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2023-2024 Y40 DRAFT Annual Action Plan Annual Action Plan 2023 1 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Executive Summary AP-05 Executive Summary - 24 CFR 91.200(c), 91.220(b) 1. Introduction The City of Northampton is pleased to submit to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) this Year 4 Action Plan for the City's Five-Year Consolidated Plan 2020-2024. The program year runs from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024. The City of Northampton (City) will receive approximately $630,060 from the 2023 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant. This document outlines how the City will allocate and expend these funds to accommodate low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents. 2. Summarize the objectives and outcomes identified in the Plan This could be a restatement of items or a table listed elsewhere in the plan or a reference to another location. It may also contain any essential items from the housing and homeless needs assessment, the housing market analysis or the strategic plan. Public Facilities / Access $266,560 Community Resiliency Hub Improvements: $266,560 ($7,000 from prior years’ funds) Public Services $94,500 Social Service Programs seven providers totaled at $94,500 Housing $100,000 Housing Rehabilitation indirect and direct costs: $100,000 Economic Development $50,000 Micro-enterprise technical assistance at $50,000 Administration and Planning $126,000 Administration of the CDBG Program and Housing and Community Development activities: $126,000 Total Program Year Budget Annual Action Plan 2023 2 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) CDBG 2023 Award: $636,060 Estimated Carry-Over Funds: $7,000 Total: $637,060 3. Evaluation of past performance This is an evaluation of past performance that helped lead the grantee to choose its goals or projects. The 2022-2023 CDBG Program Year was successful in addressing the City’s community development goals. The City’s Housing Rehabilitation program vendor was changed and they have a long wait list of people waiting to get their projects started. It has completed all of its ramp up activities as a new program and has several rehab projects in process. The former Moose Lodge on Cooke Ave. that was abandoned was demolished and the City is planning to transfer the land to an affordable housing partner. Infrastructure and facility projects are moving faster than they were in 2020, but there are still material price hikes that are increasing the costs. Public Services are moving along without any issues except for one subrecipient who is struggling to submit quarterly reports on time. 4. Summary of Citizen Participation Process and consultation process Summary from citizen participation section of plan. The first CDBG Action Plan meeting for 2023-2024 Program Year was held on December 2, 2022 in person and via Zoom to discuss the priorities from the City’s 5-Year Consolidated Plan and solicit feedback from the community. The meeting was led by the Community Development Planner and the Grants Administrator. The Community Development Planner, coordinates directly with the Executive Director of Planning & Sustainability and the Grants Administrator. The Community Development Planner regularly attends the monthly meetings of the Northampton Housing Partnership, the Disabilities Commission, and an informal working group called the Next Step Collaborative. These groups are solicited for their feedback on community goals and aspirations. These collaborative meetings inform the CDBG planning projects and goals. The draft action plan public hearing was held on March 15, 2023. All meetings were advertised per open meeting laws and CDBG guidelines and are open to the public. Speech-to-text software was made available for those with hearing impairments. All meeting rooms are accessible for people with mobility impairments. The Public Services Advisory Committee had several meetings throughout the year to create an RFP and selection process that more closely fit the aspirations of Northampton. After the applications process, they reviewed all of the public services applications and made recommendations for funding to the Annual Action Plan 2023 3 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Mayor. The Grants Administrator and the Community Development Planner facilitated discussion at these meetings, took notes, and answered questions on the CDBG program and budget. Members of the Public Service Advisory Committee were made up from the Disability Commission, Human Rights Commission, City Council, and residents who work in the social services and homeless advocacy fields. The committee was initially considering interviewing the candidates, but considering the burden of the interviews and the thoroughness of the applications, it decided interviews would not be necessary. 5. Summary of public comments This could be a brief narrative summary or reference an attached document from the Citizen Participation section of the Con Plan. See attached public participation documents for a full transcript of the meetings. 6. Summary of comments or views not accepted and the reasons for not accepting them All public input received through the Citizen Participation process of this Action Plan were taken into consideration. No comments were ignored. 7. Summary The City of Northampton is committed to helping its low- and moderate-income people and other vulnerable populations such as those with disabilities or those most affected by the impacts of climate change. Annual Action Plan 2023 4 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) PR-05 Lead & Responsible Agencies – 91.200(b) 1. Agency/entity responsible for preparing/administering the Consolidated Plan Describe the agency/entity responsible for preparing the Consolidated Plan and those responsible for administration of each grant program and funding source. Agency Role Name Department/Agency Lead Agency NORTHAMPTON CDBG Administrator NORTHAMPTON Planning & Sustainability HOPWA Administrator HOME Administrator HOPWA-C Administrator Table 1 – Responsible Agencies Narrative (optional) The City of Northampton administers the Community Development Block Grant Program through the Office of Planning & Sustainability. Staffing consists of the Community Development Planner and the Grants Administrator, who manages the fiscal responsibilities of the program. The entire process is overseen by the Director of Planning & Sustainability who reports directly to the Mayor. Consolidated Plan Public Contact Information Keith Benoit, Community Development Planner | City of Northampton | (413) 587-1288 | kbenoit@northamptonma.gov Nathan Chung, Land User Planner (acting as the Grants Administrator) | City of Northampton | (413) 587-1262 | nchung@northamptonma.gov Carolyn Misch, AICP, Director of Planning & Sustainability | City of Northampton | (413) 587-1287 | cmisch@Northamptonma.gov Annual Action Plan 2023 5 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) AP-10 Consultation – 91.100, 91.200(b), 91.215(l) 1. Introduction The Community Development Planner has extremely close ties to the service providers through its ongoing meeting at the Next Step Collaborative meeting, which is a regular monthly meeting with regional shelter providers and homelessness advocates. There has also been a collaborative effort between the City and other stakeholders to create the Community Resiliency Hub. This collaboration has increased recently since the Dept. of Community Care was merged with the Health Dept. to create the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Provide a concise summary of the jurisdiction’s activities to enhance coordination between public and assisted housing providers and private and governmental health, mental health and service agencies (91.215(l)) The Housing Partnership regularly hosts area developers when they are applying for funding or with other service providers when the Housing Partnership is developing local plans. Some of these groups are Valley Community Development), Friends of Hampshire County Homeless Individuals, The Community Builders, Habitat for Humanity, the Northampton Housing Authority, the Center for Human Development (CHD). The Housing Partnership uses these agency updates to create plans and work towards increasing affordable housing in the City. City staff regularly update the partnership on housing units and development and ask for their input on plans and to support the development by writing a letter of support or going to neighborhood meetings. The Housing Partnership has also worked with the Northampton Housing Authority over the last two years to get Northampton divorced from the Springfield MSA because the voucher amounts that Northampton receives are much lower than they would be if Northampton was not attached to Springfield. Residents often cannot use a voucher in Northampton because the rent is too high. In attendance at the monthly provider meeting are mental health professionals and clinicians attend those meetings. The SRO Outreach Coordinator, the Veterans Agent, Veteran's Administration caseworkers, ServiceNet, Inc. Highland Valley Elder Services, and others who all focus on tenancy preservation and housing stabilization for their clients. Way Finders have adopted this model of coordination of support services for the Live 155 development. Next Step Collaborative monthly meetings include representation from Eliot Homeless Services, the mental health agency that has the Department of Mental Health vendor contract for homeless street outreach and clinical work, ServiceNet shelter providers, the Veterans Agent, Safe Passage (Domestic Violence), A Positive Place (HIV/AIDS), Cooley Dickinson Social Workers, Peer Mentors from the Recovery Center, formerly homeless, currently homeless, shelter providers, the Community Housing Support Services Coordinator, and others. Annual Action Plan 2023 6 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Describe coordination with the Continuum of Care and efforts to address the needs of homeless persons (particularly chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans, and unaccompanied youth) and persons at risk of homelessness. Community Action Pioneer Valley (CAPV) runs the Three County Continuum of Care (CoC) which guides a community-wide vision, strategy, and commitment to efforts to prevent and end homelessness; mobilizes funding; improves coordination and integration of mainstream resources and programs targeted to people experiencing homelessness through a housing first