs, and current facilities, infrastructure and programs. The Southern Maine Agency on Aging provided information on recent developments in the Medicare system and the issues seniors and the elderly are facing. The Northern York County YMCA and Catholic Charities of Maine provided information on child care programs and who uses them. The YMCA had a great deal of information regarding children and teen programs, including a bike mentoring program. The Community Development Coordinator met in consultation with the "Heart of Biddeford" Executive Director to receive input regarding the downtown. The Heart of Biddeford is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation overseen by an active working board. Four standing committees focus on Organization, Economic Restructuring, Promotion, and Design to target downtown efforts with businesses and social service agencies. The Heart of Biddeford anticipates becoming part of the National Main Street Program. Information in the consultation ranged from availability of employment opportunities for LMI persons, the presence of the creative economy and entrepreneurial sector in Biddeford, and the existence of blighted conditions in the downtown core. In addition, information was received regarding the mill complex and what businesses are currently housed at various locations in the complex. On a broader scope, the Maine State Housing Authority provided assistance and information regarding housing issues and assisted in the interpretation of data. Regarding lead based paint issues, the Department of Human Services was contacted and a report requested from the Childhood Lead Based Paint Prevention Program. The Department provided data regarding lead based paint issues facing Maine and Biddeford households and the interpretation of the data provided by HUD. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 9 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Citizen Participation (91.200 (b)) 1. Provide a summary of the citizen participation process. 2. Provide a summary of citizen comments or views on the plan. 3. Provide a summary of efforts made to broaden public participation in the development of the consolidated plan, including outreach to minorities and non- English speaking persons, as well as persons with disabilities. 4. Provide a written explanation of comments not accepted and the reasons why these comments were not accepted. *Please note that Citizen Comments and Responses may be included as additional files within the CPMP Tool. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Citizen Participation response: 1. Summary The City of Biddeford continues to seek active citizen participation in the development and implementation of the Consolidated Plan. Through prior CDBG activities over the last 20 years, the City has developed long standing relationships with housing authorities, non profit organizations, social service agencies and others that provide services to low to moderate income persons, including special needs populations. These entities also provide valuable information regarding needs and current gaps in the delivery system that can affect economic prosperity and quality of life for these population groups. The City will continue to seek the consultation of these various entities and encourage their participation, as well as that of their clients, at public hearings and meetings regarding the Consolidated Plan. On February 24th a Public Hearing was held to solicit input on the Citizen's Participation Plan (CP Plan). Prior to the hearing, copies of the CP Plan were taken to the local library and were also available at City Hall. The notice was posted in "The Journal Tribune" and "Courier". On March 10th, another Public Hearing was held to solicit input for projects and programs for the Consolidated Plan. This hearing was also posted in the local/regional papers. Another Public Hearing was held on March 31st, to solicit comments and input regarding the Consolidated Plan. Copies were available at the library and City Hall. All public hearings were posted for 15 days prior to being held and notices and agendas were posted at the main entrance to City Hall, in the Clerk's Office, the library and at the Community Center. A thirty-day comment period followed the hearing to receive input, comment and additional information for the Plan. Three citizens were also asked to be on the Citizens Advisory Committee. Amongst these three volunteer citizens are representation encompassing LMI persons, disabled, seniors, business, downtown residents and non-profit services. 2. Summary of Citizen Comments See Appendices. 3. Efforts to Broaden Public Participation 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 10 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Since July, 2004, the City has undertaken efforts to educate the public about the Consolidated Plan and the process through a published summary of Biddeford's CDBG history, how the Entitlement Program is different, the benefits, eligible projects, and other major components for understanding "how it works". The first step in citizen participation was to assist the City Council, Mayor and City Manager in understanding the program and requirements. This process has been ongoing since Entitlement status was received. The next step was to educate the citizens and solicit their involvement in the planning process. Once a Community Development Coordinator was hired in January, a Citizen Participation Plan was drafted and made available to the public in February 2005. A Public Hearing was advertised to receive comments on the plan of how citizens would participate and the notice stated where copies could be obtained for review. The Community Development Coordinator also met businesses in the downtown and passed the information about the Entitlement Program in one-on-one introductions whenever possible. An article appeared in the "Journal Tribune" on February 22 nd to solicit interest. The Public Hearing on February 24th to receive input regarding the Citizens Participation Plan was sparsely attended. Those that came wanted to talk about projects. They were told that another Public Hearing would be held on March 10th for project proposal. The City encouraged those present to "get the word out" and attend. It was felt that since the results of the citizen survey developed for the current Comprehensive Plan were assessed, citizens have worked to move towards the goals that evolved from the survey. These include youth activities, social services, housing needs, economic development, public facilities and infrastructure improvements, etc. Presently, citizens feel they are ready to move on to additional projects that will immediately benefit and elevate the housing, social needs, public infrastructure/facilities, and health and safety of residents. This no nonsense approach to planning and project proposal is an important component and the driving force behind the development of the Consolidated Plan. The Citizens Participation Plan was adopted by the Town Council after a 15-day comment period on March 15th. The media had attended the hearing on February 24th and stated that they would help get the word out by publishing an article about the program and a call for projects. The article appeared in the "Courier" on March 3rd, encouraging citizens to participate. On March 10th, 2005, the City of Biddeford held a Public Hearing to receive projects for the proposed funding. Fourteen people attended, more than the previous hearing. Attendees were informed about the restrictions and requirements of the CDBG funds and the process the CAC would use to evaluate and prioritize proposed projects and programs. Attendees were encouraged to seek partnerships and collaborate wherever possible. A total of five major projects and programs were received. Another article appeared on March 28th in "The Journal" to keep the participation growing. Every citizen has and is encouraged to attend any public hearing. Organizations are encouraged to inform clients about the program and encourage their attendance. The meetings are handicap accessible and special accommodations are available upon request for interpretive and other services. After the March 15th Public Hearing, the CAC then met and prioritized the qualifying projects based on a set of Project/Program Evaluation Criteria. However, no project 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 11 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. or activity proposed was deleted and all projects will be kept on file for future consideration and searches for other funding will be conducted by the Community Development Coordinator and the City's part time grant writer as time allows within budget constraints. Citizens are continually encouraged to contact the Community Development Coordinator with any projects they may wish to propose. The Consolidated Plan was then drafted and made available 15 days before the Public Hearing on March 31st. Drafts were available to citizens at the library and City Hall. An Executive Summary was published in the paper and sent to neighboring communities and the Biddeford Housing Authority. A 30-day comment period ensued with presentation to the City Council on April 5th. The plan was adopted by the City Council on May 3rd, followed by submission to HUD on May 5th. The Citizens Participation Plan is included in Appendices and includes the processes by which citizens can access and receive timely information regarding their Consolidated Plan, the CAPER, Annual Action Plan and Complaint Process. 4. Comments Not Incorporated into the Plan See Appendices. Institutional Structure (91.215 (i)) 1. Explain the institutional structure through which the jurisdiction will carry out its consolidated plan, including private industry, non-profit organizations, and public institutions. 2. Assess the strengths and gaps in the delivery system. 3. Assess the strengths and gaps in the delivery system for public housing, including a description of the organizational relationship between the jurisdiction and the public housing agency, including the appointing authority for the commissioners or board of housing agency, relationship regarding hiring, contracting and procurement; provision of services funded by the jurisdiction; review by the jurisdiction of proposed capital improvements as well as proposed development, demolition or disposition of public housing developments. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Institutional Structure response: 1. Institutional Structure The City of Biddeford will be the lead and the coordinating institution responsible for the implementation of the Consolidated Plan. The City Council will make decisions on the allocation of CDBG funds. The City will work diligently to strengthen existing partnerships and establish new networks with public and private entities to ensure every available resource is used to leverage CDBG resources. 2. Strengths and Gaps - Delivery System The delivery system the City will implement will be smooth and seamless between municipal government, departments, public and private entities and citizens. Any gaps will result from the need to keep citizens, especially those affected by CDBG funding, engaged actively in the process. Keeping the reporting process to the 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 12 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Economic Development Department on track and educating various entities on "how the program works" will be one of the goals to ensure organizations can then educate their program clients. A major strength of the Consolidated Plan will be the increased collaboration that the City plans to build upon its existing networks. However, it will take work to ensure that the collaborations remain ongoing. The City is confident that these new challenges will provide an opportunity to capacity build its own economic and community development network and build upon its knowledge from participation in CDBG programs over the last 25 years. 3. Strengths and Gaps - Public Housing The strength’s in the delivery system for subsidized housing is the effective working relationship between the Biddeford Housing Authority (BHA) and the City. Biddeford Housing Authority administers the Section 8 Voucher program. There are currently approximately 300 Section Vouchers being utilized in Biddeford at this time. The BHA has 118 of those Vouchers in its own allocation through HUD, while the remainder of the vouchers is being administered by BHA for other Housing Agencies. The Authority is a political subdivision of the State, organized under 30 MSRSA. It is governed by a board of six Commissioners who are appointed by the Mayor with consent of the City Council. The Authority is an independent entity and accomplishes its own hiring, procurement and contracting under policies established by its Board of Commissioners. The Section 8 Voucher program is federally funded and is expected to be consistent with the City’s Consolidated Plan. The BHA prepares its own five- year Agency Plan with Annual Plan Updates. Monitoring (91.230) 1. Describe the standards and procedures the jurisdiction will use to monitor its housing and community development projects and ensure long-term compliance with program requirements and comprehensive planning requirements. