24 CFR 570.208 - Criteria for national objectives.

§ 570.208 Criteria for national objectives.
The following criteria shall be used to determine whether a CDBG-assisted activity complies with one or more of the national objectives as required under § 570.200(a)(2):
(a) Activities benefiting low- and moderate-income persons. Activities meeting the criteria in paragraph (a) (1), (2), (3), or (4) of this section as applicable, will be considered to benefit low and moderate income persons unless there is substantial evidence to the contrary. In assessing any such evidence, the full range of direct effects of the assisted activity will be considered. (The recipient shall appropriately ensure that activities that meet these criteria do not benefit moderate income persons to the exclusion of low income persons.)
(1) Area benefit activities.
(i) An activity, the benefits of which are available to all the residents in a particular area, where at least 51 percent of the residents are low and moderate income persons. Such an area need not be coterminous with census tracts or other officially recognized boundaries but must be the entire area served by the activity. An activity that serves an area that is not primarily residential in character shall not qualify under this criterion.
(ii) For metropolitan cities and urban counties, an activity that would otherwise qualify under § 570.208(a)(1)(i), except that the area served contains less than 51 percent low- and moderate-income residents, will also be considered to meet the objective of benefiting low- and moderate-income persons where the proportion of such persons in the area is within the highest quartile of all areas in the recipient's jurisdiction in terms of the degree of concentration of such persons. This exception is inapplicable to non-entitlement CDBG grants in Hawaii. In applying this exception, HUD will determine the lowest proportion a recipient may use to qualify an area for this purpose, as follows:
(A) All census block groups in the recipient's jurisdiction shall be rank ordered from the block group of highest proportion of low and moderate income persons to the block group with the lowest. For urban counties, the rank ordering shall cover the entire area constituting the urban county and shall not be done separately for each participating unit of general local government.
(B) In any case where the total number of a recipient's block groups does not divide evenly by four, the block group which would be fractionally divided between the highest and second quartiles shall be considered to be part of the highest quartile.
(C) The proportion of low and moderate income persons in the last census block group in the highest quartile shall be identified. Any service area located within the recipient's jurisdiction and having a proportion of low and moderate income persons at or above this level shall be considered to be within the highest quartile.
(D) If block group data are not available for the entire jurisdiction, other data acceptable to the Secretary may be used in the above calculations.
(iii) An activity to develop, establish, and operate for up to two years after the establishment of, a uniform emergency telephone number system serving an area having less than the percentage of low- and moderate-income residents required under paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section or (as applicable) paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section, provided the recipient obtains prior HUD approval. To obtain such approval, the recipient must:
(A) Demonstrate that the system will contribute significantly to the safety of the residents of the area. The request for approval must include a list of the emergency services that will participate in the emergency telephone number system;
(B) Submit information that serves as a basis for HUD to determine whether at least 51 percent of the use of the system will be by low- and moderate-income persons. As available, the recipient must provide information that identifies the total number of calls actually received over the preceding 12-month period for each of the emergency services to be covered by the emergency telephone number system and relates those calls to the geographic segment (expressed as nearly as possible in terms of census tracts, block numbering areas, block groups, or combinations thereof that are contained within the segment) of the service area from which the calls were generated. In analyzing this data to meet the requirements of this section, HUD will assume that the distribution of income among the callers generally reflects the income characteristics of the general population residing in the same geographic area where the callers reside. If HUD can conclude that the users have primarily consisted of low- and moderate-income persons, no further submission is needed by the recipient. If a recipient plans to make other submissions for this purpose, it may request that HUD review its planned methodology before expending the effort to acquire the information it expects to use to make its case;
(C) Demonstrate that other Federal funds received by the recipient are insufficient or unavailable for a uniform emergency telephone number system. For this purpose, the recipient must submit a statement explaining whether the lack of funds is due to the insufficiency of the amount of the available funds, restrictions on the use of such funds, or the prior commitment of funds by the recipient for other purposes; and
(D) Demonstrate that the percentage of the total costs of the system paid for by CDBG funds does not exceed the percentage of low- and moderate-income persons in the service area of the system. For this purpose, the recipient must include a description of the boundaries of the service area of the emergency telephone number system, the census divisions that fall within the boundaries of the service area (census tracts or block numbering areas), the total number of persons and the total number of low- and moderate-income persons within each census division, the percentage of low- and moderate-income persons within the service area, and the total cost of the system.