model; and establishes system- wide data collection and performance measurement practices to ensure successful housing strategies and equitable housing for vulnerable populations. The 3 County CoC looks The CoC is funded by HUD to operate HMIS data collection, analysis, and dissemination, and orchestrate the coordinated entry system. CAPV has taken the lead on creating the Community Resiliency Hub and operates numerous programs which are geared toward preventing and ending poverty and homelessness for children, youth, individuals and families. As the Collaborative Applicant, CAPV/CoC has successfully submitted l annual funding submissions to HUD totaling over $3 million and has helped keep the regions transitional and permanent housing (including Rapid Rehousing and Permanent Supportive Housing) resources in place. Community Action has made efforts to increase membership, board, and committee involvement to end homelessness in the Three County area. The 3 County CoC is overseen by its own board, and utilizes both their own 5 committees (project ranking & evaluation, data & evaluation, equity & inclusion, coordinated entry, and the youth and young adult committee) facilitated by CoC program staff and the committee structure of the Western Mass Network to End Homelessness (WMNEH). The WMNEH addresses population-specific needs through the Individual Services Committee, the Family Services Committee, the Veteran's Services Committee, and the Unaccompanied Youth Committee. The Network also provides a Career Services Committee. All committees meet monthly and are organized and facilitated by the Network Coordinator, who works closely with both the 3 County CoC and the Hampden County CoC Coordinator. The Community Development Planner attends in the MNNEH monthly meetings. Describe consultation with the Continuum(s) of Care that serves the jurisdiction's area in determining how to allocate ESG funds, develop performance standards for and evaluate outcomes of projects and activities assisted by ESG funds, and develop funding, policies and procedures for the operation and administration of HMIS There are no municipalities in the Three County Continuum of Care ESG (Emergency Solutions Grants Program) entitlement communities. ESG funding for the CoC is allocated by the State's Department of Housing and Community Development through a competitive process. As part of the CoC governance structure, the CoC engages in an annual discussion about the funding priorities and supports applications for funds from appropriate agencies for activities that address HUD- identified priorities. Annual Action Plan 2023 7 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) The 3 County CoC has a Data and Evaluation Manager who oversees the data committee focused on the HMIS system and the LSA submissions, which have involved codifying the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Community Action has recently made the City’s current HMIS system more effective with the coordinated entry and by-name lists that HUD is requiring by implementing their own CE Assessment which has been recognized as a best practice. With DHCD's assistance, they were able to create a working By Names List in the HMIS, which is used for most of our data collection. This eliminates the need for each agency to maintain and share their own lists of people who have been assessed for the coordinated entry system and enter them in the HMIS since we can now obtain the information directly from the system. They are also making progress in engaging veteran service providers in the coordinated entry system. Their data warehouse, Green River, build out the coordinated entry vulnerability assessment in the warehouse, which will allow VA caseworkers to conduct assessments for their participants residing in Soldier On Grant Per Diem beds. Their Coordinated Entry system capacity has increased extensively as well over the last few years. The City is working to increase the number of agencies involved in performing vulnerability assessments. They hold case conferencing meetings with homelessness service providers weekly in each county as well as with veteran’s organizations and youth service providers. They have developed strong partnerships with organizations serving this vulnerable population, looking for housing opportunities beyond CoC-funded resources. ESG partners are participating in utilizing the Coordinated Entry process when housing resources are available as well. 2. Describe Agencies, groups, organizations and others who participated in the process and describe the jurisdiction’s consultations with housing, social service agencies and other entities Annual Action Plan 2023 8 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Table 2 – Agencies, groups, organizations who participated 1 Agency/Group/Organization Center for New Americans Agency/Group/Organization Type Services-Education Services-Employment Regional organization What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Economic Development Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. They are a public service agency that has applied for funding for many years. They did attend the Dec. 1st 2022 meeting and made public comments on the value of the CDBG funding for program participants. 2 Agency/Group/Organization Clinical and Support Options Agency/Group/Organization Type Services - Housing Services-Children Services-Persons with HIV/AIDS Services-Victims of Domestic Violence Services-homeless Services-Health Services-Education Services - Victims What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Homeless Needs - Chronically homeless Homeless Needs - Families with children Non-Homeless Special Needs Mental Health and Crisis Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. They did not attend or submit comments. Annual Action Plan 2023 9 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) 3 Agency/Group/Organization Community Action Pioneer Valley Agency/Group/Organization Type Services-Children Services-Health Services-Education Services-Employment Service-Fair Housing What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Housing Need Assessment Economic Development Anti-poverty Strategy Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Community resilience hub planning sessions continued into their second year, discussing programmatic and space questions. An email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. From the Dec. 1st 2022 meeting, Gilad Meron had several questions regarding the CDBG-CV funding sources and the normal allotment of CBDG funding. 4 Agency/Group/Organization Community Legal Aid, Inc. Agency/Group/Organization Type Services - Housing Services-Persons with Disabilities Services-Victims of Domestic Violence Services-homeless Service-Fair Housing What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Public Housing Needs Homelessness Strategy Non-Homeless Special Needs Anti-poverty Strategy Lead-based Paint Strategy Annual Action Plan 2023 10 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? One member of the Housing Partnership represents Community Legal Aid and has informed how evictions and rental assistance is affected by CDBG funding. Email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. Nobody attended the CBDG public hearings or submitted comments. 5 Agency/Group/Organization PIONEER VALLEY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY Agency/Group/Organization Type Housing Services - Housing Regional organization What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Housing Need Assessment Anti-poverty Strategy Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. They did not attend or submit comments. 6 Agency/Group/Organization Northampton Housing Authority Agency/Group/Organization Type PHA What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Public Housing Needs Homelessness Strategy Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. They did not attend or submit comments. 7 Agency/Group/Organization SAFE PASSAGE Agency/Group/Organization Type Services-Victims of Domestic Violence Regional organization What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Non-Homeless Special Needs Annual Action Plan 2023 11 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. They did not attend or submit comments. 8 Agency/Group/Organization Valley Community Development Corporation (CDC) Agency/Group/Organization Type Housing Services - Housing Regional organization What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Housing Need Assessment Economic Development Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Resilience hub planning sessions and email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. They did not attend or submit comments directly, but are working with the Community Development Planner to create a public engagement program for a 20-unit housing for the homeless project that is using land that the City has sold to them. 9 Agency/Group/Organization ServiceNet, Inc. Agency/Group/Organization Type Services-homeless Services-Health Regional organization What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Homeless Needs - Chronically homeless Homelessness Strategy Anti-poverty Strategy Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Email invitation to take part in public hearing and/or solicit comments directly. They did not attend or submit comments. They will no longer be the shelter provider in the City as of April 1, 2023. The shelters are being taken over by Clinical Support Options. Annual Action Plan 2023 12 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) 10 Agency/Group/Organization Office of Planning and Sustainability Agency/Group/Organization Type Other government - Local Planning organization What section of the Plan was addressed by Consultation? Housing Need Assessment Homelessness Strategy Economic Development Anti-poverty Strategy Briefly describe how the Agency/Group/Organization was consulted. What are the anticipated outcomes of the consultation or areas for improved coordination? Staff meeting, email invites, direct conversation, and coordinating all of the CDBG process. Staff from the office, hosted and partook in each meeting of the process. Identify any Agency Types not consulted and provide rationale for not consulting All agencies that need to be consulted were reached out to via email invitation for the CDBG planning process. They are listed in the above table; their attendance and any comments are noted in the table. While some organizations did not attend CBDG planning meetings, others have been involved in other planning