The City of Columbia is required by law every five years to prepare a Consolidated Plan to receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Consolidated Plan combines in one report important information about Columbia's demographics and economic activity, as well as detailed information on the housing and job needs of its residents. The Plan also includes comments from the public received during public hearings, stakeholder meetings and in writing.
All funding recommendations for programs operated with these funds were evaluated based on their ability to help the City meet the goals and priorities established in this Plan.
This 2010-2015 Consolidated Plan addresses HUD's three basic goals for the use of formula grant funding in programming for low and moderate income families: provide decent housing, provide suitable living environment, expand economic opportunities. According to HUD, the Consolidated Plan is designed to be a collaborative process in which a community establishes a unified vision for housing and community development actions. It offers cities the opportunity to shape these housing and community development programs into effective, coordinated neighborhood and community development strategies. It also allows for strategic planning and citizen participation to occur in a comprehensive context, reducing duplication of effort.
This five year plan is the City of Columbia's application for funding from HUD in the following formula grant programs: Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). The plan provides a profile of the Columbia community, an analysis of the housing market, an assessment of housing needs, an assessment of homeless and special needs housing, and strategies to address those housing, homeless, and non-housing community development needs. As the lead agency for the planning process, the City of Columbia adhered to HUD's requirements for citizen participation.
For each succeeding year, the City of Columbia is required to prepare a one-year Action Plan to notify citizens and HUD of the City's intended actions during that particular fiscal year. The Action Plan includes citizen and stakeholder input and is due annually to HUD by May 15th. The Action Plan is developed under HUD guidelines and serves as the application for the three formula grant programs.
At the end of each fiscal year, the City must also prepare a Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) to provide information to HUD and citizens about that year's accomplishments. This information allows HUD, city officials, and the public to evaluate the City's performance and determine whether the activities undertaken during the fiscal year helped meet the City's five-year goals and to address priority needs identified in the Consolidated Plan. This annual performance report, prepared with public review and comment, must be submitted to HUD annually by September 30th. 2015 - 2016 CAPER Report
Entitlement Cities are encouraged to include maps in describing the geographic distribution and location of investment (including areas of low-income and minority concentration). The geographic distribution and expenditure requirement may be satisfied by specifying the census tracts where expenditures were concentrated and the percentage of funds expended in target areas. All CDBG funds were allocated to projects that benefit low and moderate income persons and/or areas. HOME funds were allocated to eligible beneficiaries (at or below 80% of area median income) throughout the corporate city limits. However, the City targeted funds to those neighborhoods with the highest concentration of need for affordable housing and economic development.
In addition the previously HUD-approved Empowerment Zone area - comprised of contiguous Census Tracts 2, 5, 9-10, 13-16, 18, 20.02, 28, 106, and 109 - was established as a Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA) for the term of the Consolidated Plan to ensure continued revitalization and community development efforts.