Housing Assistance Plan & Procedures

I.    INTRODUCTION

This manual is a guide for operating the housing rehabilitation related aspects of the Citrus County Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program. The responsibilities of Citrus County, Florida, a political subdivision of the State of Florida (herein called “Citrus County”), the homeowner, construction contractor, and the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist are specifically addressed in this manual. The major focus of this manual is on housing rehabilitation, demolition/clearance, and replacement of dwellings. Relocation of households is also covered to a limited extent.

On May 1, 2018, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO) announced the availability of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Funding in the amount of $22,408,030 as a result of the Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Hermine (FEMA 4280-0DR-FL).  This funding will help to address unmet disaster recovery needs related to damage from Hurricane Hermine.  Citrus County is one (1) of nineteen (19) counties that have been given the opportunity to apply for CDBG-DR funding to meet the unmet housing needs of our community. 

Citrus County was awarded approximately $1,616,897.63 from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO) for demolition, home replacement with elevation activities under the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program related to Hurricane Hermine. These funds must be utilized to meet the required HUD national objectives of: benefit to low- and moderate- income (LMI) persons; aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight; and meet a need having a particular urgency (referred to as urgent need). CDBG-DR funding will be used to benefit and service very low to low-to-moderate income (LMI) persons within the County, including the City of Crystal River. Assistance will be provided in the form of a no interest deferred-payment loan. 
Units considered for this program will be required to have flood insurance if located in the 100-year flood plain. In cases where units can be replaced and relocated out of the flood plain voluntarily, units will be addressed in accordance with Chapter 73C-23 F.A.C. Citrus County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Citrus County is required to maintain a DRI component to its Housing Services website to provide the general public with appliable disaster recovery related information, as required in the federal register guidance. The website includes a contract reporting summary which will be modified or updated monthly to add new contracts and to account for any contract amendments that may change the performance period or contract amount.

A.    Administrative Procurement:
Administration of the CDBG-DR program may require the procurement of services to be conducted by professional service providers. Such services may include but not be limited to consultants, vendors, and/or contractors. During the procurement of any required services from professional agencies or firms of the aforementioned types, the Citrus County CDBG-DR Program will follow its local purchasing policy. 

In any instances where it may not be feasible to obtain a response from multiple service providers and a sole/single source proposal/Quote/Bid is obtained, a cost reasonable analysis may be performed in accordance with 200CFR (Reasonable Costs: Subpart E: 200.404): https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-2/subtitle-A/chapter-II/part-200/subpart-E/subject-group-ECFRea20080eff2ea53/section-200.404  

Where a cost reasonable analysis is not feasible or prudent the County CDBG-DR Program shall follow its procurement policy as follows: Less Than Two Proposals Received: If less than two Proposals are received, the County may negotiate the best terms and conditions with that Respondent or reject the Proposal and re-solicit for the Service.

II.    HOUSING REHABILITATION OBJECTIVES AND POLICIES

A.    Objectives
The objectives of the Citrus County Housing Rehabilitation Program are:

1.    To encourage the revitalization of exceptionally low to low-to-moderate income neighborhoods through a Housing Rehabilitation Deferred Payment Loan (DPL) Program.
2.    To remove unhealthy or hazardous conditions in low-to-moderate income households.
3.    To use CDBG-DR rehabilitation grant funds as a catalyst to encourage residents of low-to-moderate income neighborhoods to improve their community.
4.    To preserve existing housing stock and to replace substandard housing.
5.    To enable low-to-moderate income families to hurricane harden and apply Green Standards to their homes by providing financial and technical assistance to those unable to obtain private financing.
6.    To reduce utility costs and insurance to improve the quality of life of very low to low-to-moderate income families through weatherization aspects of rehabilitation.
7.    To improve the property tax base in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.
8.    To increase employment and training opportunities for local residents and minority person through the provision of funds for the rehabilitation of homes.
9.    To make homes accessible to elderly/handicapped occupants as may be required by code, accessibility requirements, and as good judgment may dictate.
10.    To minimize impact of program participation on recipients and to limit direct costs encountered because of program participation. 

B.    Rehabilitation Policies
It is the policy of the Citrus County Rehabilitation Program to:

1.    Assure that the Program is administered in strict conformance with the community development and rehabilitation rules and all applicable local, state and federal requirements (including equal opportunity, conflict of interest, etc.)

2.    Treat all participating property owners, residents, and contractors fairly, with sensitivity and respect for their needs, and in accordance with program rules.

3.    Provide all program participants any reasonable assistance necessary to carry out the objectives of the program, bearing in mind:

a.    that property owners hold the primary responsibility for maintaining their property and personal finances;

b.    that contractors are primarily responsible for the quality of their work, primarily, hurricane hardening and Green Standards, and their obligations to suppliers, creditors, subcontractors, and employees; and

c.    that any assistance provided must be authorized at the proper level.

4.    Assure that no member of the Congress of the United States, the Citizen Advisory Task Force, or the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) shall share in proceeds or benefits of CDBG-DR funded rehabilitation work.

5.    Allow some flexibility in administering the program in order to meet the program’s goals and objectives of rehabilitating each addressed dwelling to hurricane hardening and Green Standard to attain HUD Section 8 Housing Quality Standards and the Florida Building Code. The Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) may waive program rules only when the result will be consistent with established goals and objectives and applicable federal, state, or local regulations.

6.    Hurricane hardening and Green Standards, along with housing rehabilitation and replacement homes is the first priority for qualifying applicants.

C.    Fraud, Waste and Abuse
All documentation submitted by the applicant must include a signed statement verifying that the information provided is true, complete, and accurate. Any false, fictitious, or fraudulent information, or the omission of any material, may subject the applicant to criminal, civil or administrative penalties. Program documents must capture the following statement:

“PENALTY FOR FALSE OR FRAUDULENT STATEMENTS: U.S.C. Title 18, Sec. 1001, provides that whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies or makes false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or entries shall be fined not more than $10,000.00 or imprisoned not more than five (5) years or both. 