processes. Agencies that applied for CDBG funding were also invited to attend CDBG planning sessions as well, but their attendance is not mandatory. The Office of Planning & Sustainability is in conversation with the Public Services Advisory Committee, and making agencies who request funding attendance at the planning meetings is something that we are discussing. Annual Action Plan 2023 13 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Other local/regional/state/federal planning efforts considered when preparing the Plan Name of Plan Lead Organization How do the goals of your Strategic Plan overlap with the goals of each plan? Continuum of Care Community Action Pioneer Valley Creation of permanent supported housing units and housing support services. Homelessness prevention, housing stabilization to reduce recidivism, increase services for mentally ill and those abusing substances. Unlocking Opportunity: An Assessment of Barriers Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Adopted in 2019, identified the impediments to fair housing. Identify actions to remove impediments, thereby creating housing opportunities that all people access, regardless of "disability, national origin, sex, familial status, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, genetic information, ancestry" or because they receive public benefits. A Downtown Northampton for Everyone (2019) Office of the Mayor Adopted in 2019, identified the need of panhandlers and at-risk individuals in downtown Northampton, including stakeholder interviews. Research and analyze the issues associated with panhandling and make non-punitive recommendations to help get people off the streets, seeking gainful employment, and find housing. Regional Housing Plan (2015) Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Identification of communities of opportunity that commit to creating affordable housing facilitates movement from areas of concentration in Hampden County, primarily Springfield and Holyoke, north, and west. Needs Assessment & Strategic Housing Plan (2011) City of Northampton Creating a list of prioritized needs based on extensive data compilation and citizen input during public participation sessions for plan development. Needs Assessment in Housing Plan very thorough, provides direction for resource allocation for Community Preservation Committee and Housing Partnership. ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan (2020) Northampton Disability Commission The needs of low- and moderate-income people and those with disabilities often overlap. The Disability Commission identified several areas where the City can build institutional capacity and fix specific non-accessible sidewalks, amenities, and buildings. Increasing Accessibility for People w Disabilities City of Northampton The needs of low- and moderate-income people and those with disabilities often overlap. This report also identified areas within parks and recreation areas that are not accessible and proposed possible solutions. Annual Action Plan 2023 14 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Name of Plan Lead Organization How do the goals of your Strategic Plan overlap with the goals of each plan? Climate Resilience & Regeneration Plan City of Northampton This plan is the City's plan for mitigating climate change and the actions needed to create an increasingly resilient and regenerative future. It is a plan for simultaneously reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, building our capacity to adapt to stresses, and improving our healthy ecosystems, inclusive communities, and ensuring all Northampton residents can thrive. The people most affected by climate change are environmental justice communities; low-income, minority, and people with disabilities. Table 3 – Other local / regional / federal planning efforts Narrative (optional) Annual Action Plan 2023 15 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) AP-12 Participation – 91.105, 91.200(c) 1. Summary of citizen participation process/Efforts made to broaden citizen participation Summarize citizen participation process and how it impacted goal-setting The City held its first public hearing for the 2023-2024 Action Plan on December 1, 2022 in person and over Zoom. City commissions such as the monthly Housing Partnership and Disability Commission were encouraged to attend. The City posted an RFP ad to the local newspaper and received the applications through an online grant management software. This competitive application process was used to select public service subrecipients, public infrastructure and facility projects, and funding amounts. All public hearings were publicly posted and open to everyone. All information gathered was taken into consideration for the selection of public services, public infrastructure and facilities, and housing. All of the comments and questions posed at the public hearing will be posted for review in this document. Data collected at monthly meetings of the Housing Partnership, Disability Commission, and the Next Step Collaborative and from the needs identified through the community engagement process helped to identify the needs and wants of the community, but also deficiencies in service delivery system, accessibility, equity, community resiliency, and economic development. CDBG public hearings tend to be less well attended than other meetings such as City Council, but Zoom meetings has allowed for many more people to attend than would have if it were only in person . City staff attempt to make a compelling presentation without overly burdening attendees CDBG jargon. Questions from the public are highly encouraged and City staff will follow up on questions that cannot be answered at the moment. Annual Action Plan 2023 16 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Citizen Participation Outreach Sort Ord er Mode of Outre ach Target of Outre ach Summary of response/attenda nce Summary of comments recei ved Summary of comm ents not accepted and reasons URL (If applicable) 1 Newspaper Ad Non- targeted/broad community An ad was placed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette newspaper on Wednesday, November 22, 2022 informing residents about the meeting to discuss the priorities and RFP for the 2023-2024 Annual Action Plan. It specified an application deadline of Friday, January 13, 2023. No comments were received, but applicants started filling out applications for the 2023 year. No comments were received. https://www.gazettenet.com/ Public-Notices Annual Action Plan 2023 17 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) 2 Public Meeting Minorities Persons with disabilities Non- targeted/broad community Residents of Public and Assisted Housing Public Service Providers Five individuals showed up to the first meeting for the RFP on December 1st, 2022. The Community Development Planner and the Grants Administrator, helped facilitate the meeting. Participants had the option to attend in person or over Zoom. All of the participants attended using Zoom. Participants signed in using the chat function with their name and organization if applicable. After the Community Development Susan Nicastro from Center for Human Development who is a Northampton resident and the director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County spoke. Susan thanked the CDBG program and planned to submit an application. Susan talked about the increased demand for the BBBS mentorship program. Laurie Millman from Center for New Americans (CNA) thanked All comments were accepted. Annual Action Plan 2023 18 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Planner's presentation, participants were encouraged to ask questions. the CDBG program and described it as one piece that leverages other funding. Laurie said CNA is beyond teaching English and provides living wage jobs and tools to thrive to immigrants such as those from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Haiti. It helps immigrants become independent.Gil ad Meron from Community Action Pioneer Valley asked about the proposed Resilience Hub. Gilad asked about the Annual Action Plan 2023 19 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Sort Ord er Mode of Outre ach Target of Outre ach Summary of response/attenda nce Summary of comments recei ved Summary of comm ents not accepted and reasons URL (If applicable) sources of funds and about deadline to use funds for the Resilience Bub. He also asked about what other uses are allowed with the money beside acquisition and renovation. Gilad asked about the meaning of consultation. He further commented about using funds to get pizza. Annual Action Plan 2023 20 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) 3 Newspaper Ad Non- targeted/broad community An ad was placed in the Daily Hampshire Gazette newspaper on Saturday March 10, 2023 informing residents that the draft Annual Action Plan would be available for review on March 15, 2023 and that public comments were encouraged. Comments would be accepted for 30 days, until April 18, 2023 to allow for the weekend and Monday holiday. The ad also informed readers of the public meeting on March 15, 2023 to discuss the draft No comments were received yet, the commend period has not begun yet. Annual Action Plan 2023 21 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Sort Ord er Mode of Outre ach Target of Outre ach Summary of response/attenda nce Summary of comments recei ved Summary of comm ents not accepted and reasons URL (If applicable) Action Plan where residents could hear a presentation, ask questions, and make public comments. 