B Street focus of Chase City's newest Community Improvement Project

Chase City held a community meeting last Tuesday to solicit input on the housing and local needs for the B Street Railroad Avenue community. The town plans to apply for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (VDHCD) to address and improve living conditions for the low and moderate-income residents in the area.

CDBG funds have been used in the past to improve the communities of West 4th Street, West 3rd Street, Washington Street, and for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Endly Street Project.

Ashleigh Zincone, from the Southside Planning District Commission, began, “We’re studying the area right now to figure out the needs of the community…We’re going to hire a housing consultant and an engineer to study the area. The housing consultant will—if you want to participate in the planning grant process—he’ll make an appointment with you all to go through the house to see what kind of funds are needed to fix the roof, fix the floors just like you’ve seen throughout the other communities, and he’ll give us cost estimates so we can apply for the money to fix your house up.”

To determine if your household is eligible, one person must complete the confidential housing survey form. This survey asks for information on income as well as information on the water, sewer, and drainage needs of the home. It is important that even those above-income complete the survey so that the community can be properly assessed.

Households must be equal to or below the following figures to meet the definition of low- and moderate-income:

  • Households of one= $33,450
  • Households of two= $38,200
  • Households of three= $43,000
  • Households of four= $47,750
  • Households of five= $51,600
  • Households of six= $55,400
  • Households of seven= $59,250
  • Households of eight= $63,050

Typical rehabilitation focuses include electrical, heating, plumbing, roof, foundation, insulation, doors, windows, and etc. Similarly, improvements to add bedrooms due to overcrowding, or provisions for ramps and other accessibility features are included. Vacant and severely dilapidated home can also be demolished under this program at no cost to the owner.

The maximum cost for rehabilitating a home with a permanent foundation is $25,000 (for pre-1978) or $65,00 (for post-1978). An additional $20,000-$25,000 may be utilized for:

  1. Installation of a well and/or septic systems or water and/org sewer connections, not “pump and haul” systems.
  2. Provision of ramps and other accessibility features.
  3. Provision of additional bedrooms to relieve overcrowding or other changes to a unit’s footprint.
  4. Laboratory fees in connection with lead dust testing.
  5. Construction of a bathroom when one does not exist in the home.
  6. Floodproofing solutions.
  7. An additional $4,000 may be utilized for green building/energy conservation credit.

The maximum cost for rehabilitating a single wide mobile home is $10,000 plus $10,000 for exceptions for water and wastewater.

If a home cannot be rehabilitated for the maximum base cost allowed, the home can be substantially reconstructed, but only for homeowner or residents with lifetime rights. Substantial reconstruction include tearing down the existing home and building a new one in its place. The maximum base cost for this is $95,000.

The cost of rehabilitation varies by household.

Homeowners with lifetime rights will not be required to may any monthly payments. The cost of rehabilitation will be offered as a 0% forgivable loan, but your income must first be verified by current tax returns, W-2s, Social Security Statements, etc.

A lien or Deed of Trust will be placed on the property in the amount of the cost. For owner-occupied units, the lien duration is five years and the amount will be forgiven monthly. The Town will take second and third position liens to any existing liens with mortgage companies. Once the lien has been satisfied, the Town will remove the lien/Deed of Trust.

In the case of landlords, the person inhabiting the rental property must qualify as low or moderate-income and must first complete the survey. A lien/Deed of Trust will be placed on the property in the amount of the cost. The Town of Chase City will hold this lien/Deed of Trust for ten years before the lien amount will be forgiven monthly.

The current monthly rent cannot exceed fair market rent for the area as determine by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. A 12-month lease must be in place before rehab begins, and a 12-month lease must then be in place throughout the ten-year period with a copy provided to the Town throughout. Rent cannot be increased from the current level for 10 years except to cover direct cost increases such as taxes and insurance.

A property receiving Section 8 Voucher assistance is not eligible.

As landlord, you must purchase and maintain full homeowner’s insurance coverage—including fire and extended coverage—on the property for 10 years. Chase City must be listed loss payee, and you must supply the Town proof of insurance coverage annually.

Over the course of the ten years, tenants may change, but all tenants must quality as low or moderate-income and the rent level must remain unchanged except for the above exceptions.

If you do not comply with the terms/conditions of the Deed of Trust, you will be responsible for repaying the amount due at the time non-compliance is documented.

For tenants of rental properties being rehabilitated, rehab will cost nothing. However, tenants must still complete a housing application to confirm they are low or moderate-income and provide income documentation.

For any further explanations, please contact Ashleigh Zincone for an explanation at (434) 447-7101 ext. 206 or by email at azincone@southsidepdc.org.