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Monitoring response: The Community Development Coordinator will monitor each project for program requirements and to ensure project completion. Training will be implemented for subrecipients and close monitoring during the project implementation phase. Subrecipient contracts, reporting materials and training materials have already been received from the City of Portland for the City's use. Throughout all phases of the Consolidated Plan, the City of Biddeford Planner will review projects and programs to ensure that they are in compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. In addition, the CAC will meet monthly to review current programs and any proposed changes in the Consolidated Plan. The City Manager, Mayor and City Council will receive a monthly report on the Plan's progress. The City of Biddeford will submit a Comprehensive Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) to HUD as required annually. The report is a review of how funding was used and projects/programs implemented during the previous program year. The report will be submitted ninety days after the close of the City's program year as required. The CAC will review the CAPER. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 13 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. The CAPER will be made available for 15 days for public review and comment. A public notice advertised in "The Courier" and "Journal Tribune" will state where the report can be viewed. After the 15-day comment period the report will be submitted to HUD. In addition, Performance Measurements will be developed during the first six months of implementation of the Consolidated Plan and implemented to measure project compliance and success at the end of the first year. Priority Needs Analysis and Strategies (91.215 (a)) 1. Describe the basis for assigning the priority given to each category of priority needs. 2. Identify any obstacles to meeting underserved needs. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Priority Needs Analysis and Strategies response: 1. Basis for Assigning Priority The City of Biddeford and the CAC as priviously described in the section General Questions, number 2., prioritzed the categories of public infrastructure/facilities, social services, housing and economic development. Public infrastructure/facilities was the top priority followed by social services, housing and economic development equally. Since projects in these categories were already being taken in by the Community Development Coordinator the CAC developed seven Project/Program Evaluation Criteria by which projects/programs were prioritized. After reviewing several projects according to these criteria, the CAC felt that the criteria could be applied to the categories of need, along with the consultations with various groups and individuals, to avoid the necessity for another set of criteria. All the criteria are considered of equal weight. They are as follows: PROJECT/PROGRAM EVALUATION CRITERIA 1. The degree to which the project/program qualifies under HUD required objectives. 2. The degree to which the project/program has a positive impact on the health and safety of the project/program participants and City’s residents. 3. The degree to which the project/program improves the quality of life in an effort to provide decent and affordable housing, a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities for all citizens. 4. The degree to which committed economic activities provide for the greatest number of jobs created for low to moderate income individuals. 5. The degree that optimum leverage of CDBG funds is ensured through partnerships with private and public sector resources (inkind and monetary) in the project. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 14 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 6. The degree to which the project/program is ready to be implemented and organization staff available. 7. The degree to which the project/program benefits significant numbers of LMI persons. As the projects were submitted then catagorized and prioritized, and consultations reviewed, the CAC and City began to see a pattern. The public infrastructure/facilities appeared to benefit the largest number of people, improve health and safety, provide leveraged funds and/or labor, and were ready to implement. Social services,housing and economic development rated second equally, with a number of good ideas in the social service category, but most were not ready to implement at this time. The three projects/programs selected were the only ones completely ready to be implemented and some submitted projects did not qualify under HUD regulations. Because of this the CAC determined at a meeting on April 20th that it would be best to add one requirement in addition to the seven project/program evaluation criteria. This requirement is as follows: "Non profit organizations must provide proof of non profit status, submit a list of the organizations Board of Directors including addresses and phone numbers, and provide a copy of the most recent annual report, preferebly two years annual reports." All proposals not meeting this requirement will still be accepted, but the organization will be advised of the requirement and directed for assistance regarding this status. Regarding solutions to housing issues, while definitely encompassing many different types of needs, these will need time to be developed. And, under economic development, a downtown facade program and mill redevelopment plan will be large projects that will need to take place the second program year. 2. Identify Obstacles In Meeting Underserved Needs Obstacles to meeting underserved needs could occur in the social services category, since small non profits have very limited saff to implement large scale programs and meet documentation requirements. The City will do everything it can to assist in the development of collaborations and networking to enable smaller services to participate. Another obstacle to meeting underserved needs will be the need to develop a housing strategy. Since the City does not own any public housing, other housing alternative strategies will need to be developed. Rising housing costs are continuing to make affordable housing scarcer and scarcer. Lead-based Paint (91.215 (g)) 1. Estimate the number of housing units that contain lead-based paint hazards, as defined in section 1004 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 15 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. of 1992, and are occupied by extremely low-income, low-income, and moderate-income families. 2. Outline actions proposed or being taken to evaluate and reduce lead-based paint hazards and describe how lead based paint hazards will be integrated into housing policies and programs, and how the plan for the reduction of lead-based hazards is related to the extent of lead poisoning and hazards. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Lead-based Paint response: 1. Lead Based Paint In Biddeford, according to the U.S. Census 2000, 41.9% of the total number of households (8,636), are estimated to contain lead-based paint. This is a total of 3,616 households of owner and rental housing built before 1978 and which pose lead based paint issues. According to City records this figure is extremely high. Although the City understands that efforts are needed in the future to remedy this issue, since 1975, approximately 1,000 homes in neighborhoods with LMI households have been renovated and lead issues addressed. This would lower the number of households at risk to 2,616 or 30.2%. The concentaration of older homes in the downtown core area appears to contain the oldest housing comprised of LMI households. It is suspected that these homes may contain the greatest lead based paint issues. Children are at the greatest health risk for lead based paint exposure. Children with an Elevated Blood Level (EBLL) of 10ug/di or higher are considered at risk from lead based paint exposure. 2. Lead Based Paint Hazard Reduction Actions The City of Biddeford currently works with several private housing agencies that have lead based paint programs to ensure the safety of their program clients. The York County Community Action Program also has a housing program serving Biddeford citizens and has a lead based paint education and testing program in place. Since the City has not implemented a housing rehabilitation program for approximately 10 years, it uses the CDBG Lead Reduction and Education Guidelines it implemented in previous programs. The Biddeford Housing Authority also monitors lead based paint issues for its tenants and provides information on the dangers of lead paint to all participating tenants. Over the next three years the City will actively seek guidance from the Advisory Council for the Maine Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program coordinated through the Department of Health and Human Services. The City will consider implementing the Elimination Plan that was developed through the Strategic Planning process with this council comprised of Maine communities. The plan is a template for Maine communities to implement a lead awareness outreach plan to asist in the elimination of childhood lead poisoning in the State of Maine by 2010. The City will also consider the inclusion of lead hazards in the next update of the City's Comprehensive Plan. A third strategy will include working with Community Concepts to access funding from the Lead Hazard Control Grants Program for testing and other lead reduction activities. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 16 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. HOUSING Housing Needs (91.205) *Please also refer to the Housing Needs Table in the Needs.xls workbook 1. Describe the estimated housing needs projected for the next five year period for the following categories of persons: extremely low-income, low-income, moderate-income, and middle-income families, renters and owners, elderly persons, persons with disabilities, including persons with HIV/AIDS and their families, single persons, large families, public housing residents, victims of domestic violence, families on the public housing and section 8 tenant-based waiting list, and discuss specific housing problems, including: cost-burden, severe cost- burden, substandard housing, and overcrowding (especially large families). 2. To the extent that any racial or ethnic group has a disproportionately greater need for any income category in comparison to the needs of that category as a whole, the jurisdiction must complete an assessment of that specific need. For this purpose, disproportionately greater need exists when the percentage of persons in a category of need who are members of a particular racial or ethnic group is at least ten percentage points higher than the percentage of persons in the category as a whole. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Housing Needs response: 1. Housing Needs Biddeford’s year round housing stock totals 10,379 dwelling units comprised almost evenly of (5,219) single family units and (5,160) rental units. Since 1995, housing growth in the City proceeded at a relatively modest annual rate of 1.3% or 705 units. Of this number, 545 were single family units representing a 12% increase in the City’s single family housing stock over a nine year period. During the same period, 160 new rental units were built representing a growth of 3% in the City’s rental housing stock. Despite the modest overall growth, it’s significant to note that 102 of the 160 new rental units were “assisted” units in projects targeted for low-moderate income persons, disabled, or families. These projects were: St. Andre’s School (32 units – elderly/disabled), 5 Graham St. (35 units – elderly/disabled), and Riverbend (35 units – family). Availability Since 1996, Biddeford’s housing vacancy rate has averaged 1% for single family units and between 1-2% for rental units. Housing demand for all income levels and household types has been driven by several factors such as a 9% increase in the number of Biddeford households since 1990 as well as the growth of the local economy and institutions such as the University of New England. Additional pressures on the local market have resulted from those seeking to relocate from higher priced housing markets such as Portland to more affordable housing. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 17 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Affordability Biddeford’s housing market has reflected the trend of the past decade in southern Maine as housing costs for both rental and single family housing has risen dramatically. According to the study using U.S. Census data, "Bringing Families Home Again: Affordable Housing Issues in York County, Maine" by Mary Ann Gleason, M.S., "the federal government's standard for housing affordability is not spending more than 30% of your income on housing costs. In Biddeford, greater than one in five owner households, and greater than 40% of renter households are living in housing that is unaffordable, which limits their ability to meet other family obligations - including daycare, utilities, transportation, food, and health care for those under- or uninsured." It should be noted that often when a family buys a lower priced home, the home requires such extensive rehabilitation just to obtain HUD Section 8 Standards that the repairs become a substantial burden on the owner. Monthly Housing Costs for Owners and Renters As Percent of Household Income 2000 Percent of Total Income Spent on Housing Costs Owners Renters Less than 20% 50.6% 31.6% 20 to 29% 27.5% 23.3% 30 to 34% 6.7% 8.5% 35% or more 14.6% 32.4% According to the Gleason study, which is based on U.S. Census 2000 figures, "almost one in every four Biddeford family households has an annual income of less than $25,000. Fify-five percent of Biddeford family households have incomes of less than $50,000 a year. The median family income is $44,109. Affordability for some families is due in large part to the significant difference between the annual median income for families in Biddeford,which is $44,109 versus $36,674 for the overall population of Biddeford." The report futher states that "Census 2000 showed Biddeford to have the highest poverty rate in York County at 13.8%, vesus an overall poverty rate in the county of 8.15%, and in the state of 10.9%." In addition the report stated, "Biddeford also has the largest number of rental units among their housing stock - 51%, would potentially make rental housing affordable. However their average rents (including utilities) have increased significantly over the last several years, according to the Maine State Housing Authority." Bedrooms Percent Increase in Average Rents 1999- 2002 0 65.4% 1 34.2% 2 23.4% 3 28.5% 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 18 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. These increases can be especially difficult on the elderly and disabled who are on fixed incomes. The needs regarding housing include finding solutions to affordable housing for all age groups and types of households. During the first year of implementation of the Consolidated Plan no housing activities are planned or being implemented. However, the housing situation will begin to be reviewed and possible strategies will begin to be developed with the City, CAC, Biddeford Housing Authority and other organizations. Housing costs are expected to continually rise and the elderly population to increase. 2. Disproportionate Housing Needs of Racial or Ethnic Groups Biddeford welcomes diversity in its population and it has not been determined to date that there is a disproportionately greater need with housing issues within any racial or ethnic group. The data in the needs table did not reveal a ten percentage point higher than the percentage of persons in the category as a whole. However, the City of Biddeford and Biddeford Housing Authority and its programs will continue to monitor any changes in these numbers. The mill redevelopment study proposed for Year 3 is expected to assess the potential for converting mill space into affordable housing. Priority Housing Needs (91.215 (b)) 1. Identify the priority housing needs and activities in accordance with the categories specified in the Housing Needs Table (formerly Table 2A). These categories correspond with special tabulations of U.S. census data provided by HUD for the preparation of the Consolidated Plan. 2. Provide an analysis of how the characteristics of the housing market and the severity of housing problems and needs of each category of residents provided the basis for determining the relative priority of each priority housing need category. Note: Family and income types may be grouped in the case of closely related categories of residents where the analysis would apply to more than one family or income type. 3. Describe the basis for assigning the priority given to each category of priority needs. 4. Identify any obstacles to meeting underserved needs. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Priority Housing Needs response: 1. Priority Housing Needs According to the Housing Needs Table with information supplied by HUD, elderly households who have an income of less than 30% of the median family income who rent and have a housing cost burden greater than 30% of the household income, number 55.4% of the 370 households in this category. Those with cost burdens greater than 50% number 33.8%. Of these 55.4% have housing problems. Of elderly households who own their homes with the same criteria, there are 75.2% of the 459 households who have a housing cost burden of greater than 30% and 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 19 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 24.8% over a cost burden of 50% of the household income. Of these, 75.2% have housing problems. Elderly households whose income is between 30% and 50% of the median family income and who rent equal 65.8% of households with a cost burden of greater that 30%, and 19.8% have a cost burden of 50%. Of these households 65.8% have housing problems. Of the households who own their homes, 42.2% have cost burdens of greater than 30% of their household income and 10.1% have a cost burden of greater than 50%. There are housing problems in 42.2 percent of the households. The numbers tend to decrease in the renting elderly households with 50% to 80% of median household income with cost burdens at 24.5%, and 24.5% with housing problems. In the cost burden category of greater than 50% of household income there are 0% elderly households. In elderly households who own their homes the numbers for cost burden also decrease in the 50% to 80% of median household income. In the households that rent that are comprised of 2-4 and 5 or more persons, the cost burden figures revealed the same trends as the elderly, highest in the less than 30% of median household income category. Percentage of housing with problems was also highest in this income category. It was determined that this trend held true for the owners category also, except where the amount of households altered the statistics. In the category marked "all other households" the renter category revealed the same trend as the renter categories for the elderly and 2-4 and 5 or more person families. In this same category marked "all other households" the owner category reveals that even though as the percent of medium household income increases, the cost burden and housing problems increase respectively. It is evident that the age of Biddeford's population, rising housing costs and utilities, and cost burden of renters and owners have a direct effect on the health and safety of households. This is especially the case for seniors and the disabled, who must try to afford medications, heat and food on a fixed income budget. The number of housing problems is evidence that housing repairs that could include life safety and health issues are often going unresolved. 2. Analysis for Determination of Relative Priority Housing Needs The Housing Needs Table provided comprehensive data for the housing needs of renters and owners of various categories. In considering local and consultation data, as well as U.S. Census figures, the elderly were considered the top priority due to the projected increase in numbers that will occur in future years and the complications brought on by rising housing costs on fixed incomes. All other households followed in equal standing due to the Plan's focus on bridging the gap between assisted housing, increased income and home ownership. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 20 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 3. Basis for Assigning Category Priority The three top priority categories: Elderly/Disabled, persons in assisted housing and on Section 8 tenant-based waiting lists, and low to moderate income families were targeted due to the result of meetings with housing authorities, Southern Maine Agency of Aging, daycare providers, Biddeford Adult Education and the City of Biddeford's Health and Welfare Department. In addition, the results of the homeless strategic plan and the review of those near homeless brought to light new findings on Biddeford's housing stituation. It should be noted that according to the Biddeford Housing Authority there are approximately 100 households on the waiting list for public housing which is a four year wait. The CAC pioritized housing needs categories based on what projects within the next year might begin to address the housing needs for that particular subpopulation. All others in the low to moderate income housing groups (renters and owners) followed in priority. Although a priority listing is requested, the City and CAC felt that each case is almost unique and can cross over to several of the needs categories and income guidelines. 4. Since the City of Biddeford does not have any Public Housing and relies on a network of housing agencies, it will need to strengthen this network to ensure communication to enable housing for LMI persons most in need. Housing Market Analysis (91.210) *Please also refer to the Housing Market Analysis Table in the Needs.xls workbook 1. Based on information available to the jurisdiction, describe the significant characteristics of the housing market in terms of supply, demand, condition, and the cost of housing; the housing stock available to serve persons with disabilities; and to serve persons with HIV/AIDS and their families. Data on the housing market should include, to the extent information is available, an estimate of the number of vacant or abandoned buildings and whether units in these buildings are suitable for rehabilitation. 2. Describe the number and targeting (income level and type of household served) of units currently assisted by local, state, or federally funded programs, and an assessment of whether any such units are expected to be lost from the assisted housing inventory for any reason, (i.e. expiration of Section 8 contracts). 3. Indicate how the characteristics of the housing market will influence the use of funds made available for rental assistance, production of new units, rehabilitation of old units, or acquisition of existing units. Please note, the goal of affordable housing is not met by beds in nursing homes. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Housing Market Analysis responses: 1. Housing Market Analysis See Appendices. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 21 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Specific Housing Objectives (91.215 (b)) 1. Describe the priorities and specific objectives the jurisdiction hopes to achieve over a specified time period. 2. Describe how Federal, State, and local public and private sector resources that are reasonably expected to be available will be used to address identified needs for the period covered by the strategic plan. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Specific Housing Objectives response: 1. Housing Priorities and Specific Objectives Since the City of Biddeford owns no public housing it will implement the following actions to enhance the affordability of permanent housing while at the same time working with the Biddeford Housing Authority and other agencies to find solutions to affordable housing and home ownership. Priority #5 begins to address the City of Biddeford's Homeless Strategy and is contained in the Homeless Needs Section of this Plan that follows the Housing Section. This priority deals with strengthening the network for emergency shelter and services strategies. Affordable housing actions are listed under Objective 1 of Priority #2 on page 36 on this plan. The following actions under Priority 2 go one step further to increase affordable opportunities for home ownership: Priority 2 - To provide a strategy to meet the increasing need for transitional to affordable and supportive housing. Objective 2 - Increase opportunities for homeownership for low and moderate- income persons. Actions: 1. Consider a partnership with other public/private organizations to pool resources to help finance home ownership, e.g. down payments, loan assistance, mortgage interest rate write-downs, and other financing mechanisms. Objective 3 - Preserve and upgrade the City's housing stock serving low to moderate-income persons. Actions: 1. Consider establishment of low interest loan programs to help finance the rehabilitation of the City's downtown housing stock. 