4 Public Meeting Minorities Persons with disabilities Non- targeted/broad community Residents of Public and Assisted Housing The draft Annual Action Plan meeting will be held on Tuesday March 15, 2023. Has not happened yet. No comments yet Table 4 – Citizen Participation Outreach Annual Action Plan 2023 22 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Expected Resources AP-15 Expected Resources – 91.220(c)(1,2) Introduction The City did not receive program income during this prior year and does not expect program income for this upcoming year. Northampton will use its annual CDBG funds to implement its priority projects established in the Consolidated Plan. City departments and public service agencies utilize other funding sources to operate programs and bring projects to fruition. Anticipated Resources Program Source of Funds Uses of Funds Expected Amount Available Year 1 Expected Amount Available Remainder of ConPlan $ Narrative Description Annual Allocation: $ Program Income: $ Prior Year Resources: $ Total: $ CDBG public - federal Acquisition Admin and Planning Economic Development Housing Public Improvements Public Services 630,060 0 7,000 637,060 630,060 CDBG funds will be used for public services, housing rehab, public facilities, economic development and for the planning and administration of the grant. Table 5 - Expected Resources – Priority Table Annual Action Plan 2023 23 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Explain how federal funds will leverage those additional resources (private, state and local funds), including a description of how matching requirements will be satisfied The Community Preservation Act is the funding source that most complements CDBG funding, mostly in the acquisition of housing. It is available yearly and eligible project types for CPA funds are open space, recreation, affordable housing, and historic preservation. Other sources of funding, such as the State’s Housing Choice Grant, the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant, and the MA. Office on Disability planning grant are competitive and are not awarded each year. These grants often work in conjunction with CDBG. Affordable housing applications to State and Federal funding sources require evidence of a local match. CDBG, Community Preservation Act funds, tax increment housing, short-term rental taxes, donations of surplus city land, City limited development projects with cross-subsidies, community contributions, and Smith College development mitigation funding are some of the local match sources. Public facilities often have City budgeted Capital Improvement Program funds and private fundraising dollars. Public infrastructure projects typically utilize State Chapter 90 funding and other grant sources. The City was awarded $400,000 from the Massachusetts Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Grant in 2018 as part of the City’s ongoing Climate Resiliency and Regeneration Plan. This is the City’s comprehensive climate adaptation and mitigation effort, which includes the planning and creation of the Community Resiliency Hub, which will be partly funded by CDBG money. The City will apply for the MVP grant for this year to fund affordable housing for those most affected by climate change, which may use CDBG funding in the future. All City of Northampton CDBG funded projects require other funding sources to implement the project. Community Preservation Act (CPA) is often some of the first dollars in, especially for large projects with complicated funding streams. Public service grants often use other funding sources, such as local government, non-profits and private fundraising. Some of the CDBG public service grantee awards are so small that their real value is to leverage other sources and show endorsement from the City of Northampton. The expected remaining amount is based on level funding over the remainder of the Consolidated Plan. Annual Action Plan 2023 24 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) If appropriate, describe publically owned land or property located within the jurisdiction that may be used to address the needs identified in the plan For the 2023-2024 CDBG program year, there are non-CDBG funding projects that will progress goals associated with this plan. The City is designing an accessible trail at a conversation area that was recently purchased and is looking at other City owned property that can be sold for affordable housing. Discussion The City will leverage CDGB funding with state grants, private grants, fundraising for a specific project, and City funds. The City is committed to helping low- and moderate-income people by creating decent and affordable housing and connecting the people to essential resources. The City seeks to use public and private sources of funding to show their commitment and ensure the project's success. Annual Action Plan 2023 25 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Annual Goals and Objectives AP-20 Annual Goals and Objectives Goals Summary Information Sort Order Goal Name Start Year End Year Category Geographic Area Needs Addressed Funding Goal Outcome Indicator 1 Public Services 2020 2024 Affordable Housing Homeless Non-Homeless Special Needs Non-Housing Community Development Homelessness Prevention Economic Development Housing Support Services Addressing Basic Needs CDBG: $94,500 Public service activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit: 1262 Persons Assisted Homelessness Prevention: 30 Persons Assisted 2 Preserve Affordable Housing, Tenancy Help & Rehab 2020 2024 Affordable Housing Non-Homeless Special Needs Housing Rehabilitation Resources CDBG: $100,000 Homeowner Housing Rehabilitated: 4 Household Housing Unit 3 Economic Development & Income Maximization 2020 2024 Non-Housing Community Development Economic Development CDBG: $50,000 Jobs created/retained: 40 Jobs Annual Action Plan 2023 26 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Sort Order Goal Name Start Year End Year Category Geographic Area Needs Addressed Funding Goal Outcome Indicator 4 Improve Public Facilities & Infrastructure 2020 2024 Non-Homeless Special Needs Public Facilities and Infrastructure Public Facilities CDBG: $266,650 Public Facility or Infrastructure Activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit: 250 Persons Assisted Annual Action Plan 2023 27 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) 5 Planning and Administration 2020 2025 Affordable Housing Public Housing Homeless Non-Homeless Special Needs Non-Housing Community Development Homelessness Prevention Support for Emergency Shelter & Support Services Rental Housing for Individuals Rental Housing for Families Preservation of Existing Affordable Rental Stock Housing Rehabilitation Resources Affordable Homeownership for Individual & Families Housing for At - Risk & Special Needs Populations Economic Development Housing Support Services Addressing Basic Needs Public Facilities Public Infrastructure CDBG: $126,000 Annual Action Plan 2023 28 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Table 6 – Goals Summary Goal Descriptions 1 Goal Name Public Services Goal Description CDBG public services allocations are made to a variety of grantees. Service provision include youth employment readiness, mentoring for at-risk youth, literacy and language attainment, community resource advocacy, legal aid for homelessness prevention, mobile food market, and food pantries. The seven projects being funded are as follows: Center for New Americans - Fostering Immigrant Economic Independence: $11,625; 55 people Community Action Pioneer Valley - Community Resource and Advocacy: $15,000; 50 people Grow Food Northampton - Mobile Food Market $15,000; 500 people Community Legal Aid - Homeless Prevention: $11,250; 30 people Literacy Project - Pathways to Success: $11,250; 22 people Center For Human Development - BBBSHC: $15,375; 35 people MANNA - Community Kitchen - $15,000; 600 people Annual Action Plan 2023 29 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) 2 Goal Name Preserve Affordable Housing, Tenancy Help & Rehab Goal Description The housing rehabilitation program for LMI homeowners will continue in Program Year 2023. Community Action Pioneer Valley (CAPV) has had a great start to their first year administering the program. The scope of work is 2-4 owner-occupied units to be completed this year. This program allows the City to continue to look for opportunities to rehabilitate houses for accessibility, code compliance, emergency repairs, and lead paint abatement. Lead paint abatement is a concern due to the prevalence of lead paint in the City's old housing stock and as an impediment to access for families with children. CAPV will be able to combine the housing rehab program with their existing Home Energy Conservation Program and Older Adult Home Repair Program to rehabilitate affordable housing at multiple levels. The funding allocation is as follows: -Administration and Indirect Costs: $16,554.90 -Hard Costs: $83,445.10 -Total: $100,000 3 Goal Name Economic Development & Income Maximization Goal Description Valley CDC will provide one-on-one microenterprise technical assistance and counseling to new and existing micro- enterprises. This is for businesses with five or less employees to retain and/or create new job opportunities. Funding is set at $50,000. Annual Action Plan 2023 30 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) 4 Goal Name Improve Public Facilities & Infrastructure Goal Description The City will rehabilitate the Community Resiliency Hub that was purchased by the City to create a resiliency-hub to serve low- and moderate-income people and those most vulnerable to crisis (pandemic, floods, etc.) and chronic stress (homelessness, poverty, etc.) This Community Resiliency Hub will serve as office space for several public service agencies helping low- and moderate-income clientele (LMC) such as homeless, people with disabilities, and front line communities who are most affected by extreme events, such as weather and the COVID-19 pandemic. This building will host several public service agencies that receive CDBG money, whose own DOE is serving LMC clients. These communities also have a higher incidence of co-morbidities such as obesity and asthma and will need to use the 'cooling center' of hub for extreme heat. This could also serve as an emergency shelter in the event of flooding or other event. This space may also house storage lockers for homeless individuals, which was a need identified in the coordinated outreach for a working group on downtown homeless population. The funding for this includes $7,000 in prior years funding. 