Any intentionally false or fraudulent statements or supporting documents can constitute cancellation of my/our application.”

D.    Monitoring Procedures
Oversight of contractors and vendors that have been procured to administer the Citrus County Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery will be performed by Housing Division staff to ensure that all activities performed are in accordance with the terms and conditions of the procured agreement and in compliance with DEO and County Grant Award.

E.    Identification of Units
Housing Rehabilitation along with hurricane hardening and Green Standards for energy efficiency will take place only on units approved by Citrus County and in accordance with grant requirements established by the State of Florida. Alternate units may be provided to replace any primary units that may be ineligible. Citrus County will solicit applications either from other housing assistance providers that have knowledge of need within Citrus County, by placing notices in public areas throughout Citrus County and/or by advertising in publicly circulated publications. Periods that applications will be accepted will be noted in all publications. Citrus County will review applications received using the following selection criteria:

1.    Applicants will be served on a first come, first qualified basis. For reporting record keeping, or other applicable purposes where an applicant list is maintained, applicants will be listed or ranked based on the same first come, first qualified basis. 

It should be noted that where pledged set asides for income levels (VLI, LI, MI) are required to comply with the DEO and County Grant Award Agreement rank listings may be altered to ensure set asides are met. 

2.    Has the recipient previously been furnished assistance and, if so, when and under what circumstances? A former recipient cannot be assisted for 10 years and, in any event, will not be served again until all other eligible recipients have received assistance.

3.    Number of persons in the family and the family income.

4.    Does the recipient have clear title to the property?

5.    Type of construction (i.e., block, manufactured home, wood frame, etc.), state of deterioration of the residence, and estimated cost to rehabilitate, hurricane hardening, and Green Standards energy efficiency as compared to 1) average residence cost calculated in the application and 2) the value of the residence after rehabilitation. Assistance for mobile or manufactured housing will be included in the program but will be restricted to replacement of said structure with a site-built home, unless specifically prohibited by local or state regulations.

6.    Location of the residence with reference to defined areas, i.e., floodplain, zoning, incompatible use, etc.

7.    Compatibility (consistency) of the proposed residence rehabilitation with the local comprehensive plan and/or land development regulations.

8.    Is the recipient current on payments to the local government (i.e., garbage/trash bills, utility bills, taxes, etc.) and mortgage/lien holders?

9.    Recipients’ willingness to maintain reasonable standard of care maintenance to protect and enhance the investment by meeting local nuisance, trash, and other environmental or health codes.

10.    Is the structure more than 50 years old? The applicant shall indicate on the application form whether to his/her knowledge the structure is older than 50 years old. If he/she answers yes or if other evidence suggests the structure is more than 50 years old, Citrus County must notify the State Bureau of Historic Preservation and receive written approval for rehabilitation. Property appraiser, tax records, or other government agencies records will be researched to verify the age of the structure.

11.    This program may assist in the rehabilitation or replacement of rental housing structures at the discretion of the Housing Services Director and Program Administrator as funds may be available.

12.     Homes and project sites will be subject to a complete site-specific environmental review and clearance process. The initial site-specific review will take place at the time of home inspection with final site-specific environmental clearance provided by DEO. No construction funds may be expended for any project without written or email DEO site-specific clearance. The Citrus County site-specific clearance process will follow all applicable State, DEO, and/or HUD policies as outlined in 24 CFR 58.35a (Exhibit A) and the site-specific environmental checklist (Exhibit B). 

13.    Homes and project sites that are projected to receive CDBG-DR assistance (rehabilitation or reconstruction) will be subject to storm tie-back vetting. Program administration shall conduct tie-back research and where available, provide documentation that links a home or project site to the Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Hermine (FEMA 4280-0DR-FL).  Tie-back documentation can be collected from any local government or other legitimately recognized organization, including but not limited to, municipal utility departments, municipal building department, FEMA, insurance agencies, etc.) 

F.    Removal of Units from the Program
The Housing Services Director or the Project Administrator may remove a housing unit from the program for a change in household income, approved selection criteria, or for not complying with the minimum qualification procedures. If it is determined that it is necessary to remove an applicant from the program, a certified letter will be sent to the applicant stating the reasons for the removal. The applicant will have the right to appeal the decision as identified in the Citizen Participation Plan.

III.    CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Although addressed in other places in this Policy, adherence to rules and regulations on this matter is mandatory. All applicants that may have a business or familial relationship with a member of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), Citizen Advisory Task Force (CATF) Committee, Housing Services Director, Program Administrator, or participating construction contractors must fully disclose this relationship on the application and definitely before a construction contract is executed. In addition, these beneficiary names must be disclosed at the regular meetings of Citrus County BOCC as selection of beneficiaries occur, and these names must be included in the minutes of the BOCC meetings. The Citrus County BOCC members must disclose any relationship with an applicant(s) and must abstain from any vote related to that applicant. As soon as an application is approved, that application and any cases of conflict of interest must be made known at a meeting of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners. Before an applicant with a potential or real conflict is given final approval for participation, Citrus County must notify the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in writing. Prior to any rehabilitation, Citrus County must receive written notification of DEO’s approval of the application, in accordance with 24 C.F.R. Section 570.489. If this process is not followed the local government and/or the applicant may be liable for returning the funds to the program.

IV.    HOUSING REHABILITATION FINANCING

A.    Deferred Payment Loans (DPL)
The Housing Rehabilitation Program provides financing to homeowners in form of a 100% Deferred Payment Loan, the amount of which shall include the accepted bid amount plus a contingency reserve.