2. Undertake a systematic and concentrated program of code enforcement to ensure life - safety standards are met and to prevent blighting influences on neighborhoods. 3. Provide funding to low to moderate-income homeowners for improvements aimed at energy conservation. Priority 4 - Provide educational and work opportunities for homeless persons, LMI and special needs populations that provide avenues to obtain jobs and/or better paying jobs. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 22 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Objective 1 - Increase the economic prosperity of low to moderate-income persons and their ability to afford housing and health and safety amenities. Actions: 1. Provide opportunities for low to moderate-income persons to attend training and educational programs that can lead to higher wages. 2. Provide child care programs that increase the opportunity for low to moderate-income persons to attend educational and training programs. 3. Link local programs to institutions that would be the "next step" for low to moderate-income persons. 2. Resources The City will continue to coordinate with affordable housing developers, organizations and agencies, and will continue to seek and fund partnerships that expand the supply of decent, safe, and affordable housing. The City and CAC will be developing strategies that could include a housing loan program combined with HOME funds from HUD. Needs of Public Housing (91.210 (b)) In cooperation with the public housing agency or agencies located within its boundaries, describe the needs of public housing, including the number of public housing units in the jurisdiction, the physical condition of such units, the restoration and revitalization needs of public housing projects within the jurisdiction, and other factors, including the number of families on public housing and tenant-based waiting lists and results from the Section 504 needs assessment of public housing projects located within its boundaries (i.e. assessment of needs of tenants and applicants on waiting list for accessible units as required by 24 CFR 8.25). The public housing agency and jurisdiction can use the optional Priority Public Housing Needs Table (formerly Table 4) of the Consolidated Plan to identify priority public housing needs to assist in this process. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Needs of Public Housing response: Public Housing Needs The City of Biddeford has a total of 498 units of "project based" rental housing and 340 units of vouchers that provide rental assistance to low to moderate-income households. In addition to the project based assisted housing, the Biddeford Housing Authority administers 340 units of HUD "vouchers" whereby low to moderate income persons receive rental assistance in apartments scattered throughout the community. Unlike the project-based subsidies, the voucher program allows tenants to move and still retain their subsidy. Approximately 66% of the 340 households using the voucher program are elderly/disabled. A survey was conducted in 1995 and updated in 2005 to evaluate the overall condition of the City's housing stock. Nearly 42% (4,395 units) of the City's housing stock was built prior to 1939, including over half of the City's rental housing stock. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 23 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. The recent survey indicated that there are approximately 100 residential structures that appear to be in need of substantial rehabilitation. These properties are predominately multifamily rental structures located in the City's oldest downtown neighborhoods. The Biddeford Housing Authority informed the City that there are currently 148 applicants on their housing waiting list. Of those 148 households, 24 have a head of household that is over 60 years old, 37 are families with children and 62 are disabled households. Of the 148 waiting households, 24 households had an annual income of less the $4,999, 63 households had an income of between $5,000 and $9,000, 41 households had an income between $10,000 and $14,000, and 20 families had an annual income over $15,000. The main source of income for 43 families is wages, 20 have TANF as their main source of income, 105 list SS and SSI as their main source, and 43 had other or no income. The Biddeford Housing Authority is currently not taking applications for the waiting list. Due to the 2005 change in budgeting and budget cuts, they do not anticipate housing more than a few, if any, households who are presently on the waiting list. The wait for housing for those already on the list is approximately three to four years, and perhaps even longer, due to anticipated budget cuts in the coming years. The Biddeford Housing Authority receives approximately 15 to 20 calls weekly inquiring about housing availability. Public Housing Strategy (91.210) 1. Describe the public housing agency's strategy to serve the needs of extremely low-income, low-income, and moderate-income families residing in the jurisdiction served by the public housing agency (including families on the public housing and section 8 tenant-based waiting list), the public housing agency’s strategy for addressing the revitalization and restoration needs of public housing projects within the jurisdiction and improving the management and operation of such public housing, and the public housing agency’s strategy for improving the living environment of extremely low-income, low-income, and moderate families residing in public housing. 2. Describe the manner in which the plan of the jurisdiction will help address the needs of public housing and activities it will undertake to encourage public housing residents to become more involved in management and participate in homeownership. (NAHA Sec. 105 (b)(11) and (91.215 (k)) 3. If the public housing agency is designated as "troubled" by HUD or otherwise is performing poorly, the jurisdiction shall describe the manner in which it will provide financial or other assistance in improving its operations to remove such designation. (NAHA Sec. 105 (g)) 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Public Housing Strategy response: 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 24 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 1. Public Housing Authority's Strategy According to the Biddeford Housing Authority there are potential looming cuts in the amount of 3% to the Section 8 Voucher Program anticipated for next year. Currently, they are continuing to work diligently to find housing for their Section 8 clients. The City has developed a Plan that will begin to address the increasing need for affordable housing beginning in the first year by exploring potential affordable housing alternatives, educational and training programs, and advocacy for seniors. 2. Plan Benefits and Participation by Public Housing Residents The Biddeford Housing Authority encourages public housing clients to be involved in the management of their housing needs, including referrals to a HUD Loan program for home ownership. The City will work with the Biddeford Housing Authority to encourage assisted housing clients to become more involved in the Consolidated Plan process through encouragement to participate in public hearings. Priority #2 and Priority #4 provide opportunities that will begin to meet the possible additional need for more assisted and affordable housing. The Plan encourages assisted housing clients to take part in the following actions contained in the Plan. Priority 2 - To provide a strategy to meet the increasing need for transitional to affordable and supportive housing. Objective 1: Increase the supply of affordable housing for low to moderate-income persons. Actions: 1. Consider making the City's "surplus" and/or tax acquired real estate available for the development of affordable housing. 2. Consider revisions to the City's zoning and land use standards which would provide incentives, e.g. density bonuses for the development of affordable housing. 3. In partnership with other public/private parties, explore the adaptive reuse and redevelopment of non-residential properties, e.g. mills, into affordable housing. Priority 4 - Provide educational and work for homeless persons, LMI and special needs populations that provide avenues to obtain jobs and/or better paying jobs. Objective 1 - Increase economic prosperity of low to moderate-income persons and their ability to afford housing and health and safety amenities. Actions: 1. Provide opportunities for low to moderate-income persons to attend training and educational programs that can lead to higher wages. 2. Provide childcare programs that increase the opportunity for low to moderate-income persons to attend educational and training programs. 3. Link local programs to institutions that would be the "next step" for low to moderate-income persons. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 25 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 3. Performance The Biddeford Housing Authority has been designated a "High Performer" by HUD for several years under the Section 8 Management Assessment System (SEMAP). The agency is most emphatically NOT troubled or otherwise performing poorly. Barriers to Affordable Housing (91.210 (e) and 91.215 (f)) 1. Explain whether the cost of housing or the incentives to develop, maintain, or improve affordable housing are affected by public policies, particularly those of the local jurisdiction. Such policies include tax policy affecting land and other property, land use controls, zoning ordinances, building codes, fees and charges, growth limits, and policies that affect the return on residential investment. 2. Describe the strategy to remove or ameliorate negative effects of public policies that serve as barriers to affordable housing, except that, if a State requires a unit of general local government to submit a regulatory barrier assessment that is substantially equivalent to the information required under this part, as determined by HUD, the unit of general local government may submit that assessment to HUD and it shall be considered to have complied with this requirement. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Barriers to Affordable Housing response: The City of Biddeford does not have any regulations, land use controls, zoning ordinances, code enforcement, development or growth limitations that would deter affordable housing projects. The Biddeford Housing Authority and other coordinating agencies involved in providing technical assistance remain committed in achieving and encouraging affordable housing for all the citizens of Biddeford. HOMELESS Homeless Needs (91.205 (b) and 91.215 (c)) *Please also refer to the Homeless Needs Table in the Needs.xls workbook Homeless Needs— The jurisdiction must provide a concise summary of the nature and extent of homelessness in the jurisdiction, (including rural homelessness and chronic homelessness where applicable), addressing separately the need for facilities and services for homeless persons and homeless families with children, both sheltered and unsheltered, and homeless subpopulations, in accordance with Table 1A. The summary must include the characteristics and needs of low-income individuals and children, (especially extremely low-income) who are currently housed but are at imminent risk of either residing in shelters or becoming unsheltered. In addition, to the extent information is available, the plan must include a description of the nature and extent of homelessness by racial and ethnic group. A quantitative analysis is not required. If a jurisdiction provides estimates of the at-risk population(s), it should also include a description of the operational definition of the at-risk group and the methodology used to generate the estimates. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 26 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Homeless Needs response: Summary of Nature and Extent of Homelessness The nature of homelessness and the near homeless has been a complex issue best understood at the local level and by the City's history. The City was a center for textile manufacturing with its former Pepperell textile mills that once employed approximately 9,000 people. Over the years the mills ceased operations and WestPoint Stevens is now the only manufacturer with a workforce of about 300 workers. The limited availability of affordable housing, as well as housing costs, have contributed to the incidence of homelessness, as has an increasing transient population. Although there are no homeless shelters in Biddeford, individuals or families seeking shelter seek assistance through the City's Health and Welfare Office. The Continuum of Care that requires an annual one night survey revealed that there were four homeless individuals and one family seeking shelter on January 24th, 2005. However, the City of Biddeford's Health and Welfare Department has developed the following chart that provides information regarding the homeless seeking shelter in Biddeford in any given month in 1994. CITY OF BIDDEFORD HOMELESS REPORT 2004 Month Total # of Total # Total # of Households Persons Children January 18 29 4 February 26 47 11 March 25 44 8 April 18 44 19 May 25 52 14 June 24 44 14 July 15 44 18 August 15 30 5 September 15 24 6 October 17 37 17 November 25 37 9 December 24 44 11 ______________________________________ Total 2004 247 476 136 According to the Case Worker in the Health and Welfare Department and staff at the York County Homeless Shelter, the largest populations seeking shelter are people with dual diagnosis, or individuals with mental disabilities and addiction issues. It is believed that one factor contributing to this larger population of homeless persons is due to the closing of the Augusta Mental Health Institute in Augusta, forcing patients out onto the street to "fend for themselves". Another population group on the rise are victims of domestic abuse. The perpetrator in a domestic violence case must leave the home. Most often this individual is the wage earner in the family and thus the family loses its income and then the home. The result is a mother or father seeking shelter with children. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 27 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Other homeless cases are famililes with children. Both parents are low income wage earners and unable to find affordable housing. All of the assisted housing available in Biddeford has a long waiting list. Excacerbating the problem is the oveflow of homeless from the City of Portland that the surrounding communities receive, including Biddeford. During the past year, Portland experienced extreme strain on their services resulting in an overflow of needing persons to surrounding communties, including Biddeford. Along with this overflow has been the increasing number of persons from out-of-state, who have either maxed out their benefits in their resident state, or have relatives in Maine, or were from Maine originally. The City's Health and Welfare Department is now tracking these individuals. Lastly, there is also an increase in individuals on probation seeking transitional housing and other services. Biddeford's postion along the transportation route and its inventory of relatively affordable apartments acts as an attraction for persons starting a new life, but who are not prepared for the steady increases in rents that are occuring presently. Near Homeless The near homeless individual or family is an almost hidden segment of the population of Biddeford. These are individuals or families who are barely able to meet their housing needs or are in danger of losing their housing. In Biddeford, extremely low, very low and low income households who own their homes number 1,084 or 26 percent of the total owner households (4,193). Of this 26 percent of extremely low to low income households, 604 are elderly or 56 percent of this population. The increasing costs of prescription medications, fuel costs, rising property taxes, and fixed incomes, combined with Biddeford's increasing elderly population in Biddeford, is an issue that will need to be addressed to keep this population segment from potential homelessness. Since 15.5 percent of Biddeford's population is over the age of 65 this issue will only continue to escalate as the population ages and elderly homeowners need more and more services on a fixed income. Of the 1,084 owner households in this category, 444 or 41% are all other households that are extremely low, very low and low income. EXTREMELY LOW, VERY LOW AND LOW OWNER HOUSEHOLDS Household Income Elderly All Others Total % of MFI Households Households Extremely low (0 - 30%) 137 47 184 Very Low (31%- 50%) 199 74 273 Low (51% - 80%) 304 323 627 _______________________________________________________ TOTAL 604 444 1,084 Of Biddeford's 4,443 renter households, a total of 2,896 or 65 percent are extremely low, very low or low income renter households. Of the 2,896 renter households in this category, 832 are elderly households or 29 percent. Of these households, 71.2 percent are all other households. It has been estimated that this higher figure of alll other households comprises a majority of the subsidized housing available. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 28 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. EXTEMELY LOW, VERY LOW AND LOW RENTER HOUSEHOLDS Household Income Elderly All Others Total % of MFI Households Households Extremely low (0 - 30%) 370 669 1,039 Very Low (31%- 50%) 278 580 858 Low (51% - 80%) 184 815 999 _______________________________________________________ TOTAL 832 2,064 2,896 Affordability Biddeford’s housing market has reflected the trend of the past decade in southern Maine as housing costs for both rental and single family housing has risen dramatically. A comparison of monthly rental housing costs (including utilities) follows: Bedroom Size 1995 2004 % increase 1 $373 $615 +65% 2 $453 $750 +66% 3 $549 $875 +60% 4 $550 $950 +73% This spiraling increase in rental housing costs has increased the lack of affordability for persons of low to moderate income. According to a 2004 report conducted by the Maine State Housing Authority, 58.2% of Biddeford’s rental households could not afford the average two bedroom rent in the City. Reflecting the lack of affordable rental housing throughout the region and the state, Biddeford’s rate closely approximated the rate of 60.8% for York County and the state-wide rate of 61.2%. The cost of new and existing homes in Biddeford continues its sharp upward increase over the past eight – ten years. According to the MSHA, in 2004 the median sale price of a single family home in Biddeford reached $189,950. The MSHA report noted further that 81% of Biddeford’s households cannot afford the median price of $189,950. This percentage is significantly higher than both the York County rate of 75% and the state-wide rate of 66%. Biddeford is known as a friendly town where neighbor helps neigbor. At a recent local social service networking meeting, several soup kitchens and other homeless services stated that "they would never refuse anyone" and that if someone needed shelter "they would find something" at all costs. This is verified by the local churches who go out of their way to link homeless with services and shelter. The meeting was held in a local church. Biddeford people want to continue in their generousity and willingness to welcome and assist people seeking shelter as well as those looking for a new beginning. However, strategies need to be in place to offset rising rents and housing prices, 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 29 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. develop more affordable housing, as well as the need to keep the elderly in their homes. Priority Homeless Needs 1. Using the results of the Continuum of Care planning process, identify the jurisdiction's homeless and homeless prevention priorities specified in Table 1A, the Homeless and Special Needs Populations Chart. The description of the jurisdiction's choice of priority needs and allocation priorities must be based on reliable data meeting HUD standards and should reflect the required consultation with homeless assistance providers, homeless persons, and other concerned citizens regarding the needs of homeless families with children and individuals. The jurisdiction must provide an analysis of how the needs of each category of residents provided the basis for determining the relative priority of each priority homeless need category. A separate brief narrative should be directed to addressing gaps in services and housing for the sheltered and unsheltered chronic homeless. 2. A community should give a high priority to chronically homeless persons, where the jurisdiction identifies sheltered and unsheltered chronic homeless persons in its Homeless Needs Table - Homeless Populations and Subpopulations. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Priority Homeless Needs response: 1. Homeless Prevention Priorities While there are no homeless shelters in Biddeford, individuals or families seeking shelter through the City’s Welfare Office are assisted in any of several ways. This may include providing transportation to the area’s regional shelter, the York County Shelter in Alfred, arranging for a room at a local lodging establishment, or making arrangements for the household to stay with friends or family. Once shelter has been provided, there are numerous service organizations available to assist the individual(s) to establish themselves in the community if they choose to do so. Prevention Priorities It was determined by the City in coordination with the CAC and through several public hearings to receive input on the Consolidated Plan, that homeless prevention priorities should be focused on several priority needs spanning all age groups. In addition, after speaking with the City's Health and Welfare Department, the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, Catholic Charities of Maine, Biddeford's Parks and Recreation Department, the Northern York County YMCA, Maine State Housing Authority, Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Biddeford Adult Education, and various social service organizations at a regional meeting, it was determined that the following would be a good prioritization of the issues surrounding homelessness and near homelessness in Biddeford. These priorities also act in response to housing issues to begin to enable LMI persons the avenues to be able to afford safe and adequate housing and integrate into the community. - The first priority is to keep reinforcing and strengthening the emergency shelter and transitional housing system that is already in place which includes housing, 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 30 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. counseling, education and a wide variety of homeless, LMI and special needs population assistance. - The second priority is to provide a strategy to meet the increasing need for transitional to affordable and supportive housing. - The third priority is to implement strategies to aid the elderly and special needs population in access to information and services to increase health and safety and reduce reliance on the City's overburdened Health and Welfare Department that can only provide minimal assistance. - The fourth priority is to provide educational and work opportunity programs for homeless persons, LMI and special needs populations. These same opportunities would be offered to those identified as near homeless so as to mitigate the downward spiral that often occurs to homelessness. These educational and work opportunities would provide the avenue to obtain jobs and/or better than minimum wage jobs. The Objective and Actions to be taken state that they will target low to moderate income persons, however, homeless and special needs populations may be included as ready and are addressed in their respective sections of the Consolidated Plan. - The fifth priority is to eliminate slum and blight in the downtown area through infrastructure and public facilities improvements that benefit LMI neighborhoods. The fifth priority was included to address health and safety issues in LMI neighborhoods and create a more pleasant and community atmosphere. In addition, improvement of LMI neighborhoods and downtown areas can attract businesses with training and work opportunities. It was determined by the City and CAC that after Priority#1, Priorities #2, #3, #4 and #5 be given equal weight and implemented simultaneously. Gaps In Services and Housing The gaps currently in services and housing include the need to strengthen the social service organizations network to better use existing services. Regional meetings have just been implemented where these organizations serving various populations in need can network and share resources. Another gap was identified while speaking with the Biddeford Housing Authority. There is a shortage of transitional housing and a long waiting list for assisted housing for individuals and families while they are accessing needed services. 