(iv) An activity for which the assistance to a public improvement that provides benefits to all the residents of an area is limited to paying special assessments (as defined in § 570.200(c)) levied against residential properties owned and occupied by persons of low and moderate income.
(v) For purposes of determining qualification under this criterion, activities of the same type that serve different areas will be considered separately on the basis of their individual service area.
(vi) In determining whether there is a sufficiently large percentage of low- and moderate-income persons residing in the area served by an activity to qualify under paragraph (a)(1) (i), (ii), or (vii) of this section, the most recently available decennial census information must be used to the fullest extent feasible, together with the section 8 income limits that would have applied at the time the income information was collected by the Census Bureau. Recipients that believe that the census data does not reflect current relative income levels in an area, or where census boundaries do not coincide sufficiently well with the service area of an activity, may conduct (or have conducted) a current survey of the residents of the area to determine the percent of such persons that are low and moderate income. HUD will accept information obtained through such surveys, to be used in lieu of the decennial census data, where it determines that the survey was conducted in such a manner that the results meet standards of statistical reliability that are comparable to that of the decennial census data for areas of similar size. Where there is substantial evidence that provides a clear basis to believe that the use of the decennial census data would substantially overstate the proportion of persons residing there that are low and moderate income, HUD may require that the recipient rebut such evidence in order to demonstrate compliance with section 105(c)(2) of the Act.
(vii) Activities meeting the requirements of paragraph (d)(5)(i) of this section may be considered to qualify under this paragraph, provided that the area covered by the strategy is either a Federally-designated Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community or primarily residential and contains a percentage of low- and moderate-income residents that is no less than the percentage computed by HUD pursuant to paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section or 70 percent, whichever is less, but in no event less than 51 percent. Activities meeting the requirements of paragraph (d)(6)(i) of this section may also be considered to qualify under paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
(2) Limited clientele activities.
(i) An activity which benefits a limited clientele, at least 51 percent of whom are low- or moderate-income persons. (The following kinds of activities may not qualify under paragraph (a)(2) of this section: activities, the benefits of which are available to all the residents of an area; activities involving the acquisition, construction or rehabilitation of property for housing; or activities where the benefit to low- and moderate-income persons to be considered is the creation or retention of jobs, except as provided in paragraph (a)(2)(iv) of this section.) To qualify under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, the activity must meet one of the following tests:
(A) Benefit a clientele who are generally presumed to be principally low and moderate income persons. Activities that exclusively serve a group of persons in any one or a combination of the following categories may be presumed to benefit persons, 51 percent of whom are low- and moderate-income: abused children, battered spouses, elderly persons, adults meeting the Bureau of the Census' Current Population Reports definition of “severely disabled,” homeless persons, illiterate adults, persons living with AIDS, and migrant farm workers; or
(B) Require information on family size and income so that it is evident that at least 51 percent of the clientele are persons whose family income does not exceed the low and moderate income limit; or
(C) Have income eligibility requirements which limit the activity exclusively to low and moderate income persons; or
(D) Be of such nature and be in such location that it may be concluded that the activity's clientele will primarily be low and moderate income persons.