Deferred Payment Loans are conditional grants and are provided to homeowners who are unable or unlikely to obtain conventional financing due to their income limits. The Deferred Payment Loan (DPL) involves a security instrument (lien) requiring repayment of the loan only if the homeowners sells or transfers ownership of rehabilitated home, ceases to use it as his/her primary residence within five (5) years of the date of the DPL, or fails to maintain reasonable required standards of care and maintenance. Refinances are governed by Citrus County’s subordination policy. During the five-year period, the principal is “forgiven” or subtracted from the principal balance in equal monthly amounts, so that at the end of the fifth year of owner occupancy (by at least one of the recipients if owned jointly), the loan is fully amortized. There is no interest charged during the five years.

If repayment of a DPL becomes due, the prorated principal balance will be due in full within thirty (30) days of the sale/transfer of ownership or the owner's cessation of primary residence at the property. If the owner is unable to make such payment, the Citrus County BOCC may, at its discretion, allow repayment of the DPL over a term not to exceed ten (10) years, at a yield of not more than six percent (6%) interest per annum.

Homeowners whose household incomes do not exceed the HUD Section 8 low-to-moderate (80% AMI) income limit will receive a Deferred Payment Loan for 100% of the cost of rehabilitation paid from CDBG-DR funds.
The maximum DPL for an owner-occupied single-family dwelling is $80,000. The owner-occupied units in a two to four-unit dwelling may receive a DPL of up to $60,000 per unit. The owner/occupant of a multi-family dwelling may receive a DPL of up to $60,000 for the owner/occupant unit but must finance any required rehabilitation of the remaining unit(s) through private funding. Any privately funded rehabilitation is required to take place post CDBG-DR rehab closeout.

If rehabilitation costs require more than $100,000 and the owner is unable to finance the additional cost, the dwelling unit may be disqualified unless alternative funding is available. Grant application scoring indicates an average rehabilitation amount that is to be attained. Extremely high costs frequently adversely impact other units planned for rehabilitation. Therefore, the ability to maintain the necessary average must enter into the decision process.

As a general policy, a contingency amount of about 5% should be placed on reserve for change orders. Exceptions may be made to this rule if the owner provides a firm commitment to pay for all required changes exceeding the authorized loan limit or if the Administrator determines that the situation does not require a contingency fund.

B.    Scope of Rehabilitation Assistance
CDBG-DR financing of housing rehabilitation is available for the following purposes:
Hurricane hardening, correcting local housing code (Florida Building Code) and Section 8 HQS (Housing Quality Standards) violations and meeting all Green Rehabilitation Requirements, attached in Appendix A;
Providing cost effective “green” building features wherever possible. At a minimum:

a)    Any appliances replaced or installed shall be Energy Star.

b)    Any door and/or window replaced or installed shall be Energy Star.

c)    Any lighting fixture replaced or installed shall be Energy Star.

d)    Weatherization of all homes rehabilitated. Weatherization shall include attic, and if appropriate, floor insulation as well as sealing all exterior walls, hurricane grade windows, doors, garage doors, roof, and other necessary disaster hardening measures when necessary, and as funds may be available. New home construction is presumed to meet the minimum insulation and sealing requirements.

e)    Any replaced or new (for new home construction) HVAC unit shall have a SEER rating of at least 14 and be lifted off the ground.

Provide reasonable repairs and modifications to make the dwelling accessible to handicapped and elderly occupants as necessary and technically feasible; and Correcting health and/or safety violations that may be present, including replacement of dilapidated or malfunctioning stoves or refrigerators and interim controls or abatement of lead-based paint hazards; and all units addressed, if constructed prior to 1978, will receive a Lead Base Paint testing and abatement by a licensed contractor, if required.

New construction (adding a room or closing in a carport, etc.) is eligible for rehabilitation financing only to eliminate over-crowding or to provide bathroom or laundry hook ups.  General property improvements are eligible for program funds when necessary to obtain an accurate level of utility, to decrease high maintenance costs, or the elimination of blight. Examples of eligible general property improvements include installation of cabinets and linen closets, functional changes in room layout, replacement of unapproved or damaged floor covering, and enclosure of a porch for use as a bathroom where the dwelling does not have adequate interior space.

Some general property improvements may be provided at the owner’s expense.  Other additional improvements, above those required to achieve standards, are optional and at owner expense.  The cost for any such improvements shall be borne totally by the owner who must deposit the funds with the local government before the improvements begin if the improvements are to be a part of the rehabilitation contract.

General property improvements that are paid for by the property owner must be included in the Contract for Rehabilitation that is developed and administered by the Housing Rehabilitation Program. However, ineligible new construction must be contracted separately. The property owner must also deposit the necessary funds to cover the additional improvements into the local government's program account.  This must be done prior to construction. Otherwise, the additional items will not be included in the construction. Furthermore, any construction not covered in the construction contract will be inspected by the local Building Inspector but will not be inspected by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist.

V.    QUALIFICATIONS

A.    General
Applicants will be subject to a full qualification review process. This process will start at the time of program application. Final household income qualification will be determined utilizing the methods and procedures as outlined in 24 CFR Part 5. More specifically 24 CFR Part 5.609 (annual Income) and the inclusion and exclusion provisions.  Consistent with HUD exchange rules: CDBG (including CDBG-DR) assistance should be provided within 12 months of the income certification date, or the verification process should begin again. Note: Where HOME only allows income information to be up to 6 months old, CDBG policy allows income information to be up to 12 months old. 

The program assistance application will contain all required income and qualification documentation checklist for applicants to follow and submit along with their complete application. Applications can be obtained from the Citrus County Housing Services Department or other designated location/site. No incomplete applications will be accepted. Final application reviews will take place on a first complete-first submitted basis. Applications will be submitted to Citrus County Housing Services Staff at the Citrus County Housing Services Office or other designated submission outlet(s). 