5 Goal Name Planning and Administration Goal Description CDBG planning and administration funds will be used to operate the CDBG program. Annual Action Plan 2023 31 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Projects AP-35 Projects – 91.220(d) Introduction The City of Northampton is expected to receive approximately $630,060 in CDBG from HUD. An additional $7,000 in, unexpended funds from prior program year will be reallocated and applied to projects in the upcoming program year. This Action Plan details how CDBG funds will be spent on new projects to address priorities identified in the City's five-year Consolidated Plan as reviewed and updated. Projects # Project Name 1 Public Services 2 Community Resilience Hub 3 Housing Rehab 4 Micro Enterprise Tech Assistance 5 Planning and Administration Table 7 - Project Information Describe the reasons for allocation priorities and any obstacles to addressing underserved needs The City determined allocation priorities based on what agencies could best address the needs of low- and moderate-income people and goals established in the City’s Consolidated Plan. The City's emphasis has been to support public service agencies addressing basic needs, improving public facilities and infrastructure for ADA accessibility, adding affordable housing, and providing housing rehabilitation resources to low-income homeowners. Annual Action Plan 2023 32 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) AP-38 Project Summary Project Summary Information Annual Action Plan 2023 33 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) 1 Project Name Public Services Target Area Goals Supported Public Services Needs Addressed Homelessness Prevention Economic Development Addressing Basic Needs Funding CDBG: $94,500 Description Seven public service agencies and seven projects. Activities include housing & income stabilization, and coordinated referrals to Northampton households in need; create and support quality mentoring relationships for low-income children in Northampton; help protect tenants who are at risk of eviction, subsidy termination, and homelessness by providing legal assistance; provide comprehensive Adult Basic Education (ABE) services to adults and out-of-school youths age 16 and over and Education and Career Advising and Programming to develop pathways to economic opportunity and security; and, offer free classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL); support for immigrants seeking and applying for jobs; and a two food banks. The seven projects being funded are as follows:Center for New Americans - Fostering Immigrant Economic Independence: $11,625; 55 peopleCommunity Action Pioneer Valley - Community Resource and Advocacy: $15,000; 30 peopleGrow Food Northampton - Mobile Food Market $15,000; 500 peopleCommunity Legal Aid - Homeless Prevention: $11,250; 30 peopleLiteracy Project - Pathways to Success: $11,250; 22 peopleCenter For Human Development - BBBSHC: $15,375; 35 peopleMANNA - Community Kitchen - $15,000; 600 people Target Date 6/30/2024 Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities 1292 persons assisted, of which 1,262 are "Public service activities other than Low/Moderate Income Housing Benefit" and 30 are "Homelessness Prevention". Location Description No target location will be utilized. The CDBG funds are for serving residents of Northampton citywide. Annual Action Plan 2023 34 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Planned Activities Activities include housing & income stabilization, and coordinated referrals to Northampton households in need; create and support quality mentoring relationships for low-income children in Northampton; help protect tenants who are at risk of eviction, subsidy termination, and homelessness by providing legal assistance; provide comprehensive Adult Basic Education (ABE) services to adults and out- of-school youths age 16 and over and Education and Career Advising and Programming to develop pathways to economic opportunity and security; and, offer free classes in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and support for immigrants seeking and applying for jobs. 2 Project Name Community Resilience Hub Target Area Goals Supported Improve Public Facilities & Infrastructure Needs Addressed Addressing Basic Needs Public Facilities Funding CDBG: $266,560 Description Costs associated with the acquisition, rehab, and consultation to create a community resiliency hub to serve low- and moderate-income people and those most vulnerable to crisis (pandemic, floods, etc.) and chronic stress (homelessness, poverty, etc.) This Community Resiliency Hub will serve as office space for several public service agencies helping low- and moderate-income clientele (LMC) such as homeless, people with disabilities, and front line communities who are most affected by extreme events, such as weather and the COVID-19 pandemic. This building will host several public service agencies that receive CDBG money, whose own DOE is serving LMC clients. These communities also have a higher incidence of co-morbidities such as obesity and asthma and will need to use the 'cooling center' of hub for extreme heat. This could also serve as an emergency shelter in the event of flooding or other event. This space may also house storage lockers for homeless individuals, which was a need identified in the coordinated outreach for a working group on downtown homeless population.The funding for this includes $7,000 in prior years funding. Target Date 6/30/2024 Annual Action Plan 2023 35 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities 250 individuals Location Description 298 Main St, Northampton is the location of the building that is being purchased and rehabilitated. Planned Activities Costs associated with the acquisition, rehab, and consultation to create a community resiliency hub. 3 Project Name Housing Rehab Target Area Goals Supported Preserve Affordable Housing, Tenancy Help & Rehab Needs Addressed Housing Rehabilitation Resources Funding CDBG: $100,000 Description Housing Rehabilitation for 4 low- and moderate-income homeowners. Community Action Pioneer Valley (CAPV) will administer the City of Northampton's Housing Rehabilitation Program to facilitate essential home repairs for LMI homeowners in Northampton. Eligible units are owner-occupied single-family homes, duplexes, and condominiums.- Administration and Indirect Costs: $16,554.90-Hard Costs: $83,445.10- Total: $100,000 Target Date 6/30/2024 Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities 4 households Location Description No targeted location, only Northampton homeowners are eligible. Planned Activities Housing Rehabilitation for 4 low- and moderate-income homeowners. Will facilitate essential home repairs for LMI homeowners in Northampton. Eligible units are owner-occupied single-family homes, duplexes, and condominiums. 4 Project Name Micro Enterprise Tech Assistance Target Area Goals Supported Economic Development & Income Maximization Needs Addressed Economic Development Annual Action Plan 2023 36 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Funding CDBG: $50,000 Description Valley CDC's Economic Development program offers a range of free services to meet the needs of low-to-moderate income individuals and business owners in Northampton. The program is designed to assist in all aspects of owning a business including business plan development, financial projections, strategic marketing, loan packaging, access to community loan funds, and grant applications. 65 individuals assisted18 jobs created22 jobs retained Target Date 6/30/2024 Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities 65 individuals assisted 18 jobs created 22 jobs retained Location Description No targeted location, only Northampton residents are eligible. Planned Activities Will offer a range of free services to meet the needs of low-to- moderate income individuals and business owners in Northampton. The program is designed to assist in all aspects of owning a business including business plan development, financial projections, strategic marketing, loan packaging, access to community loan funds, and grant applications. 5 Project Name Planning and Administration Target Area Goals Supported Planning and Administration Needs Addressed Homelessness Prevention Housing Rehabilitation Resources Economic Development Addressing Basic Needs Public Facilities Funding CDBG: $126,000 Description Planning and administration for the CDBG program. Payroll for CDBG planning and administering staff, benefits, office expenses, training, software, printing (legal notices and printouts), and registry of deeds recording fees. Target Date 6/30/2024 Annual Action Plan 2023 37 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Estimate the number and type of families that will benefit from the proposed activities Location Description No target location Planned Activities Planning and administration of the CDBG award. Annual Action Plan 2023 38 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) AP-50 Geographic Distribution – 91.220(f) Description of the geographic areas of the entitlement (including areas of low-income and minority concentration) where assistance will be directed The City has not used any geographic targeted areas, but has instead focused on individual projects such as funding a housing authority rehabilitation or a slum and blight spot zone. There are no racial groups in Northampton that experience moderate or high levels of segregation according to the Analysis of Impediments (AI) from 2019. People of color are more concentrated in census tracts 8216.01, 8216.02, and 8222 but these concentrations are much lower than the state overall and do not constitute a minority concentration (20% or more of the population). Census tract 8220 has a high percentage of people of color, but this most likely due to the presence of Smith College. Geographic Distribution Target Area Percentage of Funds Table 8 - Geographic Distribution Rationale for the priorities for allocating investments geographically There are no geographic targeted areas. The Public Service programs that are funded by CDBG deliver their services citywide., so there is no clearly defined specific geographic areas with high need in our small City of 29,751 (2020 Census). However, subrecipients do employ targeted outreach strategies to particular areas to reach populations that face more challenges than the community at large, such as homeless encampments, SROs, or housing authority developments. The Housing Rehab Program serves single-family and duplex owner-occupants throughout the City. There does not appear to be any concentrations of where houses are rehabilitated. Discussion According to the Analysis of Impediments (AI) from 2019, communities in the region should be split between 70/30 white/people of color. Northampton’s population is 81% white and 19% people of color. Therefore, Northampton needs to attract and retain thousands of people of color to balance out this disparity. Annual Action Plan 2023 39 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Affordable Housing AP-55 Affordable Housing – 91.220(g) Introduction While the City maintains an Affordable Housing (MA - subsidized housing inventory) above 11% for low- and moderate-income residents, there is still need for increasing the number of affordable units (those that are subsidized). According to the fair housing assessment, 14% of total households in Northampton are considered to have a severe housing cost burden. This number increases to 25% for families with five or more