The annual report of the Greensboro Neighborhood Development Department for fiscal year 2018-2019 shows a lot of success in providing more safe affordable housing in Greensboro.
In 2016, the voters of Greensboro passed a $25 million bond for housing, and since then the city has spent $5.9 million. The City Council has talked about placing a much larger housing bond on the ballot in the near future and some councilmembers argue that the 2016 bond should have been larger.
After four years, the city still has over 75 percent of the bond money unspent, which seems it would make it hard to argue that the problems in affordable housing have been caused by a lack of available bond money.
The $5.9 million that has been spent has been used to leverage over $99 million in funding, so the funds have been put to good use. The money was used to provide down payment assistance for 217 loans and complete 659 housing units as well as counsel 223 households.
Neighborhood Development also spent $1.3 million on homeless prevention services that included giving 110 households short term rental assistance and providing overnight, emergency or transitional shelter for 1,394 people.
The department spent $1.5 million on housing rehabilitation, which resulted in 197 multi-family units and 45 single-family units being rehabbed.
The down payment and closing cost assistance program was revamped, raising the maximum income level to include moderate-income households as well as low-income. The result was that 215 renters became first time homeowners. Of those, 208 were in the moderate and workforce income range. The average amount of down payment assistance received was $10,000; the maximum amount was $15,000.
The code compliance division also went through some changes with the territories of field inspectors being aligned with City Council districts. The way it works now, council Districts 1, 2 and 3 each have two inspectors and council Districts 4 and 5 have one inspector each.
There are also two inspectors who cover the entire city for nuisance and junked vehicle issues.
Neighborhood Development partnered with the Office of Workforce Development and Salvation Army of Greensboro in the Welcome HOME (Housing Opportunities Matching Employment) Rapid Re-housing program.
The goal is to help people experiencing homelessness obtain housing quickly and find permanent employment.