Applicants will also be subject to, starting at the time of application, a duplication of benefits review. The program assistance application will contain a required duplication of benefits checklist for applicants to follow and submit applicable documentation along with their complete application. The initial duplication of benefits review will occur at the County level. The final review, comparison with state database(s), and approval will be provided by DEO. Upon final income/program eligibility, including duplication of benefits clearance, a final program eligibility and award letter will be provided to applicants. 

A final duplication of benefits clearance must be provided in writing from DEO before the final program award letter of approval is provided to any applicant. 

Within 90 days of final homeowner income/program eligibility certification and the issuance of a final income/program award letter, site and home inspections will begin. Homeowner award and income/program eligibility letter will remain valid for a term of one full calendar year (365) from the date it is officially issued. The construction and rehabilitation process will begin prior to the expiration of the homeowner award and income/program eligibility letter. In the event the eligibility letter should expire, a new income/program eligibility review shall be required. 

In order for a homeowner to be eligible for rehabilitation assistance, the following criteria must be met:

1.    Applicants will be served on a first come, first qualified basis. 

2.    Total Household income must not exceed the low-to-moderate limits (80% AMI) set for the HUD Section 8 Program at the time assistance is provided.

3.    The owner must possess and provide clear title to the property, although it may be jointly owned, and the property may be mortgaged.  Ownership through life estate, their property or other legal satisfactorily documented ownership is considered satisfactory for program participation.  Providing proof of title is an owner responsibility and expense.

4.    The assisted unit must be owner occupied and the primary residence of the owner for at least one (1) year prior to the time of application and must be located within Citrus County.

5.    Property tax, mortgage payments, and utility bills must be current; and ownership must not be jeopardized by any other threat of foreclosure, default or cloud on title.

6.    All homeowner’s insurance policies are required to be in place prior to Certificate of Occupancy. A homeowner’s insurance policy will be required and must include Fire and Casualty. Flood insurance is required if the home is in the 100-year flood plan. All insurance policies must remain in effect for the entire period of the Deferred Payment Loan Agreement. Any unit to be addressed with rehabilitation funds must be elevated to at least two (2) feet above base flood elevation (or to local code) whichever is greater.

7.    All applicants that may have a business or familial relationship with a member of the Citrus County BOCC, the CATF, Housing Services Director, Program Administrator and participating construction contractors must fully disclose this relationship at the time of the application, at the point in time in which the conflict occurs, and definitely before a construction contract is executed.

8.    If a boundary survey is required, the owner is responsible for providing necessary proof or documentation at the owner’s expense.

9.    Applicant must be willing to execute all necessary documents on a timely basis.

B.    Household Income

The following rules are applicable in determining household income:

1.    The gross income of all household members occupying the dwelling is included in calculating household income.  However, wages earned by dependent minor children (under 18) are not included in total.

2.    Rent or other household support contributed by non-household occupants of a dwelling is included in household income. If no rent or household support is provided, then the occupant is considered part of the owner’s household.

3.    The owner' s assets, apart from the home in which he/she resides and personal property such as an automobile, will be considered in determining eligibility. The actual annual income from the asset will be calculated as part of the total household income.  Inclusion of such assets, if any, will be in strict accordance with 24 CFR 813.106 and any current modification thereof.

VI.    STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS

A.    General
In addition to owner eligibility requirements for participation in the Housing Rehabilitation Program, the dwelling must be:

1.    Below Section 8 Housing Quality Standards; and
2.    Feasible for rehabilitation.

In order for a house to be considered feasible for rehabilitation, proposed construction must:
a)    Correct all violations of the local housing code and Section 8 standards;

b)    Provide interim controls or abatement for lead-based paint hazards as required by HUD and EPA for structures constructed prior to 1978 that will be assisted by the program.  All houses built prior to 1978 will be tested for lead-based paint.  If lead based paint is found, interim control procedures will be used for all houses rehabilitated at or below $25,000.  Houses above $25,000 will be rehabilitated using abatement procedures.  The occupants will be notified of the hazards of lead-based paint, the symptoms and treatment of lead poisoning, how to avoid poisoning, lead level screening requirements, and appropriate abatement procedures;

c)    meet applicable local zoning requirements, as well as local, state, and federal housing code requirements for rehabilitation work;

d)    leave at least 20% of the original structure based upon the formula provided in this chapter;

e)    not exceed the program costs noted in this chapter;

f)    be made reasonably accessible to handicapped/elderly occupants, when the unit is occupied by such; and

g)    new construction or substantial improvement of any residential building (or manufactured home) located within the 100-year flood plain shall have the lowest floor including basement elevated no lower than one (1) foot above the base flood elevation (or per local code).  Should solid foundation perimeter walls be used to elevate a structure, openings sufficient to facilitate the unimpeded movements of flood waters shall be provided.

B.    Structural Integrity
Rehabilitation requires that at least 20% of the original structure remain after construction, based upon the following formula. Three (3) major components of the house are considered, with each component weighted to total 100% of the structural value of the house.  These components and ratios are: roof - 20%, exterior walls - 60%, and flooring system - 20%.

As an illustration, if 50% of the roof must be replaced, 50% of the walls must be replaced, and 25% of the flooring system (including framing) must be replaced, the factors are then rationed based on the 20/60/20 formula, so that 50% replacement of the roof is equal to replacing 10% of the structure, 50% replacement of the exterior walls equals 30% replacement of the structure, and 25% replacement of the flooring system equals 5% replacement of the structure. Thus, replacement equals 10%, plus 30%, plus 5%, or a total of 45% of the structure. This leaves 55 % of the original structure, indicating that the structure is feasible for rehabilitation.

This calculation will be performed by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist or Program Administrator. Should significant deterioration occur between application and time the unit is scheduled for rehabilitation, the unit will be re-evaluated for continued eligibility and a decision made by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist and Program Administrator whether to replace it with an alternate unit or to request a change in type of rehabilitation (demolition, permanent relocation, etc.) in accordance with current DEO contract requirements.