people and 18% for non-family households. The City continues to work to acquire land or prepare it for affordable housing developers: Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity for single-family homeowners and other development agencies such as Valley Community Development, the Community Builders, and Way Finders for large multi-family rental units. The process of creating affordable units is very slow and has increased significantly in the last three years. The cost to create one affordable housing unit is above $500,000 per unit. When the units are finished and the lottery is finally open, they often receive hundreds of applications. The City is in the design stages of turning over a portion of the City Hall parking lot to create 24 affordable units right in downtown. The slums and blight project (Moose Lodge demolition) from last year is complete and the City is working towards preparing that site for an RFP to develop up to three single-family homes. The Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity has broken ground over the last year on its single-family homes on Burts Pit Road that was facilitated by the Office of Planning & Sustainability. The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher list maintained at the Northampton Housing Authority (NHA). The wait for Federal and State housing units at the NHA for both elderly/disabled and families is at least two years. The NHA owns and manages 618 public housing affordable units in Northampton. They consist of 110 federal and 508 state funded, and they have 871 leased housing program vouchers. One Year Goals for the Number of Households to be Supported Homeless 0 Non-Homeless 0 Special-Needs 0 Total 0 Table 9 - One Year Goals for Affordable Housing by Support Requirement One Year Goals for the Number of Households Supported Through Rental Assistance 0 The Production of New Units 0 Rehab of Existing Units 4 Acquisition of Existing Units 0 Total 4 Annual Action Plan 2023 40 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Table 10 - One Year Goals for Affordable Housing by Support Type Discussion There will be up to four households rehabilitated through the housing rehab program. Annual Action Plan 2023 41 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) AP-60 Public Housing – 91.220(h) Introduction The Northampton Housing Authority has worked to improve the accessibility of their properties in the last few years and to increase the involvement of the residents. They have also engaged with the Northampton Housing Partnership to investigate how to get more residents in Northampton to lease up in the City. Actions planned during the next year to address the needs to public housing The NHA continuously evaluates their properties, and identifying units in need of repair, rehabilitation, or accessibility needs. There are no units that have been identified for rehab or accessibility improvements this year. Actions to encourage public housing residents to become more involved in management and participate in homeownership Property management at the NHA regularly sends information packets and incentive programs to the Community Development Planner for dissemination. The NHA formally recognized the creation of a Tenants Association at Hampshire Heights (State family housing development) and continues to work with McDonald House, and Forsander Tenant Associations. A meeting is also held yearly for federal properties for the Capital Fund Program, to solicit input on needed renovation projects. The NHA participates in the dissemination of smoking cessation materials when tenants move into a unit and continues to install smoking shelters at developments annually as needed. The NHA sponsors tenant events, produces a newsletter, works with the State's LEAP program for increasing educational attainment for residents of Hampshire Heights. The NHA launched a website in August of 2019 which has increased communication with management and greater access to policies and procedures for residents. A new Resident Services Coordinator was hired in June of 2019 for the two family developments; Hampshire Heights and Florence Heights. If the PHA is designated as troubled, describe the manner in which financial assistance will be provided or other assistance The Northampton Housing Authority is not designated as troubled. Discussion The NHA has created a website since the last Consolidated Plan where all of their properties are listed and information such as Section 8 vouchers can be found. They have also added their units to the Housing Navigator website in 2021, which offers an easy way to search for affordable and accessible Annual Action Plan 2023 42 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) units across Massachusetts. Annual Action Plan 2023 43 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) AP-65 Homeless and Other Special Needs Activities – 91.220(i) Introduction The City works closely with many services providers through its Next Step Collaborative meetings, attendance at the Western Mass Network to End Homelessness meetings, the Housing Partnership, planning for the community resiliency-hub, and from knowledge built through reports like the Mayor's working group on panhandling, the AI, and the Climate Resiliency and Regeneration Plan. All these efforts have informed the City's goals for the Consolidated Plan and the projects for this action plan. For the last three years, the City and its partners have been coordinating the structure of community resiliency-hub, as the City has been actively pursuing buildings to house it. There are many service providers who work with people experiencing homelessness that may be housed there. The City has also created a Department of Community Care which has been combined with the Health Dept. to create the Dept. of Health and Human Services. Their mission is to respond to calls related to mental health, substance use, social service-related requests, and other crisis situations of Northampton residents as an alternative to a traditional police response. They reorganized dept. has been working closely with the other stakeholders on the community resiliency hub. Describe the jurisdictions one-year goals and actions for reducing and ending homelessness including Reaching out to homeless persons (especially unsheltered persons) and assessing their individual needs Eliot Homeless Services is the selected vendor with the statewide contract from the Department of Mental Health to administer the PATH Program (Project for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness) and works closely with the City. The PATH Program provides street outreach clinicians to several Western Mass. communities. The PATH workers in Northampton have lived experience and can serve that population well. The clinician works closely with the Northampton Police Department, Tapestry Health and ServiceNet, Inc. to link clients with needed services and housing search. They are part of a group that assembles for case conferencing through HUD's coordinated entry system and they prioritize chronically homeless people for housing placement and services. The PATH worker attends the monthly Next Step Collaborative meetings and provides up to date information on the numbers and locations of people living outside. This helps guide outreach activities and informs the City about whether the existing shelter capacity will be enough for the season. They visit camps and conducts engagement and assessment activities. During the day, unsheltered people can access the drop-in center at MANNA Community Kitchen for additional case management and resources or the library to access the internet and books. Dial-Self, the area agency serving homeless unaccompanied youth, employs staff that conducts outreach. Their workers connect with young people at meal and shelter sites. Tapestry Health, the Annual Action Plan 2023 44 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) regional organization that has a needle exchange program and services in the City, supports sharps pickups from homeless encampments, and supports street harm reduction activities. They have been an important voice at the Mayor's Panhandling Report (2019) which has cataloged existing services and promote dialog between service providers, the business community, law enforcement and those engaging in street activity. The number of unsheltered homeless living outside on Army Corps of Engineers lands and City conservation restricted areas has increased significantly over the last three years These areas are often in wetlands or floodplains and are unable to host camps. The Police and EMS personnel sometimes need to access these areas for medical response, but have been hampered by the areas inaccessibility. . Eliot Homeless Services’ PATH worker makes regular visits to the sites to engage with campers to inform them if the camp needs to be vacated, so they can access services or at least protect their personal items and documents. Another goal is to protect campers and workers from potentially harmful camp conditions. The Community Development Planner helps monitor a protocol that was developed in 2018 with the City's Department of Public Works, the Board of Health, the Building Inspection office, the Office of Planning & Sustainability and Eliot Homeless Services to coordinate the response of City departments to the encampments. The Office of Planning & Sustainability’s Lands Agent regularly cleans up sites and updates services providers on camp activity. Addressing the emergency shelter and transitional housing needs of homeless persons There is still a need for additional emergency shelters and transitional housing programs in the City. ESG and CDBG are often two of the only sources to fund emergency shelters, but last year, a small newly created non-profit did receive over $600,000 to create up to 16 permanent supportive housing for homeless that are severely medically compromised. ServiceNet, Inc., has long been the administrator of the year-round Grove Street Inn and the Interfaith Winter Shelters, but have chosen to not reapply for funding to run the program. The new winter shelter provider will be Clinical Support Options (CSO), which has many other programs in the region. Both organizations are working diligently to ensure a smooth uneventful transition in March. . Transitional housing is a successful model that allowed intensive case management and the time needed for people to hone the skills needed for long-term housing stability. Most of all the prior transitional housing programs funded through the Continuum of Care have been converted