(ii) An activity that serves to remove material or architectural barriers to the mobility or accessibility of elderly persons or of adults meeting the Bureau of the Census' Current Population Reports definition of “severely disabled” will be presumed to qualify under this criterion if it is restricted, to the extent practicable, to the removal of such barriers by assisting:
(A) The reconstruction of a public facility or improvement, or portion thereof, that does not qualify under paragraph (a)(1) of this section;
(B) The rehabilitation of a privately owned nonresidential building or improvement that does not qualify under paragraph (a)(1) or (4) of this section; or
(C) The rehabilitation of the common areas of a residential structure that contains more than one dwelling unit and that does not qualify under paragraph (a)(3) of this section.
(iii) A microenterprise assistance activity carried out in accordance with the provisions of § 570.201(o) with respect to those owners of microenterprises and persons developing microenterprises assisted under the activity during each program year who are low- and moderate-income persons. For purposes of this paragraph, persons determined to be low and moderate income may be presumed to continue to qualify as such for up to a three-year period.
(iv) An activity designed to provide job training and placement and/or other employment support services, including, but not limited to, peer support programs, counseling, child care, transportation, and other similar services, in which the percentage of low- and moderate-income persons assisted is less than 51 percent may qualify under this paragraph in the following limited circumstance:
(A) In such cases where such training or provision of supportive services assists business(es), the only use of CDBG assistance for the project is to provide the job training and/or supportive services; and
(B) The proportion of the total cost of the project borne by CDBG funds is no greater than the proportion of the total number of persons assisted who are low or moderate income.
(3) Housing activities. An eligible activity carried out for the purpose of providing or improving permanent residential structures which, upon completion, will be occupied by low- and moderate-income households. This would include, but not necessarily be limited to, the acquisition or rehabilitation of property by the recipient, a subrecipient, a developer, an individual homebuyer, or an individual homeowner; conversion of nonresidential structures; and new housing construction. If the structure contains two dwelling units, at least one must be so occupied, and if the structure contains more than two dwelling units, at least 51 percent of the units must be so occupied. Where two or more rental buildings being assisted are or will be located on the same or contiguous properties, and the buildings will be under common ownership and management, the grouped buildings may be considered for this purpose as a single structure. Where housing activities being assisted meet the requirements of paragraph § 570.208 (d)(5)(ii) or (d)(6)(ii) of this section, all such housing may also be considered for this purpose as a single structure. For rental housing, occupancy by low and moderate income households must be at affordable rents to qualify under this criterion. The recipient shall adopt and make public its standards for determining “affordable rents” for this purpose. The following shall also qualify under this criterion:
(i) When less than 51 percent of the units in a structure will be occupied by low and moderate income households, CDBG assistance may be provided in the following limited circumstances:
(A) The assistance is for an eligible activity to reduce the development cost of the new construction of a multifamily, non-elderly rental housing project;
(B) Not less than 20 percent of the units will be occupied by low and moderate income households at affordable rents; and
(C) The proportion of the total cost of developing the project to be borne by CDBG funds is no greater than the proportion of units in the project that will be occupied by low and moderate income households.
(ii) When CDBG funds are used to assist rehabilitation eligible under § 570.202(b)(9) or (10) in direct support of the recipient's Rental Rehabilitation program authorized under 24 CFR part 511, such funds shall be considered to benefit low and moderate income persons where not less than 51 percent of the units assisted, or to be assisted, by the recipient's Rental Rehabilitation program overall are for low and moderate income persons.
(iii) When CDBG funds are used for housing services eligible under § 570.201(k), such funds shall be considered to benefit low- and moderate-income persons if the housing units for which the services are provided are HOME-assisted and the requirements at 24 CFR 92.252 or 92.254 are met.
(4) Job creation or retention activities. An activity designed to create or retain permanent jobs where at least 51 percent of the jobs, computed on a full time equivalent basis, involve the employment of low- and moderate-income persons. To qualify under this paragraph, the activity must meet the following criteria:
(i) For an activity that creates jobs, the recipient must document that at least 51 percent of the jobs will be held by, or will be available to, low- and moderate-income persons.