C.    Cost Feasibility
As an additional means of guarding against program penalties for substantial reconstruction of a dwelling, the following cost limits are applicable to all rehabilitation areas.  These limits are above the allowable CDBG-DR financing limits and assume requirements for owner contributions or leveraging. The limits may be exceeded for disaster recovery which has a requirement of hurricane hardening and Green Standards rehabilitation costs when alternative funds are available for leveraging but must be specifically approved by DEO via the DEO Office of Disaster Recovery Hermine-Matthew Housing Cap Waiver Request and Procedure (Exhibit C) and the Citrus County BOCC when exceeding the described limits.

$100,000 per single family detached house.
$80,000 per unit of a two-to-four-unit complex
$72,000 per unit of a triplex or quadraplex

In addition, the cost of rehabilitation and improvements may not exceed the after-rehabilitation value of the dwelling.  In the absence of conflicting information, the mobile home CDBG-DR cost limits shall be assumed to meet this requirement.  For site-built dwellings, the total cost of rehabilitation (plus other improvements, if any) may not exceed $100 per square foot of dwelling space, excluding septic tank, well, or water/sewer hook-ups, and elevation costs to meet flood zone compliance, which is less than the cost of new construction and will be assumed to meet the cost/value limit.

VII.    PROCEDURES

A.    Application and Inspection
Each property owner who applies for rehabilitation assistance is initially screened to determine whether he/she is eligible for a 100% Deferred Payment Loan. A preliminary inspection is then conducted to determine feasibility of rehabilitation.

If either the owner or the structure does not meet eligibility requirements for program participation, the application will be rejected.  A written rejection notification will be sent to the owner via certified mail and the local government designated representative within ten (10) days stating the reason for rejection.
If both the owner and the house appear to be eligible for program participation, the application/verification process continues.  A work write-up with cost estimate is developed by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist and approved by the property owner. The cost estimate for the job is considered confidential information until bid opening.

If special financing arrangements (such as the owner covering excessive costs or general property improvements) are required or anticipated, arrangements must be made prior to bidding to prevent soliciting bids on a case that cannot be financed.  When the case receives preliminary approvals, bids are solicited for the job.

B.    Bidding
When the case receives preliminary approvals, bid requests are submitted to the Office of Management and Budget to initiate the bid process in accordance with Citrus County Purchasing Policies and Procedures. Owners review the pre-approved list of eligible contractors before their cases are sent out for bid. Owners have the right to remove any contractor(s) from the list of prospective bidders for their case, as long as at least three (3) eligible contractors are allowed to bid. The owner must be willing to justify the removal of contractor(s) from the bidding list.  Owners may also request additional contractors as bidders.  If these owner-requested contractors submit the contractor application and are approved by the designated representative and are otherwise eligible, they may be added to the bidders list and bid on the case. The administrator will make maximum effort to work with the Office of Management and Budget/Purchasing to ensure participation by minority contractors.

No housing unit owner or occupant, or employee or immediate relative of the same, either personally or corporately, shall serve as a contractor or sub-contractor to be paid with CDBG-DR funds for the rehabilitation of said building nor shall they be paid for their own labor with CDBG-DR funds for the rehabilitation of said building.

A notice is sent to each eligible bidder to inform them of the job. Bidding notices will be posted online via Demandstar.com. Advertising for individual jobs will be conducted as necessary but will not exempt contractors from the requirement that they must be pre-qualified prior to final bid award.

Each contractor must attend a pre-bid conference held at the house to be rehabilitated or inspect the house under the owner's supervision.  Failure to do so will result in automatic rejection of his/her bid(s) for the house(s).

Sealed bids will be opened at a public bid opening.  Housing staff will generally recommend that the contract be awarded to the lowest bidder, subject to approval of Housing staff.  Citrus County and owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids and to award in the best interest of the owner and Citrus County.  The owner must approve the bid award prior to signing contracts.

Each contractor must satisfactorily complete one job through the Housing Rehabilitation Program before receiving any additional contracts.  No contractor will be allowed to have more than two (2) jobs under construction at one time without consent of the local government designated representative unless:

1.    The anticipated date of commencement is after the scheduled and estimated date of completion of current jobs; or

2.    The contractor has demonstrated, through past performance, his/her ability to satisfactorily complete multiple contracts in a timely manner thereby causing no impact on project and program completions.

In the event of a single or sole source bid the following shall be evaluated and considered:

(a)       Can the project be feasibly re-bid without compromising the program and/or project timeline?

(b)       Has additional outreach been made to notify and involve all program pre-qualified contractors. 

(c)       Are construction services only readily available from a single source?

Where a single or sole source bid is accepted or awarded, the PA and HRS shall demonstrate, via the bid award memorandum, the above-mentioned criteria has been reviewed and maximum effort was made to obtain a minimum of three (3) viable bids. 

This rule may be waived by the Citrus County BOCC if it is determined that there is an inadequate pool of qualified bidders, if the other bids are excessive, or if other extenuating circumstances arise.

C.    Contracting and Rehabilitation
The contract amount and contractor are recommended by Management and Budget to the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners before the DPL and contract are signed.  The DPL amount, contract amount, contractor, and owner eligibility are all approved by the designated representative.

The rehabilitation contract is executed between the homeowner and the contractor when the rehabilitation DPL is closed, with the three (3) day rescission period running simultaneously for both legal agreements.  Rehabilitation Agreements (for DPL's) are executed by the designated representative authorized to act on behalf of the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners.

The DPL and the Notice of Commencement are recorded immediately.  The program pays for recording of the Agreement.  The filing of the Notice of Commencement shall be the responsibility of the Contractor.    
The Notice to Proceed is issued to the contractor as soon as possible after the rescission period elapses.  When temporary relocation of the occupants is required, the Notice to Proceed will be delayed until the house is vacated.  The contract time of performance (generally 30 - 45 days for rehabilitation and 120-180 days for new construction) begins with issuance of the Notice to Proceed.