to permanent supported housing units, to conform to HUD's funding priorities. As a result, the only transitional housing programs with a 24 month length of stay limit operating in Northampton are the 163 beds managed by Soldier On at the VA Medical Campus which includes 16 units recently created for women Veterans and their children. Northampton does not have a generic emergency shelter for families, and there are no families living in encampments that have been discovered to date. As a result, most of the City's homeless services Annual Action Plan 2023 45 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) coordination work is focused on individuals. There is a need for increased services for women, as there is an increasing number of women in the shelters. Many have been traumatized by domestic violence and have mental health and substance use disorder challenges. There are couples living outside as well, because if they go into shelter, they will be separated. The Safe Passage shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children is always full and the Center for Human Development's Grace House for women in recovery and their children, is always at full capacity. There are no plans to increase the shelter capacity this coming year within the City. Service providers often see this as a regional issue and look for solutions regionally. When Northampton cannot house people in a shelter, they reach out to shelter providers in the three counties for accommodations. Helping homeless persons (especially chronically homeless individuals and families, families with children, veterans and their families, and unaccompanied youth) make the transition to permanent housing and independent living, including shortening the period of time that individuals and families experience homelessness, facilitating access for homeless individuals and families to affordable housing units, and preventing individuals and families who were recently homeless from becoming homeless again The Hampshire County Resource Center, located downtown, was the main entry point for homeless individuals to access services, but has been closed due to the pandemic. Many homeless are getting services from the drop-in center at MANNA Community Kitchen at St. John’s Church. The services accessed at the center will likely move to the Community Resiliency Center once it is operational. The coordinated entry system can be reached through an 800 number for service referral. REACH meetings (Regional Engagement and Assessment of Chronically Homeless people) have evolved into Coordinated Entry meetings. Relevant service providers meet weekly and monthly to assess and place chronically homeless people when housing placements exist. The City's Veterans Agent participates when Veterans are identified in need of assistance. Dial/Self staff participate when someone between the ages of 18-24 present for services. Jessie's House in Amherst addresses the needs of families finding themselves homeless, through referrals from the Department of Transitional Assistance. Safe Passage serves those affected by domestic violence. All of these programs work with participants to assess their needs and provide case management with the goal of helping them transition to permanent housing and independent living. The length of stay depends on how quickly a participant can address the obstacles they face that may prevent them from accessing housing, and the availability of a unit. The City is always striving to move toward increasing the number of housing units available for people experiencing homelessness. The CDBG funded public service agencies doing housing stabilization work (Community Legal Aid,), the CPC funded Community Housing Support Services Program and Resident Service Coordinators at the Housing Authority and larger apartment complexes, all work diligently to Annual Action Plan 2023 46 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) prevent people from returning to homelessness. Helping low-income individuals and families avoid becoming homeless, especially extremely low-income individuals and families and those who are: being discharged from publicly funded institutions and systems of care (such as health care facilities, mental health facilities, foster care and other youth facilities, and corrections programs and institutions); or, receiving assistance from public or private agencies that address housing, health, social services, employment, education, or youth needs. The City will continue to support through either CDBG funding or advocacy, the SRO Outreach Program and the Community Legal Aid Homeless Prevention Program, to allow them to work with residents whose tenancies that are at risk. The SRO Outreach Coordinator can help a tenant mediate a dispute with a landlord to avoid eviction, and the CLA Attorneys conduct advocacy at Housing Court which often results in payment plans to preserve the tenancy. The City’s Office of Planning & Sustainability has a “housing stability” section on their website which has many resources for people looking to maintain their housing status (renter or home-owner) or search for affordable units. Most of the public services agencies funded by the City with CDBG directly or indirectly prevent homelessness. Increasing language competency to secure work and economic self-sufficiency, accessing free food to be better able to afford housing costs, preparing at risk youth for employment opportunities and career paths, are some examples. Enhancing self-worth, life skills and educational attainment for better employment, are all critical components to having stable housing and healthy livelihoods. Social workers from the Cooley Dickinson Hospital attend the Next Step Collaborative meetings to network with service providers. They will contact ServiceNet to identify available beds prior to releasing a patient into homelessness. Soldier On will pick up any Veteran being released from the Hampshire County House of Corrections, who does not have a place to go identified. The City's Veterans Agent does extensive case management and works closely with Soldier On and the Northampton Housing Authority who administers the regions VASH units. Dial/Self works closely with the Department of Families and Children, and the Department of Youth Services to address youth being discharged from the foster care system. Dial/Self provides housing and support services to this population and has 8 units in Northampton. Discussion Collaborative advocacy and support will be provided to Safe Passage for the operation of their emergency family shelter for victims of domestic violence and to Soldier On for their emergency and transitional beds that serve men and women Veterans. The Community Development Planner will attend monthly meetings with the City's homeless service providers at the Next Step Collaborative, to Annual Action Plan 2023 47 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) ensure services are coordinated and utilized effectively. City updates are provided with regard to the production of new units, which is the key to successful movement for people working to exit homelessness. Elders who may be at risk can be served by Highland Valley Elder Services, the Northampton Housing Authority, Northampton's Council on Aging and the Senior Center. Services include home modification grants/loan to age in place, home delivered meals, public housing and outreach, education and socialization opportunities. The EARN program provides an opportunity for income maximization for elders not able to survive on Social Security or savings alone after retirement. Households with members who are disabled can be served by Stavros Center for Independent Living, the Department of Developmental Services and the Mass. Rehabilitation Commission. Households with members experiencing mental health issues are served by ServiceNet, Inc., Community Support Options (CSO) and the Department of Mental Health (DMH). The Recovery Center located downtown serves as a day drop in and resource center for those in recovery from substance use and mental health disorders. DMH and Department of Developmental Services (DDS) have residential programs that operate in the City, with 24/7 hour staffing supports. Gandara Mental Health Center operates Hairston House and the Maple Avenue house in Northampton for those in recovery from substance use. Victims of domestic violence can access Safe Passage for emergency hot line information and referrals, emergency shelter, legal advocacy and case management services. People living with HIV/Aids can be served by A Positive Place for housing subsidies and support services which operates out of Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton. Annual Action Plan 2023 48 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) AP-75 Barriers to affordable housing – 91.220(j) Introduction: Actions it planned to remove or ameliorate the negative effects of public policies that serve as barriers to affordable housing such as land use controls, tax policies affecting land, zoning ordinances, building codes, fees and charges, growth limitations, and policies affecting the return on residential investment The recommendations and actions that the fair housing assessment have informed the work at the Office of Planning & Sustainability to create more equitable housing policies and the advocacy and research done by the Housing Partnership since the report was published in 2019. The Housing Partnership serves as the City's Fair Housing Committee and members were involved in reports formulation. The City has passed a two-family by right zoning ordinance, which would allow the creation of more housing units, lessening the burden on housing costs. The City is also investigating the banning of certain fees associated with moving into a rental unit. There is also legislation at the state level that would allow for an affordable housing fund financed by fees levied on the sale of houses above a certain price point. This would be an opt-in program that the City is actively investigating. Most of the barriers within the control of City departments have been examined. The Housing Partnership has built the recommendations of the report into its goals since the report came out. The Massachusetts Fair Housing Center has previously done community education and outreach in Northampton and has expressed interest in working with the City to host another event. The Housing Partnership would like to have another landlord workshop over the next program year, but that has not been finalized yet. Discussion: The City will work collaboratively with