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COUNTY EXECUTIVE FALK ANNOUNCES RECEIPT OF $750,000 GRANT IN NEW FEDERAL FUNDING FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

For more information contact:

Sharyn Wisniewski, 267-8823

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1/3/2002

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced that Dane County has received $750,000 in new federal HOME funds to make housing affordable for more people in Dane County.

“We’re determined to make home ownership and rental housing affordable to working families in Dane County,” said Falk. “This is a bottom line need for people who live and work here. It is also important to our economy and to businesses that need to hire employees.”

This is the first year that Dane County has been eligible to receive funding from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME affordable housing grant program. HOME dollars can be used for:

 Homebuyer activities - Mortgage downpayment assistance.
 Homebuyer rehabilitation - Assist existing owner-occupants with the repair, rehabilitation or reconstruction of their homes.
 Rental housing - Affordable rental housing may be acquired and/or rehabilitated, or constructed.
 Tenant-based Rental Assistance (TBRA) - Financial assistance for rent, security deposits and, under certain conditions, utility deposits.

The HOME program’s focus is to benefit low and moderate income persons, at or below 80% of Dane County's Median Family Income. The HOME income limits for Dane County are $36,750 for an individual, $42,000 for a couple, and $52,500 for a family of four.

The National Housing Conference recently compared housing costs to earnings nationally and found that nearly one in seven American households use more than half of their income to put a roof over their heads. The government considers 30% reasonable.

Falk said that she will decide on a process to set goals and priorities for useof the HOME funds and consider individual funding recommendations over the next three months, so that the county can make project awards by early summer 2002.

At least 15% of the HOME funds must be made available for use by Community Housing Development Organizations. The remainder can be used for county developed initiatives or as grants to municipalities and non-profits for affordable housing projects.

The county will now be eligible to receive HOME funds on an annual basis.

Dane County already targets about $500,000 per year in Community Development Block Grant funding to affordable housing. The addition of the HOME funds brings this amount to $1.25 million.

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