D.    Inspections
Periodic inspections of the rehabilitation construction are performed by Citrus County and the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist throughout the contract period.  These inspections are conducted to assure compliance with the contract standards for workmanship and materials, to detect any unauthorized deviations and to identify necessary changes to the contract work in its early stages.

Inspection and approval of completed work must be conducted by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist prior to the contractor's receiving partial or final payment.  The owner's acceptance of the work is also required before payment is received.

A statement will be required from contractor that all items on the initial work write-up as modified through change orders have been completed.

A final acknowledgment will be submitted stating that the housing unit meets applicable local codes, and it will be signed and dated by the local building inspector or the local government’s housing rehab specialist. 

E.    Change Orders
Any additions to, deletions from, or changes in the rehabilitation contract work, time, or price must be approved in a written change order before the additional work is started. The change order is executed by the owner and contractor and is approved by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist and the designated representative as established by amount in accordance with Citrus County’s Purchasing Policies and Procedures. Change orders may be issued to correct code deficiencies or to obtain any other desired change in the work.  CDBG-DR funds can only be used for change orders that correct code violations as documented by the local building official, a bona fide code violation report, or to meet Section 8 housing quality standards found after construction begins.  Other changes will be at the owner's expense.

F.    Payment

Housing Repairs
Contracts of $10,000 or less will not be paid until the contractor has completed the job. Contracts in excess of $10,000 allow a partial payment upon satisfactory completion of fifty percent (50%) of the work.  Contracts in excess of $18,000 allow that partial and final payments be submitted for each third (1/3 or 33 1/3%) of the work that is satisfactorily completed.

Housing Replacements

                        Payment        Percentage of
Construction Completion                    Schedule        Funds Paid
Plans, Permits, Slab Poured                 Draw 1            20%
Dry-In, Roof    Windows, Doors            Draw 2            35% 
Rough Trades, Drywall, Cabinets         Draw 3            30%          
     
* Final                                                    Draw 4            15%

*After Certificate of Occupancy is issued and all punch list items are 100% completed.

Approval of a partial payment requires:

1.    a determination by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist and the designated representative that the claimed percentage of completion of the work has been satisfactorily completed. Payment will be issued for the amount claimed less retainage depending on the physical progress as long as the contract funds remaining are sufficient to complete the work in the event of default by the contractor;

2.    approval of the work by the owner; and

3.    an affidavit from the contractor stating that either:

(a)    there are no claims for unpaid goods and/or services connected with the job and all laborers, suppliers and subcontractors have received just compensation for their goods and services up to the date of the request (as evidenced by full or partial waiver of lien from subcontractors); or

(b)    a list of all unpaid parties and the amounts owed to each has been submitted with the request.

The final payment approval requires:
1.    acceptance of all work by the property owner, the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist, and designated representative;

2.    submission of all manufacturers' and other warranties (i.e., appliances, roofing, extermination, contractor's warranty covering the entire job for one year, etc.);

3.    waivers of liens from all subcontractors, all parties who were not paid when the contractor received partial payment, and from any other party supplying notice;

4.    a certificate of occupancy or final approval from the Building Inspector to show compliance of the rehabilitation work with the locally adopted building (and other applicable) code requirements

5.    completion of all punch list items; and

6.    an affidavit from the contractor stating that all bills have been paid and there are no claims for subcontracted jobs or materials, or any outstanding Notice to Owner.

If the owner refuses to authorize payment due to a dispute with the contractor, the Housing Services Director and Program Administrator may recommend disbursement without the owner's approval if the claim is shown to be without merit or inconsistent with policies and the goal of the program.  Such disbursement shall be issued only after the Program Administrator has reviewed the facts and circumstances involved in the dispute and has determined that the owner's refusal to issue payment is without just cause.  A record of all pertinent information shall be presented to the Citizen Advisory Task Force for their final determination.  Sufficient documentation to this effect shall be placed in the case file.

G.    Disputes and Contract Termination
Disputes, the owner's right to stop work and termination of the contract by the owner or contractor shall be as authorized in the Contract for Rehabilitation.

H.    Follow-Up
After completion of the contract, it is the owner's responsibility to notify the contractor in writing of any defect in the work or material.  The owner is also requested to notify the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist or the Program Administrator of any complaints to the contractor so assistance in follow-up can be provided.  If the contractor does not respond to the owner's written complaint within a reasonable time frame and in a satisfactory manner, the Administrator will verify the complaint.  If the Program Administrator judges the complaint to be valid, he/she will send written request for warranty service to the contractor and a copy to the designated representative.  The contractor will then take action as monitored by the owner and the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist.  Upon receiving notice from the owner that the complaint has been satisfied, the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist will inspect the work and make such note in the case file.  Failure to resolve complaints shall be justification for removing a contractor from participation with the program.

VIII.    CLEARANCE/PERMANENT RELOCATION/DEMOLITION RELOCATION

A.    General
Permanent Relocation and/or Demolition Relocation are synonymous terms used in the rehabilitation program when a home is unsound and not suitable for rehabilitation based on the structural integrity criteria. Homeowner eligibility requirements are the same as for rehabilitation. Further policies are included in the local Anti-displacement and Relocation Policy.

B.    Clearance
Requirements are identified by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist and are included in the replacement unit bid package.  In this way, the same contractor is responsible for site cleanup and preparation as for provision of the replacement unit. Disposal of debris and associated activities are also included if this method is utilized. When demolition or clearance is conducted separately, bid packages are prepared with procedures following those identified for rehabilitation in this manual.