2. Chronically Homeless The City of Biddeford gives a high priority to chronically homelss persons. However, to date there are according to the City's Health and Welfare Deartment only two chronically homeless persons in Biddeford. Often shelter is offered but can be refused by a homeless person. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 31 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Homeless Inventory (91.210 (c)) The jurisdiction shall provide a concise summary of the existing facilities and services (including a brief inventory) that assist homeless persons and families with children and subpopulations identified in Table 1A. These include outreach and assessment, emergency shelters and services, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, access to permanent housing, and activities to prevent low-income individuals and families with children (especially extremely low-income) from becoming homeless. The jurisdiction can use the optional Continuum of Care Housing Activity Chart and Service Activity Chart to meet this requirement. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Homeless Inventory response: Biddeford has a total of 498 units of "project based" rental housing and 340 units of vouchers which provide rental assistance to low to moderate income households. In addition, there is project based assisted housing and the Biddeford Housing Authority administers 340 units of HUD "vouchers" whereby low to moderate income persons receive rental assistance in apartments scattered throughout the community. Unlike the project-based subsidies, the voucher program allows tenants to move and still retain their subsidy. Approximately 66% of the 340 households using the voucher program are elderly and/or disabled. The following is a summary listing of housing and program services in Biddeford, as well as those offered through cooperative regional agencies. City of Biddeford Health and Welfare Department The department offers assitance to find shelter and provide access to programs and services for homeless and near homeless individuals and familites. Homeless Shelters York County Shelter Programs, Inc. - Alfred, Maine 63 - bed facility serving both individuals and families This program provides immediate basic and emergency services. Emergency Extended Shelter While individuals are awaiting placement in an appropriate transitional or independent living program, counseling, case management and other self-help services are available. During their stay clients have access to housing, independent living skills, remedial education, vocational training, intensive case management, medical and other necessary services. Transitional/Permanent Housing York County Shelter operates 11 housing programs with Case Management support to help clients maintain independence: - Charles Street Apartments - Transitional housing for 2 families - Cottage Street Apartments - Residence for 6 single adults in recovery - High Street - Residence for 4 single adults in recovery - Within - Offers transitional housing to 16 family members 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 32 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. - The Smith Apartments - Transitional housing for 10 single adults - Janis Apartments - Housing for 4 families - the Ponroy Family Center - Housing for 3 families - Thornton Avewnue - Housing for 3 single adults - Lebanon Street - Housing for 2 families - Manson Avenue - Housing for 4 individuals - Rogers Road - Housing for 4 individuals - McDermott SRO - Permanent housing for 5 elderly or special needs individuals - Joseph Raymond Angers Farm - Permanent housing for 8 male individuals - Creative Housing Alternatives for Maine People - Three low-cost housing projects Subsidized Rental Housing Projects Elderly/Disabled Housing - Prospect Manor - 50 units - Ledgewood Apts. - 60 units - 5 Gaham Street - 35 units - Presidential Apts. - 45 units - York Manor - 45 units - Summer Street Block - 20 units - St. Andre's - 35 units Family Housing - Summer Street Block - 12 units - Berry Park - 36 units - Forrest Green - 40 units - Hill St. Terrace - 12 units - Avignon Apts. - 8 - Scattered Sites - 68 units - Riverbend - 32 units There are several facilities in Biddeford which provide transitional/supportive housing for persons with special needs, i.e. those suffering from mental illness and/or substance abuse. These facilities are owned and/or managed by area non-profit agencies which assist persons with special needs, e.g. Counseling Services, Inc., Community Living Options, Shalom House and Maineway, Inc. These and other agencies operate 9 such facilities in the City encompassing 85 units/beds. The facilities are a combination of single and multifamily residential properties which are situated in neighborhoods throughout the City. In addition, there are several other facilities in nearby communities such as Saco and Old Orchard Beach which also provide housing and services to special needs populations, e.g. The Milestone Foundation in Old Orchard Beach operates a 20 bed facility which provides services and shelter to persons with substance abuse problems. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 33 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Within Biddeford are approximately seven soup kitchens and pantries, and a variety of clinics, churches, child care services, furniture and clothing banks, as well as several satellite outreach services. Homeless Strategic Plan (91.215 (c)) 1. Homelessness— Describe the jurisdiction's strategy for developing a system to address homelessness and the priority needs of homeless persons and families (including the subpopulations identified in the needs section). The jurisdiction's strategy must consider the housing and supportive services needed in each stage of the process which includes preventing homelessness, outreach/assessment, emergency shelters and services, transitional housing, and helping homeless persons (especially any persons that are chronically homeless) make the transition to permanent housing and independent living. The jurisdiction must also describe its strategy for helping extremely low- and low-income individuals and families who are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. 2. Chronic homelessness—Describe the jurisdiction’s strategy for eliminating chronic homelessness by 2012. This should include the strategy for helping homeless persons make the transition to permanent housing and independent living. This strategy should, to the maximum extent feasible, be coordinated with the strategy presented Exhibit 1 of the Continuum of Care (CoC) application and any other strategy or plan to eliminate chronic homelessness. Also describe, in a narrative, relationships and efforts to coordinate the Conplan, CoC, and any other strategy or plan to address chronic homelessness. 3. Homelessness Prevention—Describe the jurisdiction’s strategy to help prevent homelessness for individuals and families with children who are at imminent risk of becoming homeless. 4. Institutional Structure—Briefly describe the institutional structure, including private industry, non-profit organizations, and public institutions, through which the jurisdiction will carry out its homelessness strategy. 5. Discharge Coordination Policy—Every jurisdiction receiving McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG), Supportive Housing, Shelter Plus Care, or Section 8 SRO Program funds must develop and implement a Discharge Coordination Policy, to the maximum extent practicable. Such a policy should include “policies and protocols for the discharge of persons from publicly funded institutions or systems of care (such as health care facilities, foster care or other youth facilities, or correction programs and institutions) in order to prevent such discharge from immediately resulting in homelessness for such persons.” The jurisdiction should describe its planned activities to implement a cohesive, community-wide Discharge Coordination Policy, and how the community will move toward such a policy. 3-5 Year Homeless Strategic Plan response: 1. Homeless Strategy The City of Biddeford will continue through its Health and Welfare Department to implement and strengthen its current emergency shelter strategy for the immediate 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 34 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. needs of homeless individuals and families, as stated in Priority #5 of the Prevention Priority section. However, as the subsequent priorities state, the real need is to enable homeless clients to "make the leap" to permanent housing. The following actions address priorities in the Prevention Priorities section to begin to implement homeless and housing solutions. Priority 5 - To reinforce and strengthen the emergency shelter and transitional housing system that is already in place which includes housing, counseling, education and a wide variety of homeless, special needs and LMI assistance. Objective 1 - Assist and work with the City's Health and Welfare Department, volunteer organizations and agencies to seek collaborative efforts to assist homeless, LMI and special needs populations in Biddeford. Actions: 1. Encourage network meetings of area resources and services. Priority 2 - To provide a strategy to meet the increasing need for transitional to affordable and supportive housing. Objective 1 - Increase the supply of affordable housing for low to moderate-income persons. Actions: 1. Consider making the City's "surplus" and/or tax acquired real estate available for the development of affordable housing. 2. Consider revisions to the City's zoning and land use standards which would provide incentives, e.g. density bonuses for the development of affordable housing. 3. In partnership with other public/private parties, explore the adaptive re-use and redevelopment of non-residential properties, e.g. mills, into affordable housing. Priority 3 - Implement strategies to aid the elderly and special needs populations in access to information and services to increase health and safety and reduce reliance on the City's overburdened Health and Welfare Department that can only provide minimal assistance. Objective 1: Improve the health and safety of the elderly. Actions: 1. Provide for an outreach elderly advocate through the City's Health and Welfare Department to assist the elderly in accessing programs and services such as Medicare D. Priority 4 - Provide educational and work opportunities for homeless persons, LMI and special needs populations that provide avenues to obtain jobs and/or better paying jobs. Objective 1 - Increase the economic prosperity of low to moderate-income persons and their ability to afford housing and health and safety amenities. Actions: 1. Provide opportunities for low to moderate-income persons to 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 35 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. attend training and educational programs that can lead to higher wages. 2. Provide childcare programs that increase the opportunity for low to moderate-income persons to attend educational and training programs. 3. Link local programs to institutions that would be the "next step" for low to moderate-income persons. 2. Chronic Homelessness The City will continue to address chronic homelessness by its current system, while monitoring for any increases. Emergency services are currently in place, but the real issue is what to do once a person is in transitional or temporary housing. Often, the individual in transitional housing does not have the skill set to obtain a job or families do not have the means or access to childcare in order to work or obtain an education. Current services are full to capacity. The above strategies begin to address the situation for homeless persons at this critical point before they become chronically homeless. 3. Homelessness Prevention It will take the full three years of this Consolidated Plan to effectively begin to close the gap in preventing homelessness for individuals and families with children. The City's three-pronged approach aimed at a multi-generational strategy combined with educational opportunities with expanded day care services and affordable housing goals will begin to decrease the number of individuals and families with children who are at the greatest risk of becoming homeless, as evidenced by the Continuum of Care survey. One, Assisting seniors to access services that they are entitled to will decrease their economic liability and improve the welfare of their care giving families. Two, implementing strategies for more affordable housing will enable low to moderate income persons the ability to "make the leap" to permanent housing. Three, educational and work opportunities aimed at better paying jobs combined with day care options will enable families to elevate themselves from low paying jobs and the potential to be able to afford permanent housing. 