Throughout the process of submitting areas approved for GNND, we’ve learned a lot. In this post, we will share some steps and best practices we’ve learned along the way. Let’s get started.
The very first step in this process is to download the latest HUD Notice in order to begin designating the area. As of July, this is the latest version http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=11-02hsgn.pdf .
The HUD Notice will identify the necessary criteria to be included in the application. At this point, we suggest building your team. Your team should include the following key members:
- Local HUD officer
- Title Company
- Local Non-Profits
- City or County officials (mayor, community development director, etc.)
- Real Estate Agent
- Loan Officer
Be sure to reach out to your team before you start to ensure none of them have begun the application process. If the ball is already rolling, offer your assistance. If not, hopefully they will be interested in participating in the process.
At this point, the research will begin. You will want to identify areas based on the following three criteria:
- Very Low Income Area: The median household income less than 60 percent of the median household income for the area.
- High Concentration of Eligible Assets: A high rate of default or foreclosures for single family mortgages insured under the National Housing Act has resulted, or may result, in the area.
- Low Homeownership Rate: The rate for homeownership of single family homes in the area is substantially below the rate for homeownership in the metropolitan area. Homeownership rates that are less than 60% in an area are considered substantially below.
The data will need to be broken down by “Census Block Group”. You will find the necessary information at www.census.gov. Once you have identified a few census block groups that are eligible it is time to map the areas.
Now, you will make a map so that you can clearly see what boundaries align with the census block group (CBG). See an example of the map. (Link to our maps).
At this point you have your map and can compile necessary data on each census block group. This data will need to show why a particular CBG should be designated for the program. The criteria you are looking for are things like: crime rates, number of short sales, REO in the CBG, decline in market stats, and whatever other stats you think will support your application. Be sure to share this load among your team. It’s important to support your application, and will increase the speed of the process.
Once you have all of the data you have a few more steps. The application must be submitted by the local HUD office, the city that is interested in designating the area, or a non-profit that serves the area. HUD also wants to see collaboration from the private and public sector. This is why all of the team members are so vital and why you did the research on the three criteria up front.
Finally, we suggest getting as many people involved as possible. And, try to set up a meeting with them to show them what you have been working on. If you have done all of the steps above, you will be able to give them the statistics, show them on the map which areas qualify, and all you will be asking for is a letter of support.
Once you have your data, maps, and support letters – submit the application. There is the plan. Now go out there and do it!