C.    Permanent Relocation/Demolition Relocation
This activity involves replacement of an eligible owner-occupied unit that is beyond economic repair. The Housing Services Director will decide with the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist on a case-by-case basis whether to utilize a slab “site built” replacement unit, a prefabricated unit, or a modular home. Decision items will include budget, zoning, replacement requirements, cost estimates, and a number of other items that may vary case-by-case.

Once the decision is made, the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist prepares bid specifications. 

D.    Differences
1.    No partial payment is provided for modular replacement units, as the time frame to complete the transaction is relatively brief.  The contractor is paid in full upon satisfactory completion of work and providing of warranties. Partial payments are utilized for site-built homes along the same lines as for rehabilitation work.

2.    Program disbursements are made from the local CDBG-DR operating account.  As a result, attention must be paid to the ordering and receipt of funds, to ensure that disbursements are made in a timely manner and that the federal three-day rule is not violated.

3.    Cost feasibility limits are based on number of bedrooms to be provided for site-built homes. These limits that may not be exceeded without approval from the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners are:

With Match Funds       Without Match Funds
a.    four or more bedrooms     $100,000                           $100,000     
b.    three bedrooms                 $100,000                           $ 100,000
c.    two bedrooms                    $100,000                           $ 100,000

In the case of replacement of existing mobile/manufactured homes, the limit will be based upon the acceptable bid price of a replacement home of comparable size. If the existing home is inadequately sized, the replacement home will be sized to include the appropriate bedrooms needed to meet Section 8 and/or local housing code requirements for occupancy.  In no case will the total assistance be greater than those limits listed above.
Necessary site improvements, including water supply, sewage disposal, and clearance, will also be provided along with the actual dwelling replacement.

Budgetary and scoring constraints, as well as priorities for assisting other households, may dictate that some homeowners will be offered less than the maximum amounts shown hereto, even if their demolition and replacement housing costs are above the offered amount.  A scoring system will be put into place and will give higher points to households for extenuating circumstances, such as handicap, age and special needs. In these cases, homeowners must provide non-CDBG-DR funds from other sources, or they may decline the offer and withdraw from the program.  If the offer is declined, no CDBG-DR funded demolition will occur.

IX.    CONTRACTOR LISTING
The Housing Rehabilitation Program will establish and maintain a current listing of eligible contractors for bidding on all phases of the program. Establishment of this list will include maximum effort to utilize local and minority contractors. 

A.    Recruiting
Contractors residing or maintaining offices in the local area will be recruited through public notice to all such contractors, as part of the local government's compliance with Federal Section 3 requirements.  This special effort will be based upon the list of contractors licensed in the jurisdiction including residential, building and general contractors.  Letters sent to contractors, or advertisements placed soliciting them, will be placed in the appropriate program file.

The contractor listing will include all local contractors who apply and are determined eligible based upon program qualification standards.

If the pool of local contractors is inadequate to provide a sufficient pool of contractors willing and qualified to perform the rehabilitation work at prices that are considered reasonable and comparable to the prepared estimate, other contractors will be solicited.  Maintenance of a pool of competitive, qualified, and capable contractors is essential to program completion.

The existing purchasing policy of Citrus County will be used to determine eligibility of the contractors.

B.    Contractor Eligibility 
In order to participate in the Housing Rehabilitation Program, a contractor must be certified as eligible by the Administrator of Housing Rehabilitation and CHAPTER 73C-23 F.A.C.

Basic contractor qualifications include:
1.    Current license(s) with the appropriate jurisdiction;

2.    A satisfactory record regarding complaints filed against the contractor at the state, federal or local level;

3.    Insurance meeting Type “A (b)” (Attached)

The Contractor shall provide the County with a certificate of insurance from the insurer guaranteeing ten (10) day notice to the Housing Rehabilitation Program before discontinuing coverage.

4.    A satisfactory credit record, including:

(a)    references from two (2) suppliers who have done business with the contractor involving credit purchases; and
(b)    references from three (3) subcontractors who have subcontracted with the contractor; and
(c)    the ability to finance rehabilitation contract work so all bills are paid before requesting final payment.

5.    Satisfactory references from at least three (3) parties for whom the     contractor has done construction;

6.    Absence from any list of debarred contractors issued by the Federal or State DOL, HUD or DEO.
The Housing Rehabilitation Specialist will assure that current and past performance of the contractor are satisfactory based upon readily available information and reserves the right to check any reliable source in establishing such determination.

The Housing Rehabilitation Specialist will explain the contractor's obligations under Federal Equal Opportunity regulations and other contractual obligations at the pre-bid conference.  Program procedures, such as bidding and payment, are also explained to the contractor.

C.    Disqualification
Contractors may be prohibited or removed from program participation for:

1.    poor workmanship or use of inferior materials;

2.    evidence of bidding irregularities such as low balling, bid rigging, collusion, kickbacks, and any other unethical practice;

3.    failure to abide by the work write-up, failure to complete work write-up (and bid) accomplishments, and any attempts to avoid specific tasks in attempts to reduce costs;

4.    failure to pay creditors, suppliers, laborers or subcontractors promptly and completely;

5.    disregarding contractual obligations or program procedures;

6.    loss of license(s), insurance or bonding;

7.    lack of reasonable cooperation with owners, rehabilitation staff or the others involved in the work;

8.    abandonment of a job;

9.    failure to complete work in a timely manner;

10.    inability or failure to direct the work in a competent and independent manner;

11.    failure to honor warranties;

12.    ineligibility to enter into federally or state assisted contracts as determined by the U.S. Secretary of Labor, HUD or DEO;

13.    other just cause that would expose the Program or owner to unacceptable risk;

14.    failure to respond to a minimum of three (3) consecutive requests for bids; or

15.    at the contractor's request.

X.    RELOCATION/DISPLACEMENT

The Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 does not apply to displacement under the Citrus County Community Development Program since Citrus County does not acquire the vacated (demolished or rehabilitated) property and residents participate voluntarily. Therefore, relocation services will be provided in the Citrus County Anti-Displacement and Relocation Policy which covers specific situations in great detail.