4. Institutional Structure The City of Biddeford will keep its current institutional structure and seek to strengthen existing networks in order to bridge the gap between homelessness and near homelessness, to transitional and assisted housing, to permanent housing. The Citizens Advisory Committee will continue to seek new and innovative projects to bridge this gap. The City will work with organizations and agencies which are affiliated with providing homeless services and will collaborate whenever possible to proactively address its needs of homeless and near homeless persons. In addition, an outreach senior advocate will be hired and guided by the City's Health and Welfare Director to assist seniors with information and access to services. Monitoring will be conducted by the Community Development Coordinator with reports generated by the senior advocate. Special efforts will be given to providing services to seniors threatened by homelessness and poor living conditions. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 36 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. The City will also work closely with the Adult Education Department in order to begin the implementation of educational programs for low to moderate-income persons. Monitoring will be completed by the Community Development Coordinator with reports required from the Adult Education Department. An expanded childcare and new dental clinic will provide more working and training opportunities for LMI parents 5. Discharge Coordination Policy The City will continue to work with the various agencies and organizations and their discharge policies. The City will support collaborations that encourage a uniform and fair evaluation of a client's situation before discharge, and that have provided all the existing and new programs proposed for low to moderate income persons in this strategic plan. Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) (States only) Describe the process for awarding grants to State recipients, and a description of how the allocation will be made available to units of local government. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan ESG response: (The City does not receive Emergency Shelter Grants) COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Community Development (91.215 (e)) *Please also refer to the Community Development Table in the Needs.xls workbook 1. Identify the jurisdiction's priority non-housing community development needs eligible for assistance by CDBG eligibility category specified in the Community Development Needs Table (formerly Table 2B), i.e., public facilities, public improvements, public services and economic development. 2. Describe the basis for assigning the priority given to each category of priority needs. 3. Identify any obstacles to meeting underserved needs. 4. Identify specific long-term and short-term community development objectives (including economic development activities that create jobs), developed in accordance with the statutory goals described in section 24 CFR 91.1 and the primary objective of the CDBG program to provide decent housing and a suitable living environment and expand economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons. NOTE: Each specific objective developed to address a priority need, must be identified by number and contain proposed accomplishments, the time period (i.e., one, two, three, or more years), and annual program year numeric goals the jurisdiction hopes to achieve in quantitative terms, or in other measurable terms as identified and defined by the jurisdiction. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Community Development response: 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 37 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 1. Priority Non Housing Community Development Needs The priority non housing community development needs were identified in meetings between the Director of Economic Development and Community Development Coordinator with City staff, Public Works, Health and Welfare, the Heart of Biddeford, Parks and Recreation, the YMCA, Adult Education and Community Center staff to receive input regarding community development needs. In addition, public hearings were held to receive projects and receive input regarding community needs other than housing. Projects were also solicited from various social service organizations. A set of seven criteria were used by the CAC to determine the projects. The needs identified are to be located in LMI Census blocks or benefit LMI persons. They are as follows: Public Improvements/Infrastructure (sidewalk improvements, street paving, beautification); Public Services (worker retraining, senior services advocate, child care services and LMI transportation); Parks and Recreation (park and vacant lot improvements, transportation); and Economic Development (downtown facade program, mill redevelopment plan). 2. Basis for Assigning Priority The City and CAC developed Priority #1, Objective #1, Actions: 1. and 2. and Objective #2, Actions: 1. and 2. as the top priorities in the Consolidated Plan with objectives and actions to begin to meet the community development needs. It was felt that all the community development needs included under this priority were of equal weight in priority and that the visible results from their implementation would also heighten awareness of the Plan and stir greater citizen participation especially those targeted in the Year 1 Action Plan. (See Year 1 Action Plan for specific costs, timeline and numeric goals). Priority 1 - To eliminate slum and blight in the downtown area through infrastructure and public facilities improvements that benefit LMI neighborhoods. Objective 1: Increase access and provide public facilities that provide for the health and safety of LMI neighborhoods. Actions: 1. Implement sidewalk, street paving and beautification projects in LMI neighborhoods for safe and adequate access to services and facilities. 2. Implement park and vacant lot developments in LMI neighborhoods for safe and adequate recreation needs. 3. Provide transportation for LMI citizens to services and community programs. Objective 2: Increase business attraction and the elimination of slum and blight through the implementation of downtown improvements. Actions: 1. Provide loan/grant assistance to commercial property owners in the downtown core along with design assistance for a Downtown Program. 2. Develop a plan for redevelopment of the mills and adjacent 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 38 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. downtown area. Two additional Public Service programs, a worker retraining program and a senior advocate program are included under Priorities #3 and #4 respectfully. This was done because of their very close relationship to homelessness and near homelessness. The City and CAC developed community development activities after receiving input from the Public Works/Parks Department, Recreation Director, and Heart of Biddeford Director. Sidewalks and street reconstruction in LMI neighborhoods coordinated with landscaping improvements were a top priority, Public Services second, then park development, transportation and a downtown facade program and mill redevelopment plan. The sidewalks and street reconstruction are targeted for LMI neighborhoods where Capital Improvement Plan funding is not available due to funding limitations. These are older neighborhoods with a variety of assisted and private housing encompassing families with children, the elderly and disabled. A windshield survey confirmed the blighted condition of the sidewalks and streets. It has been stated that several of these targeted sidewalks are very difficult to traverse in a wheelchair or with a cane or walker. One targeted area has no sidewalks and children use this street to access the downtown YMCA and other programs. These areas were given a high priority due to the large number of LMI persons who live in these neighborhoods; they are a health and safety issue and will probably never be able to be funded by any other means. Another priority identified was the lack of available green space for families to access in LMI neighborhoods. The lots targeted for development are mostly small empty public owned lots that citizens would like to use as parks. One lot is located behind a neighborhood youth center. Staff of the youth center stated that they would like to grow a community garden as part of the park development. Beautification efforts grew during the development of this plan and more citizens have joined the efforts to ensure CDBG funding extends as far as possible in LMI downtown areas. If funding permits, citizens would like to extend the beautification efforts from Main Street to the Saco town line. These projects were given a high priority listing due to the large amount of citizen participation, including the Heart of Biddeford and Project Canopy (a volunteer landscaping group), and the number of LMI persons who will be able to access the parks. Transportation from LMI neighborhoods and to services and programs is also a targeted priority for LMI persons. Since Objective 1. of Priority #1 deals with access and would be implemented by the Recreation Department, what is actually a Pubic Service project falls here. Seniors and children have a difficult time in the City's LMI neighborhoods accessing services and programs in the downtown or across town, including park activities. Often it is too far to walk, especially for seniors and young children. A mini bus would provide this needed transportation and provide interaction between seniors and children. This project was given a high priority since not only would it serve a large number of LMI persons, but would offer the opportunity for seniors and children to meet. In addition, this project has been on the Recreation Department's list of targeted needs for several years and also has a self-sustaining maintenance and operational plan. Third, a loan/grant program to assist commercial property owners in the downtown with facade improvements, including design assistance, would eliminate a substantial amount of the slum and blighted conditions seen in the downtown core. These 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 39 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. improvements would encourage new business development and encourage citizens and visitors to access the downtown. This was given a priority due to the fact that several owners of recently acquired properties in the downtown have asked if there could be help with improvements. At one of the Public Hearings citizens voiced the need to remove slum and blighted conditions in the downtown. Fourth, a mill redevelopment plan to encourage growth of present businesses housed in this complex and business attraction for entities looking for space was a high priority over the next three years. This would be in conjunction with planning for the adjacent downtown core. This was given priority because the mills have great potential for business occupation, affordable housing and other uses. A study by the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission was conducted in January 2004 to Inventory and Survey what space was available and what entities were occupying the complex to date. A report was published. A plan would be the next step. 3. Obstacles to Meeting Underserved Needs The City will work diligently to see that all clients and neighborhoods being targeted for CDBG community development projects are aware of the projects in their neighborhoods. The City will be responsible for keeping citizens informed and encouraging for them to participate in projects or spin-off projects whenever possible. 4. Long and Short Term Community Development Objectives The City of Biddeford will continue to target business attraction through its Pine Tree Zones, HUD Entitlement funding, and other avenues, to create permanent jobs and training opportunities in the City. The community and economic development needs of the City are circular in nature. Permanent jobs, training opportunities and affordable housing, whether through redevelopment of the mill complex or downtown, would begin to solve the issues of better health, safety and economic conditions for Biddeford's LMI population. Antipoverty Strategy (91.215 (h)) 1. Describe the jurisdiction's goals, programs, and policies for reducing the number of poverty level families (as defined by the Office of Management and Budget and revised annually). In consultation with other appropriate public and private agencies, (i.e. TANF agency) state how the jurisdiction's goals, programs, and policies for producing and preserving affordable housing set forth in the housing component of the consolidated plan will be coordinated with other programs and services for which the jurisdiction is responsible. 