Emergency Shelter Grant Program
The Emergency Shelter Grant Program is authorized under Section 416 of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act (Pub. L. 100-77, approved July 22, 1987); Sec. 7(d) of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act (42 U.S.C. 3535(d). The purpose of the ESG Program is to help improve the quality of existing emergency shelters for the homeless, to help in providing certain essential services to the homeless population, to assist in the operation of emergency shelters, and for homeless prevention activities.
Essential services are categorized as follows: services concerned with employment, health, drug abuse and education and may include (but are not limited to:
- assistance in obtaining permanent housing;
- medical and psychological counseling and supervision;
- employment training;
- nutritional counseling;
- substance abuse treatment and counseling;
- assistance in obtaining other federal, state and local assistance;
- other services such as child care, transportation, job placement and job training; and,
- salaries necessary to provide the above services.
Under the ESG regulations, essential services cannot exceed 30% of the total ESG grant amount; however, it is expected that the City will request a waiver from HUD to allow 80% of ESG funds to be used for essential services.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) Program
The CDBG Program is authorized under Title I, Housing and Community Development Act of 1974 (42 U.S.C. 5301-20) and Section 7(d) of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Act (42 U.S.C. 3535(d).
The purpose of the CDBG Program is to provide decent housing, suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities, principally benefiting persons of low and moderate income. Federal regulations require that at least one of the following national objectives are met by all CDBG funded activities:
- The activity must principally benefit low and moderate income individuals.
- The activity must aid in the prevention or elimination of slums/blight.
- The activity must address an immediate, urgent threat to the health/welfare of the community, not addressed by other financial resources.
In approved CDBG target areas, grant funds may be used for the acquisition, demolition, clearance, removal or rehabilitation of real property and blighted buildings; the construction, reconstruction or installation of public work projects, neighborhood facilities and other site improvements; relocation assistance; economic development; assistance to the elderly or handicapped; public services; preparation of the Consolidated Plan and yearly action plan and administrative costs.
CDBG allocations have been directed toward programs/projects that include the rehabilitation of private homes, apartment buildings and commercial stores; capital improvements such as replacement of street lighting, sewer rehabilitation, sidewalks and streets repairs and/or replacement, installation of traffic signals, and code enforcement. Economic development grants and loans have been made for commercial facade improvement, replacement of old signs and a variety of public service programs such as recreation programs, day-care scholarships, education counseling and training, etc.
Home Investment Partnership Program (“HOME”)
Under fiscal year 2000, the City of Mount Vernon received HOME funding in the amount of $681,000 from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HOME funds were allocated as follows:
- 75% to the City’s only public housing project for rehabilitation work;
- 15% for affordable housing development projects; and
- 10% for administration costs.
Affordable House Ownership Demo Program
The City supports the construction of affordable housing projects. Under the HOME Program, 15% of the HOME allocation must be set aside to fund affordable housing projects for affordable housing opportunities in conjunction with local nonprofit certified Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs).
Supportive Housing Program
The City of Mount Vernon addresses one of HUD’s priorities, homelessness, by participating in the Continuum of Care homeless assistance competition. The Continuum of Care approach responds to local comprehensive planning efforts, which were designed to help homeless individuals and families move to self-sufficiency and permanent housing. HUD rewards communities that work together to coordinate housing programs for homeless persons. The City submitted its application in conjunction with Westchester County and Yonkers.