Columbia Industrial Development Board (IDB) and the Columbia Housing & Redevelopment Corporation (CHRC) recently partnered on a long-range project to convert subsidized housing in Columbia to a more financially feasible program.
The CHRC announced the agency's approval of special grant funds in support of the agency's new rental assistance demonstration (RAD) program. The $6.8 million in grant funding will be used renovate and preserve 296 public housing apartments in the City of Columbia. The program is a recent innovation in the practice of public housing management with Columbia only one of a handful cities in Tennessee approved to provide public housing using a RAD.
Utilizing limited, declining federal funds used to subsidize public housing, the RAD will provide the CHRC the opportunity to convert existing public housing stock over to a Section 8 financial model. Grant funds will be used for major, long term capital improvements on units that will be converted over to the new program.
Partnering with CHRC, the Columbia IDB approved a payment in-lieu of tax agreement, or PILOT. The PILOT will provide CHRC project properties tax savings to support the RAD program. Establishing the RAD program combined with grant funds and PILOT-generated property tax savings to finance capital improvements, the City of Columbia will continue to ensure affordable housing to persons and families most in need for housing assistance by leveraging outside dollars and best practices to finance the long term venture.
The RAD project is a perfect example of how government can deploy creative and innovative methods and best practices to usher in "new rules" for dated programs and policies.
In changing the economics of what were previously no longer feasible programs that rely on declining federal and state funds, the city is breathing new life into decades-long commitments to certain values and the programs particularly vital to low-income Columbia households and maintain at the city's commitment to ensuring housing access to those most in need.
The City of Columbia appreciates the hard work, strong commitment to the public and clients served, and innovative spirit at our partner agency, the CHRC and Director Trent Ogilvie.
For more information, go to http://www.columbiadailyherald.com/news/local-news/columbia-housing-secures-68-million-rehab-project.
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