(ii) For an activity that retains jobs, the recipient must document that the jobs would actually be lost without the CDBG assistance and that either or both of the following conditions apply with respect to at least 51 percent of the jobs at the time the CDBG assistance is provided:
(A) The job is known to be held by a low- or moderate-income person; or
(B) The job can reasonably be expected to turn over within the following two years and that steps will be taken to ensure that it will be filled by, or made available to, a low- or moderate-income person upon turnover.
(iii) Jobs that are not held or filled by a low- or moderate-income person may be considered to be available to low- and moderate-income persons for these purposes only if:
(A) Special skills that can only be acquired with substantial training or work experience or education beyond high school are not a prerequisite to fill such jobs, or the business agrees to hire unqualified persons and provide training; and
(B) The recipient and the assisted business take actions to ensure that low- and moderate-income persons receive first consideration for filling such jobs.
(iv) For purposes of determining whether a job is held by or made available to a low- or moderate-income person, the person may be presumed to be a low- or moderate-income person if:
(A) He/she resides within a census tract (or block numbering area) that either:
(1) Meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(4)(v) of this section; or
(2) Has at least 70 percent of its residents who are low- and moderate-income persons; or
(B) The assisted business is located within a census tract (or block numbering area) that meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(4)(v) of this section and the job under consideration is to be located within that census tract.
(v) A census tract (or block numbering area) qualifies for the presumptions permitted under paragraphs (a)(4)(iv)(A)(1) and (B) of this section if it is either part of a Federally-designated Empowerment Zone or Enterprise Community or meets the following criteria:
(A) It has a poverty rate of at least 20 percent as determined by the most recently available decennial census information;
(B) It does not include any portion of a central business district, as this term is used in the most recent Census of Retail Trade, unless the tract has a poverty rate of at least 30 percent as determined by the most recently available decennial census information; and
(C) It evidences pervasive poverty and general distress by meeting at least one of the following standards:
(1) All block groups in the census tract have poverty rates of at least 20 percent;
(2) The specific activity being undertaken is located in a block group that has a poverty rate of at least 20 percent; or
(3) Upon the written request of the recipient, HUD determines that the census tract exhibits other objectively determinable signs of general distress such as high incidence of crime, narcotics use, homelessness, abandoned housing, and deteriorated infrastructure or substantial population decline.
(vi) As a general rule, each assisted business shall be considered to be a separate activity for purposes of determining whether the activity qualifies under this paragraph, except:
(A) In certain cases such as where CDBG funds are used to acquire, develop or improve a real property (e.g., a business incubator or an industrial park) the requirement may be met by measuring jobs in the aggregate for all the businesses which locate on the property, provided such businesses are not otherwise assisted by CDBG funds.
(B) Where CDBG funds are used to pay for the staff and overhead costs of an entity making loans to businesses exclusively from non-CDBG funds, this requirement may be met by aggregating the jobs created by all of the businesses receiving loans during each program year.
(C) Where CDBG funds are used by a recipient or subrecipient to provide technical assistance to businesses, this requirement may be met by aggregating the jobs created or retained by all of the businesses receiving technical assistance during each program year.
(D) Where CDBG funds are used for activities meeting the criteria listed at § 570.209(b)(2)(v), this requirement may be met by aggregating the jobs created or retained by all businesses for which CDBG assistance is obligated for such activities during the program year, except as provided at paragraph (d)(7) of this section.
(E) Where CDBG funds are used by a Community Development Financial Institution to carry out activities for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs, this requirement may be met by aggregating the jobs created or retained by all businesses for which CDBG assistance is obligated for such activities during the program year, except as provided at paragraph (d)(7) of this section.
(F) Where CDBG funds are used for public facilities or improvements which will result in the creation or retention of jobs by more than one business, this requirement may be met by aggregating the jobs created or retained by all such businesses as a result of the public facility or improvement.
(1) Where the public facility or improvement is undertaken principally for the benefit of one or more particular businesses, but where other businesses might also benefit from the assisted activity, the requirement may be met by aggregating only the jobs created or retained by those businesses for which the facility/improvement is principally undertaken, provided that the cost (in CDBG funds) for the facility/improvement is less than $10,000 per permanent full-time equivalent job to be created or retained by those businesses.