2. Identify the extent to which this strategy will reduce (or assist in reducing) the number of poverty level families, taking into consideration factors over which the jurisdiction has control. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan Antipoverty Strategy response: 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 40 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. The City of Biddeford will continue to work with a variety of agencies and organizations to implement the Consolidated Plan to reach and enhance the health and welfare of as many citizens; especially low to moderate-income persons and special needs populations. Since the City owns no public housing or does not have a shelter, it will address the issue from an economic and community development perspective. This will be accomplished by implementing programs that give training and job opportunities to persons in poverty, while working with various organizations and agencies through the City's Health and Welfare Department to provide safe and adequate shelter, food and other services necessary to enable the transition from poverty and homelessness. The City is now at a crossroads in facing new challenges and first year implementation of the Consolidated Plan will be the first step in Biddeford's strategy to decrease poverty. Under Public Services, the Worker Re-Training and Senior Advocate programs will assist all ages with opportunities to access training and/or services. The Worker Re-Training Program will provide training opportunities for jobs that pay more than minimum wage and that can link to community college programs. The Senior Advocate Program will assist seniors to understand and access services and medical programs that will lighten the responsibility now on their families both economically and emotionally. Enabling seniors to access services and prescription programs that they may presently be paying for, and giving LMI caregivers the freedom to access training and employment opportunities will raise the economic level especially for LMI families. Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Coordination (91.315 (k)) 1. (States only) Describe the strategy to coordinate the Low-income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) with the development of housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income families. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan LIHTC Coordination response: 1. The City will explore ways in which it could potentially coordinate the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit with developers and others for use to fund needed housing in the community. NON-HOMELESS SPECIAL NEEDS Specific Special Needs Objectives (91.215) 1. Describe the priorities and specific objectives the jurisdiction hopes to achieve over a specified time period. 2. Describe how Federal, State, and local public and private sector resources that are reasonably expected to be available will be used to address identified needs for the period covered by the strategic plan. 3-5 Year Non-homeless Special Needs Analysis response: 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 41 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 1. Priorities and Specific Objecives The City of Biddeford's Health and Welfare Department refers clients with all types of special needs to the various agencies and organizations that directly assist this population with services and programs. Many of these services are fairly low key in visibility due to the sensitive nature of their services and clients. Many of these services did not come forward in the "call for proposals". This was determined to be caused in some part by the work intense nature of their services. According to a 2004 report, "The Government Performance Project - A Case of Neglect" by the National Association of State and Mental Health Program Directors Research Institute, Maine ranked 10th highest in per capita spending in mental health agencies with 30.1% on inpatient services and 65.1% on community services. Maine's economic climate, per capita income and long winter season contribute to mental health issues amongst its citizens. Efforts to address these issues place Maine high on expenditures for social services. However, with increasing economic pressures combined with the closure of the Augusta Mental Health Institute, more and more individuals are either living on the streets or trying to make it with minimal income and assistance. Although entities such as Sweetser, Counseling Services Inc., and the Department of Health and Human Services provide services for homeless and nonhomeless special needs persons, there are a myriad of other social service organizations who also offer vital services. Since the landscape of social services is broad and complex the City and CAC felt that over the next three years the following "stand alone" actions would assist in understanding and developing strategies to assist the special needs population to ensure a better quality of life. Priority 1 through 5 Objective 1 - Provide for a seamless network of social services and assistance for special needs populations. Actions: 1. Conduct a study to gather all social service information and examine gaps in existing systems for all special needs population groups (includes diagnostic, rehabilitative, educational, housing and work opportunities). Non-homeless Special Needs (91.205 (d) and 91.210 (d)) Analysis (including HOPWA) *Please also refer to the Non-homeless Special Needs Table in the Needs.xls workbook. 1. Estimate, to the extent practicable, the number of persons in various subpopulations that are not homeless but may require housing or supportive services, including the elderly, frail elderly, persons with disabilities (mental, physical, developmental, persons with HIV/AIDS and their families), persons with alcohol or other drug addiction, victims of domestic violence, and any other categories the jurisdiction may specify and describe their supportive housing needs. The jurisdiction can use the Non-Homeless Special Needs Table (formerly Table 1B) of their Consolidated Plan to help identify these needs. *Note: HOPWA recipients must identify the size and characteristics of the population with HIV/AIDS and their families that will be served in the metropolitan area. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 42 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. 2. Identify the priority housing and supportive service needs of persons who are not homeless but may or may not require supportive housing, i.e., elderly, frail elderly, persons with disabilities (mental, physical, developmental, persons with HIV/AIDS and their families), persons with alcohol or other drug addiction by using the Non-homeless Special Needs Table. 3. Describe the basis for assigning the priority given to each category of priority needs. 4. Identify any obstacles to meeting underserved needs. 5. To the extent information is available, describe the facilities and services that assist persons who are not homeless but require supportive housing, and programs for ensuring that persons returning from mental and physical health institutions receive appropriate supportive housing. 6. If the jurisdiction plans to use HOME or other tenant based rental assistance to assist one or more of these subpopulations, it must justify the need for such assistance in the plan. 3-5 Year Non-homeless Special Needs Analysis response: See narrative above for Non-Homeless Special Needs Analysis. The City of Biddeford does not receive HOME or HOPWA funds. Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) *Please also refer to the HOPWA Table in the Needs.xls workbook. 1. The Plan includes a description of the activities to be undertaken with its HOPWA Program funds to address priority unmet housing needs for the eligible population. Activities will assist persons who are not homeless but require supportive housing, such as efforts to prevent low-income individuals and families from becoming homeless and may address the housing needs of persons who are homeless in order to help homeless persons make the transition to permanent housing and independent living. The plan would identify any obstacles to meeting underserved needs and summarize the priorities and specific objectives, describing how funds made available will be used to address identified needs. 2. The Plan must establish annual HOPWA output goals for the planned number of households to be assisted during the year in: (1) short-term rent, mortgage and utility payments to avoid homelessness; (2) rental assistance programs; and (3) in housing facilities, such as community residences and SRO dwellings, where funds are used to develop and/or operate these facilities. The plan can also describe the special features or needs being addressed, such as support for persons who are homeless or chronically homeless. These outputs are to be used in connection with an assessment of client outcomes for achieving housing stability, reduced risks of homelessness and improved access to care. 3. For housing facility projects being developed, a target date for the completion of 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 43 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. each development activity must be included and information on the continued use of these units for the eligible population based on their stewardship requirements (e.g. within the ten-year use periods for projects involving acquisition, new construction or substantial rehabilitation). 4. The Plan includes an explanation of how the funds will be allocated including a description of the geographic area in which assistance will be directed and the rationale for these geographic allocations and priorities. Include the name of each project sponsor, the zip code for the primary area(s) of planned activities, amounts committed to that sponsor, and whether the sponsor is a faith-based and/or grassroots organization. 5. The Plan describes the role of the lead jurisdiction in the eligible metropolitan statistical area (EMSA), involving (a) consultation to develop a metropolitan-wide strategy for addressing the needs of persons with HIV/AIDS and their families living throughout the EMSA with the other jurisdictions within the EMSA; (b) the standards and procedures to be used to monitor HOPWA Program activities in order to ensure compliance by project sponsors of the requirements of the program. 6. The Plan includes the certifications relevant to the HOPWA Program. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan HOPWA response: See narrative above for Non-Homeless Special Needs Analysis. The City of Biddeford does not receive HOPWA funds. Specific HOPWA Objectives 1. Describe how Federal, State, and local public and private sector resources that are reasonably expected to be available will be used to address identified needs for the period covered by the strategic plan. 3-5 Year Specific HOPWA Objectives response: See narrative above for Non-Homeless Special Needs Analysis. The City of Biddeford does not receive HOPWA funds. OTHER NARRATIVE Include any Strategic Plan information that was not covered by a narrative in any other section. The City of Biddeford developed its Consolidated Plan through a local grassroots process and internal data analysis. Although participation in the plan is slowly gaining numbers, those participating are "getting the word out" to others. The Community Development Coordinator hears talk on the street referring to "changing the negative attitude we have about our city" and "solving the problems that are before us". The City will continue its efforts to stir citizen involvement and keep citizens talking. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 44 Error! Not a valid link. Error! Not a valid link. Also, some local data is not available at this time for the Plan. It is hoped as the Plan is implemented that more groups comprised of special needs populations will come forward with data that may be included. Lastly, although many of the projects listed have timelines and targeted inputs and outcomes, priority need and objective timelines and outcomes will be more definitively defined in the Performance Measurement Guidelines to be established within the next six months. 3-5 Year Strategic Plan 45 Error! Not a valid link.
Pages to are hidden for
"Strategic Plan Narrative Responses"Please download to view full document