[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Barrington 7-10-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Council finds that:
There is a critical shortage of affordable and accessible housing in the Town of Barrington; and
There is a specific housing need to be addressed by the Town, the needs of residents of low and moderate income as defined by state law; and
The Town state-approved Affordable Housing Plan outlines implementation strategies towards securing at least 10% of the housing stock as permanently affordable in accordance with a state mandate; and
The Affordable Housing Plan recognizes the need for a dedicated financial resource which can be committed to the production of new affordable housing units and the rehabilitation, and thereby preservation, of existing affordable housing; and
The Affordable Housing trust fund can be designed to take advantage of unique opportunities for housing production and to address the specific needs identified in the Town Affordable Housing Plan.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AFFORDABLE HOUSING
- Rental or homeownership housing that requires a household to spend no more than 30% of its gross income on housing related expenses.
- AREA MEDIAN INCOME
- As defined by Rhode Island Housing or other state agency in accordance with applicable state law.
- COMMUNITY-BASED ORGANIZATION
- A community-based nonprofit corporation, which has been determined to be an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and that has a demonstrated capacity to carry out proposed housing activities.
- EXTREMELY-LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
- A household whose annual income does not exceed 30% of the area median income as adjusted to family size.
- Persons and families who have no access to or can reasonably be expected not to have access to either traditional or permanent housing which can be considered safe, sanitary, decent and affordable.
- HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION
- Emergency assistance to prevent a household from becoming homeless.
- HOUSING BOARD OF TRUSTEES
- The Affordable Housing trust fund Housing Board of Trustees, as described below.
- HOUSING DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION
- A community-based organization whose mission includes providing housing and/or revitalizing a community or communities.
- LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
- A household whose annual income does not exceed 80% of the area median income as adjusted to family size.
- MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
- A household whose annual income does not exceed 120% of the area median income as adjusted to family size.
- VERY-LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
- A household whose annual income does not exceed 50% of the area median income as adjusted to family size.
The purposes of the Barrington Affordable Housing trust fund are:
To increase resources available for the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization;
To create and preserve affordable and accessible housing to meet the needs of the Town's low- and moderate-income households;
To provide housing investment to revitalize and maintain the integrity of existing neighborhoods; and
To leverage additional outside resources for the creation and rehabilitation of affordable housing.
The Affordable Housing trust fund is hereby established as a separate segregated account under the name of the "Barrington Affordable Housing trust fund," held by the Town in trust to address the purposes set forth in this chapter.
It is the intention of the Town Council that the trust fund be a dedicated fund for the implementation of the purposes of this chapter. Therefore, any assets remaining in the trust fund at the end of any fiscal year shall be carried into the next fiscal year, including all interest and income earned, as well as any repayments or forfeitures of loans and/or grants.
Trust fund money shall be distributed for the benefit of the target income groups according to the Barrington Affordable Housing Plan, adopted November 2005 and as may be amended from time to time.
The acceptance of funding shall be conditioned upon compliance with long-term affordability restrictions and monitoring in accordance with guidelines provided by Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation, the Barrington Affordable Housing Plan and other applicable local, state and federal restrictions.
The Town of Barrington Finance Department, through the Town Manager, will administer the Affordable Housing trust fund.
Officials and staff as designated by the Town Manager shall provide administrative support to the Housing Board of Trustees as necessary. The administrative costs of the Affordable Housing trust fund and Housing Board of Trustees will be paid through the Zoning and Planning Department (or other Town budget provision).
There is hereby established a Housing Board of Trustees consisting of seven members, which may include up to two, but shall include at least one, representatives of the business community and one representative of a community-based organization or housing development organization. The remaining members shall be appointed from the community at large. Members shall serve without compensation.
Each member of the Housing Board of Trustees shall be a resident of the Town of Barrington and shall be appointed and confirmed by the Town Council.
Of the seven members of the Housing Board of Trustees initially selected, three members shall be appointed for a three-year term, two members shall be appointed for a two-year term, and two members for a one-year term. All members of the Housing Board of Trustees appointed thereafter shall be appointed for full terms of three years. Should there be a vacancy on the Housing Board of Trustees, the Town Council shall appoint and confirm a replacement to serve the remainder of the vacant term.
Notwithstanding the initial appointments, a full term of office for a member of the Housing Board of Trustees shall begin on the first day of the calendar year following his or her appointment and shall expire on the last day of the calendar year three years later.
For the purposes of conducting any official business a simple majority of the sitting Housing Board of Trustees shall constitute a quorum.
The affairs of the Housing Board of Trustees shall be conducted in accordance with the State of Rhode Island's Open Meetings Act and Access to Public Records Act. Members of the Board of Trustees shall comply with the Rhode Island Rules of Ethics.
The Housing Board of Trustees shall set standards, policies, and goals for the trust fund, consistent with the purposes and policies set forth in this chapter, including without limitation criteria for eligible projects, number and type of units funded, and scoring of applications for funding.
The Board of Trustees shall establish bylaws for the conduct of business in accordance with this chapter.
The Housing Board of Trustees shall annually review trust fund awards to ensure that trust fund resources are expended in a manner that conforms with this chapter and with Housing Board of Trustees' directives, and shall revise trust fund policies as needed to ensure this conformity.
By February 1 of each year, the Housing Board of Trustees shall issue an annual report on the activities and accomplishments of the trust fund in the previous calendar year. This report shall:
Provide total numbers of housing units produced, homes preserved, and households prevented from becoming homeless with trust fund support.
List projects funded through the trust fund.
Report on funds expended and dollars leveraged by trust fund funds.
Report in aggregate form the number of households benefiting from the trust fund by income level, geographic distribution, family size, and other criteria as selected by the Housing Board of Trustees.