(2) In any case where the cost per job to be created or retained (as determined under paragraph (a)(4)(vi)(F)(1) of this section) is $10,000 or more, the requirement must be met by aggregating the jobs created or retained as a result of the public facility or improvement by all businesses in the service area of the facility/improvement. This aggregation must include businesses which, as a result of the public facility/improvement, locate or expand in the service area of the facility/improvement between the date the recipient identifies the activity in its action plan under part 91 of this title and the date one year after the physical completion of the facility/improvement. In addition, the assisted activity must comply with the public benefit standards at § 570.209(b).
(b) Activities which aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight. Activities meeting one or more of the following criteria, in the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary, will be considered to aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight:
(1) Activities to address slums or blight on an area basis. An activity will be considered to address prevention or elimination of slums or blight in an area if:
(i) The area, delineated by the recipient, meets a definition of a slum, blighted, deteriorated or deteriorating area under State or local law;
(ii) The area also meets the conditions in either paragraph (A) or (B):
(A) At least 25 percent of properties throughout the area experience one or more of the following conditions:
(1) Physical deterioration of buildings or improvements;
(2) Abandonment of properties;
(3) Chronic high occupancy turnover rates or chronic high vacancy rates in commercial or industrial buildings;
(4) Significant declines in property values or abnormally low property values relative to other areas in the community; or
(5) Known or suspected environmental contamination.
(B) The public improvements throughout the area are in a general state of deterioration.
(iii) Documentation is to be maintained by the recipient on the boundaries of the area and the conditions and standards used that qualified the area at the time of its designation. The recipient shall establish definitions of the conditions listed at § 570.208(b)(1)(ii)(A), and maintain records to substantiate how the area met the slums or blighted criteria. The designation of an area as slum or blighted under this section is required to be redetermined every 10 years for continued qualification. Documentation must be retained pursuant to the recordkeeping requirements contained at § 570.506 (b)(8)(ii).
(iv) The assisted activity addresses one or more of the conditions which contributed to the deterioration of the area. Rehabilitation of residential buildings carried out in an area meeting the above requirements will be considered to address the area's deterioration only where each such building rehabilitated is considered substandard under local definition before rehabilitation, and all deficiencies making a building substandard have been eliminated if less critical work on the building is undertaken. At a minimum, the local definition for this purpose must be such that buildings that it would render substandard would also fail to meet the housing quality standards for the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program-Existing Housing (24 CFR 882.109).
(2) Activities to address slums or blight on a spot basis. The following activities may be undertaken on a spot basis to eliminate specific conditions of blight, physical decay, or environmental contamination that are not located in a slum or blighted area: acquisition; clearance; relocation; historic preservation; remediation of environmentally contaminated properties; or rehabilitation of buildings or improvements. However, rehabilitation must be limited to eliminating those conditions that are detrimental to public health and safety. If acquisition or relocation is undertaken, it must be a precursor to another eligible activity (funded with CDBG or other resources) that directly eliminates the specific conditions of blight or physical decay, or environmental contamination.
(3) Activities to address slums or blight in an urban renewal area. An activity will be considered to address prevention or elimination of slums or blight in an urban renewal area if the activity is:
(i) Located within an urban renewal project area or Neighborhood Development Program (NDP) action area; i.e., an area in which funded activities were authorized under an urban renewal Loan and Grant Agreement or an annual NDP Funding Agreement, pursuant to title I of the Housing Act of 1949; and
(ii) Necessary to complete the urban renewal plan, as then in effect, including initial land redevelopment permitted by the plan.
Note:
Despite the restrictions in (b) (1) and (2) of this section, any rehabilitation activity which benefits low and moderate income persons pursuant to paragraph (a)(3) of this section can be undertaken without regard to the area in which it is located or the extent or nature of rehabilitation assisted.