the Housing Partnership, Next Step Collaborative, and other sub- committees to determine the next course of action. They will investigate how the actions steps created from the assessment of barriers can be implemented in the next program year and leverage current initiatives. Annual Action Plan 2023 49 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) AP-85 Other Actions – 91.220(k) Introduction: The City will play a critical role in facilitating communication and collaboration in the face of limited community resources. The City will support people and organizations carrying out public service programming, preserving and creating affordable housing, increasing people’s economic self-sufficiency, enhancing public facilities and infrastructure to improve the life quality of people that may be underserved and have insufficient incomes. Actions planned to address obstacles to meeting underserved needs The City has created a Department of Community Care whose mission is divert police calls related to behavioral health, substance use, social service-related requests, and other crisis situations of Northampton residents away from sending a police officer. This process can help keep people who are in a crisis from also getting a criminal record, which can often make finding housing difficult or overly burden them with other costs associated with the justice system. The City will support and participate in the Western Massachusetts Network to End Homelessness, the Rural Three County Continuum of Care, the Next Step Collaborative, and the Northampton Housing Partnership. This involvement informs the work of the Mayor's Office, the Department of Community Care, and relevant City departments to insure that local government is an active and responsive partner in addressing obstacles that residents experience. Housing and services for women were identified as a high priority need in previous action plans. Dialogue with Safe Passage to determine if they were interested in developing additional housing options for victims of domestic violence, but they currently do not have capacity Previously, traditional non-profit housing developers have not developed housing first units Developers say that they are hard to create with HUD’s funding/reporting requirements and more recently, the cost of creating just the units is prohibitively expensive. Adding additional service costs make it even more so. The City will work with various stakeholders and funding apparatus (CDBG, CPA, Housing Choice, Short-term rental fees) to create affordable housing. Other sources of funding such as ARPA fund, CIP, and casino mitigation funds will be used for other program delivery that CDBG cannot pay for. In all activities, the City will be looking to help people who are underserved, which often are people who are low-income. Actions planned to foster and maintain affordable housing The City is always looking to acquire parcels that could be used affordable housing units. The City is using $250,000 in the State’s Housing Choice grant to prepare the physical infrastructure and designs of Annual Action Plan 2023 50 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) four City owned properties so that they can be sold to affordable housing developers. Whenever the City gives money for housing, it requires an affordability restriction. The Department of Housing and Community Development's (DHCD) Subsidized Housing Inventory of formally subsidized housing units is monitored continually by the Community Development Planner. No other expiring use dates are occurring in the next decade, as most of the newer projects are affordable in perpetuity, or don't expire until 2030 and after. Housing Partnership has also been investigating over the last two years, if the NHA could move towards using a different FMR than the Springfield MSA because the vouchers for Northampton are enough to pay for housing. Actions planned to reduce lead-based paint hazards The City's Housing Rehabilitation Program will continue to include lead paint abatement as an eligible activity. All units addressed by the program are tested for lead, and abatement occurs when required. Other state and federal program are also posted on the Office of Planning & Sustainability website. Levels of childhood lead poisoning remain low according to the State's Department of Public Health, but child blood lead level testing has dropped by 20 percentage points since 2020. Lead paint is a silent discriminator when landlords refuse units to families so they can avoid the de-leading process. The public education campaign that resulted from the Analysis of Impediments report addressed increasing information dissemination about this illegal practice. The City's Board of Health continues to maintain the database of units that have been certified as lead free. Previously, letters from the Mayor to every landlord in the community contained information on lead paint laws and resources for abatement. The Community Development Planner will look for other sources of funding for de-leading homes such as the HUD Lead Hazard Reduction Grant Program. Actions planned to reduce the number of poverty-level families The City will continue to support the MANNA Community Kitchen, the food pantry at the Northampton Survival Center to address food insecurity. The Literacy Project, the Center for New Americans and Community Action's Youth Employment Readiness Program will assist residents with economic empowerment. Community Action's Resource and Advocacy Center is where people can call in and receive direct assistance to access resources and benefits. Bi-lingual staff are available to serve Spanish speakers. Community Legal Aid had been active in securing local services from Way Finders in Housing Court and for Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) application intakes, so local service providers and clients don't have to drive to Springfield to access those resources. The Northampton City Council supports the work of the Living Wage Campaign and publicly Annual Action Plan 2023 51 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) acknowledges employers in the community that pay a living wage. The Pioneer Valley Workers Center advocates for disenfranchised workers to secure higher pay and safe and respectful work environments. Many of their clients are day laborers on farms and in construction. They do education and outreach to insure employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities and strives to improve employer/employee relationships. Actions planned to develop institutional structure The Department of Community Care is continuing to create its program and develop protocols for interacting with the police dept., the Mayor’s Office, and the social service providers. The Office of Planning & Sustainability is kept informed of developing issues through monthly meetings of the Northampton Housing Partnership, the Next Step Collaborative, the Coordinated Entry meetings and the Western Mass Network to End Homelessness (services for individuals, families, youth, Veterans). The Next Step Collaborative meetings are attended by providers working with sheltered and unsheltered people, Veterans, people with HIV/Aids, residents of the SRO's, homeless and formerly homeless consumers. Actions planned to enhance coordination between public and private housing and social service agencies Way Finders manages the Lumber Yard Apartments and the Sergeant House for Valley CDC. In addition to their own properties - Paradise Pond Apartments, the Earle Street SRO, Live 155 and the Lorraine SRO at 96 Pleasant Street. Valley CDC utilizes HMR Property Management for the Maples, Millbank, the King Street SRO and the School Street apartments. HMR is familiar with social service agencies providing housing stabilization work for tenants and all interface collaboratively. Valley CDC and Way Finders also work in partnership to develop, and manage affordable housing for the City and region. The City will continue to work with the NHA’s Resident Services Coordinators to insure they are aware of local resources to enhance self-sufficiency for their tenants. The NHA hired a RSC for Hampshire Heights, in addition to Florence Heights, to serve the families in their public housing developments, an exciting step forward. The Coordinated Entry meetings have identified the need for more landlords to be willing to accept chronically homeless people and veteran’s using VASH. Discussion: Annual Action Plan 2023 52 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) Program Specific Requirements AP-90 Program Specific Requirements – 91.220(l)(1,2,4) Introduction: The City does not expect to receive any program income for this year. Additionally, there is no program income from previous years that has not been reprogrammed. Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) Reference 24 CFR 91.220(l)(1) Projects planned with all CDBG funds expected to be available during the year are identified in the Projects Table. The following identifies program income that is available for use that is included in projects to be carried out. 1. The total amount of program income that will have been received before the start of the next program year and that has not yet been reprogrammed 0 2. The amount of proceeds from section 108 loan guarantees that will be used during the year to address the priority needs and specific objectives identified in the grantee's strategic plan. 0 3. The amount of surplus funds from urban renewal settlements 0 4. The amount of any grant funds returned to the line of credit for which the planned use has not been included in a prior statement or plan 0 5. The amount of income from float-funded activities 0 Total Program Income: 0 Other CDBG Requirements 1. The amount of urgent need activities 0 2. The estimated percentage of CDBG funds that will be used for activities that benefit persons of low and moderate income.Overall Benefit - A consecutive period of one, two or three years may be used to determine that a minimum overall benefit of 70% of CDBG funds is used to benefit persons of low and moderate income. Specify the years covered that include this Annual Action Plan. 72.00% Annual Action Plan 2023 53 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021) The Plan details how funds expected from the 2023 grant will be expended Program income comes back to CDBG infrequently, when deferred housing rehab and home repair loans are paid off. The majority of homeowners request subordinations when they go to refinance. Annual Action Plan 2023 54 OMB Control No: 2506-0117 (exp. 09/30/2021)