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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How to Become a Community Housing Development Organization

A Community Housing Development Organization, or CHDO, is an entity that is prioritized to receive funding from HUD's HOME Program. States, cities and counties across the country receive an annual allocation of HOME funds from the federal government to produce affordable housing. HUD requires that at least 15% of their annual allocations fund CHDO projects. In this post I summarize the most important steps an organization needs to take in order to qualify as a CHDO.

HOME Participating Jurisdictions (PJs) are responsible for certifying entities as CHDOs in accordance with HUD regulations. In order to be certified as a CHDO, an organization must meet standards in three general areas:
  • Mission- the organization's mission must include the provision of affordable housing for low income households. This mission must be documented in the organization's articles of incorporation or bylaws. In addition, CHDOs must have a policy and process for incorporating input from program beneficiaries.
  • Board Composition- at least 1/3 of the organization's Board of Directors must represent the community's low-income population, either as a low-income resident, a resident of a predominantly low-income census tract, or a representative of a low-income neighborhood organization. In addition, no more than 1/3 of the Board of Directors can be affiliated with a public entity, as an elected representative, an appointed representative, or as an employee.
  • Capacity- the organization must demonstrate capacity to develop housing by documenting financial health, accomplishments and staff qualifications. The organization must also have experience serving in the PJ that is certifying it. A new requirement that came with the 2013 HOME Interim Rule is that CHDOs must have paid, full-time staff involved in housing development.
Feel free to contact me to get more details on becoming a CHDO, or to use my cloud-based checklists for certifying CHDOs.