(c) Activities designed to meet community development needs having a particular urgency. In the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary, an activity will be considered to address this objective if the recipient certifies that the activity is designed to alleviate existing conditions which pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community which are of recent origin or which recently became urgent, that the recipient is unable to finance the activity on its own, and that other sources of funding are not available. A condition will generally be considered to be of recent origin if it developed or became critical within 18 months preceding the certification by the recipient.
(d) Additional criteria.
(1) Where the assisted activity is acquisition of real property, a preliminary determination of whether the activity addresses a national objective may be based on the planned use of the property after acquisition. A final determination shall be based on the actual use of the property, excluding any short-term, temporary use. Where the acquisition is for the purpose of clearance which will eliminate specific conditions of blight or physical decay, the clearance activity shall be considered the actual use of the property. However, any subsequent use or disposition of the cleared property shall be treated as a “change of use” under § 570.505.
(2) Where the assisted activity is relocation assistance that the recipient is required to provide, such relocation assistance shall be considered to address the same national objective as is addressed by the displacing activity. Where the relocation assistance is voluntary on the part of the grantee the recipient may qualify the assistance either on the basis of the national objective addressed by the displacing activity or on the basis that the recipients of the relocation assistance are low and moderate income persons.
(3) In any case where the activity undertaken for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs is a public improvement and the area served is primarily residential, the activity must meet the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section as well as those of paragraph (a)(4) of this section in order to qualify as benefiting low and moderate income persons.
(4) CDBG funds expended for planning and administrative costs under § 570.205 and § 570.206 will be considered to address the national objectives.
(5) Where the grantee has elected to prepare an area revitalization strategy pursuant to the authority of § 91.215(e) of this title and HUD has approved the strategy, the grantee may also elect the following options:
(i) Activities undertaken pursuant to the strategy for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs may, at the option of the grantee, be considered to meet the requirements of this paragraph under the criteria at paragraph (a)(1)(vii) of this section in lieu of the criteria at paragraph (a)(4) of this section; and
(ii) All housing activities in the area for which, pursuant to the strategy, CDBG assistance is obligated during the program year may be considered to be a single structure for purposes of applying the criteria at paragraph (a)(3) of this section.
(6) Where CDBG-assisted activities are carried out by a Community Development Financial Institution whose charter limits its investment area to a primarily residential area consisting of at least 51 percent low- and moderate-income persons, the grantee may also elect the following options:
(i) Activities carried out by the Community Development Financial Institution for the purpose of creating or retaining jobs may, at the option of the grantee, be considered to meet the requirements of this paragraph under the criteria at paragraph (a)(1)(vii) of this section in lieu of the criteria at paragraph (a)(4) of this section; and
(ii) All housing activities for which the Community Development Financial Institution obligates CDBG assistance during the program year may be considered to be a single structure for purposes of applying the criteria at paragraph (a)(3) of this section.
(7) Where an activity meeting the criteria at § 570.209(b)(2)(v) may also meet the requirements of either paragraph (d)(5)(i) or (d)(6)(i) of this section, the grantee may elect to qualify the activity under either the area benefit criteria at paragraph (a)(1)(vii) of this section or the job aggregation criteria at paragraph (a)(4)(vi)(D) of this section, but not both. Where an activity may meet the job aggregation criteria at both paragraphs (a)(4)(vi)(D) and (E) of this section, the grantee may elect to qualify the activity under either criterion, but not both.
[53 FR 34439, Sept. 6, 1988; 53 FR 41330, Oct. 21, 1988, as amended at 60 FR 1945, Jan. 5, 1995; 60 FR 17445, Apr. 6, 1995; 60 FR 56912, Nov. 9, 1995; 61 FR 18674, Apr. 29, 1996; 71 FR 30035, May 24, 2006; 72 FR 46370, Aug. 17, 2007]

Title 24 published on 2014-04-01

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