Report on modifications which will be made to policies of the Board of Trustees designed to reflect the changing needs of the Town.
Establish goals and objectives for the upcoming year.
The fund shall, for financial reporting purposes, be a governmental fund of the Town of Barrington and, as such, shall be included in the Town's comprehensive annual financial report and will be audited in accordance with governmental auditing standards.
The Board of Trustees shall follow all Town policies, including, but not limited to, the Town's purchasing policy, and as such is subject to all state purchasing guidelines. All monies received by the Housing Board of Trustees shall be paid to the Finance Director of the Town of Barrington, who shall hold the same in a special fund and shall pay and distribute the same only on the written order of the Housing Board of Trustees and/or Town Council.
Projects and programs to which funds may be provided include eligible community, neighborhood-based, housing-assistance organizations, institutions, associations, for nonprofit and profit developers, as well as societies or corporations that:
Do not discriminate on the basis of age, religion, sex, race, color, marital status, sexual preference or national origin; provided, however, that this provision shall not affect the eligibility of an applicant proposing age-restricted housing; and
Conduct an annual certified external audit; and
Operate a drug-free premises.
Individual homeowners may be eligible applicants through a structured home loan/grant program, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements.
Eligible projects. Eligible uses of trust fund resources may include, but are not limited to, affordable housing projects, including workforce housing consisting of new construction rental and homeownership housing, substantial or moderate rehabilitation of rental or homeownership housing, housing preservation, and grants to make homes accessible to individuals with disabilities, and homelessness prevention activities.
Award of funds. Trust fund resources may be distributed as grants and/or loans, pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in an agreement, any request for proposal, and in conformance with the directives of the Housing Board of Trustees.
General review criteria. The Housing Board of Trustees shall review the extent to which eligible proposals meet the following review criteria in order to determine which, if any, best meet the purposes of the trust and the needs of the Town:
The number of affordable units to be developed through new construction, rehabilitation, conversion or acquisition.
The amount of money to be invested from the trust fund per affordable unit to be developed, preserved, or acquired.
The developer's capacity, determined through consideration of the developer's past history in completing projects or similar scale and nature, and for developers proposing rental housing, the property management history of the developer and management agent.
The timeliness with which units shall be developed.
The number of years that the project shall maintain units at affordable rental or sales prices, and the strength of the enforcement mechanisms offered to ensure this long-term affordability.
The number of the affordable units that shall be made available to households within the various income categories (i.e., moderate-, low-, very-low-, extremely-low-income households).
The extent to which projects provide necessary housing for families, elderly, or special needs individuals, as such a need is identified in the Town's Affordable Housing Plan.
The degree to which Trust funds monies are used to leverage additional funds and/or the funds return, through repayment, to the Trust to enhance its available resources.
The extent to which the developer has addressed or intends to address community concerns related to the project.
The extent to which the developer's proposal minimizes negative impacts on existing tenants, particularly displacement.
The extent to which a project is consistent with the Town of Barrington Comprehensive Community Plan and specifically the Affordable Housing Plan, and the extent to which a project is consistent with Chapter 185, Zoning, and Chapter 200, Land Development and Subdivision Regulations; provided that an applicant shall seek relief from the Zoning Board or the Planning Board where required.
Such other criteria as the Housing Board of Trustees may establish in request for proposals or alternative application process.
The Housing Board of Trustees shall provide for the provision of information and applications, and for the distribution of funds through the Town's Finance Department.
The Trust may accept applications for use of dedicated sources of revenue, as described in § 39-10, under programs authorized by the Town Council. Decisions on acceptance or rejection of proposals may be made on a case-by-case basis or through a competitive funding process. Awards made in accordance with a Town Council approved program may be at the discretion of the Board of Trustees; provided, however, that awards to any one applicant in an amount of $50,000 or greater, or in an amount at or above 30% of the funds budgeted under the Town Council approved program, shall require Town Council approval. A decision denying the award of funding under a Town Council approved program may be appealed to the Town Council by an applicant.
In addition, the Trust may, from time to time, issue a request for proposal (RFP) in conjunction with the Town of Barrington. The request may be for a particular type of project or for general housing development/preservation proposals. The RFP will be advertised in, at least, the Providence Journal and one local newspaper and will be mailed to Rhode Island Housing, any group or individual who has expressed an interest in being included on a RFP mailing list. Awards made as the result of an RFP will receive a recommendation from the Board of Trustees and shall be subject to Town Council approval.
The Housing trust fund is composed of several fund sources. The fund sources have been combined to create a pool of money to fund a variety of housing projects and programs, which directly assist homeowners in the creation or rehabilitation of affordable housing or allow community-based organizations and housing-based organizations to help provide housing options for households earning up to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development moderate-income limit.
Capitalization. The Affordable Housing trust fund shall be funded through revenues derived from gifts or grants to the Town and the trust fund, and from appropriations from the Town's general fund or other public sources, as the Town Council may from time to time establish or approve. Distribution and investment of capital funds shall require the approval of the Town Council.
Dedicated sources of revenue. Dedicated sources of revenue will be sought through the state and federal government subsidy programs as well as private and public sources. Dedicated sources may also include the collection of payments in lieu of construction of affordable housing required under Town Council approved inclusionary zoning provisions, the collection of impact fees or other exactions approved by the Town Council, and the repayment of loans funded by the Trust.
Any funds collected by the trust fund in the ordinary course of its business, including other sources that may be identified, interest and income earned, repayments, or forfeitures under any loan or grant agreements shall be deposited into the trust fund. In order to increase available resources for affordable housing production and preservation, the trust fund shall not supplant current funding levels for housing available from other sources.
This chapter shall take effect upon passage.