Household/property owners previously approved for proposed housing assistance may voluntarily withdraw their application for assistance, which must be confirmed in writing.  If the Administrator determines the applicant to be ineligible for assistance, the Administrator shall send written notification to the applicant stating that the application has been rejected and the reason for the rejection.

The CDBG-DR Housing program provides an allowance for temporary relocation assistance to qualified persons who need to relocate while the work is being         completed on their primary residence. The County will assist eligible applicants with two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) of assistance ($1,000 at move out and $1,000 upon return): Award of temporary relocation assistance is based upon the availability of funds.

XI.    APPEALS/COMPLAINTS

The Housing Services Director, Housing Rehabilitation Specialist, the designated representative, and the Program Administrator are authorized by the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners to make all determinations of eligibility for assistance and level of assistance, scheduling of rehabilitation, demolition and relocation, and contract management. Citizens and/or contractors should issue complaints to the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist or the Program Administrator.  For a complaint to be considered valid, it must be issued in writing within a period of 30 days of its occurrence. Responses also should be issued in writing.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the Program Administrator's response, the issue must be presented in writing to the Citrus County’s Citizen Advisory Task Force (CATF). If the complaint cannot be resolved by the CATF, the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners will review the grievance and make a decision based upon program regulation, local policies, and availability of funds. Further appeals, if necessary, must be addressed to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

XII.    PROGRAM INCOME
No program income is planned to result from this program.  Deferred Payment Loans will be monitored by the Housing Rehabilitation Specialist during the CDBG-DR period of agreement. After the expiration of the agreement between Citrus County and the State, the monitoring will be performed by the designated representative.

If repayment of a DPL or program income is received during the CDBG-DR agreement period, it will be used for additional rehabilitation as authorized by the Department of Community Affairs.  Program income or DPL payment received subsequent to closeout will be returned to the Department of Economic Opportunity unless the state's program income regulations are changed. Citrus County is required to have a revenue account set-up that will be used specifically for program income.

XIII.    PROPERTY ACQUISITION POLICY

A.    Voluntary

Citrus County may purchase property CDBG-DR funds for use in the Community Development Program. While most property acquisition must follow the procedures outlined in the Uniform Relocation and Real Property Acquisition Act, residential property to be used for relocation purposes shall be purchased on a voluntary basis.

The County shall determine the property features needed and the budget available for the purchase defined in the contract agreement.  A request for proposals will then be published in a local newspaper.  The request will state the specifications and budget and indicate that the purchase is voluntary.

No displacement of renters may occur as a result of the program. Owners may receive relocation assistance. This will be determined by the Housing Services Director and the Program Administrator, as funds may be available.
    
A voluntary acquisition occurs when real property is acquired from an owner who has submitted a proposal to the recipient for purchase of their property in response to a public invitation or solicitation of offers. The Citrus County BOCC is committed to this mode of acquisition to the maximum practicable extent.

Voluntary acquisition shall be permitted only if the property being acquired is not site specific and at least two properties in the community meet the criteria established by the local government for usage, location, and/or interest to be acquired.  The Citrus County BOCC, prior to publication of a public notice or attendance of any local government representative at a property auction, must approve all voluntary acquisitions in principle.

A public notice must be published inviting offers from property owners.  This notice must:

1.    accurately describe the type, size, and approximate location of the property it wishes to acquire;
2.    describe the purpose of the purchase;
3.    specify all terms and conditions of sale, including maximum price;
4.    indicate whether or not an owner-occupant must waive relocation benefits as a condition of sale;
5.    announce a time and place for offers to be accepted; and
6.    announce that local powers of condemnation shall not be invoked to acquire any property offered for which a mutually agreed to sale price cannot be reached.
 
Property may also be acquired at auction. The Uniform Relocation Act does not apply to voluntary acquisitions.

In each voluntary acquisition, a public solicitation shall occur.  Offers shall be sealed and opened at the same time, in the same place, by a responsible official. Records of offers shall be kept. Appraisals are not required for purchases less than $2,500 if a mutually agreed to sales price can be reached.  Clear title must be present in every transaction. The Citrus County BOCC must decide at the time of approving the acquisition whether or not appraisals and review appraisals will be necessary and what the maximum permissible sales price will be.  The decision to acquire will rest with the Citrus County BOCC which can reject or accept any and all offers.  Written records shall be maintained documenting decisions and rationale for selected courses of action.

B.    Non-Voluntary Acquisition Plan
Acquisition of property (including easements and right-of-way) using federal funds shall occur in accordance with the Uniform Relocation Act of 1970 (as amended) and with any State and Federal regulations that may apply.

Fundamental steps that occur in each purchase may vary case by case. However, in general terms, the following should take place: (1) source of funds and authority to acquire confirmed, (2) property/site identified and suitable, (3) legal description/survey/preliminary title search performed (services procured as necessary), (4) notice of intent to acquire sent to owner, (5) appraisal and review appraisal services solicited and appraiser retained, (6) appraisal received and sent for review, (7) title companies solicited and retained after review received (title insurance amount and necessity determined in advance), (8) offer to purchase and notice of just compensation sent owner, (9) owner contacted by attorney or other representative and contract formalized, (10) settlement costs calculated and closing date set, (11) closing conducted with funds changing hands and, (12) records of proceedings retained.

The Uniform Relocation Act requires certain specific procedures such as some letters being sent certified. The CDBG-DR Implementation manual provides a checklist that may be utilized in following each transaction to successful conclusion. In no case will CDBG funds be utilized which would create involuntary displacement.

C.    Timing/Planning
Properties necessary for easements or acquisition shall be identified as early in the planning stage as is practicable.  Every attempt shall be made to affect a design that is not wholly site dependent, that is, where two or more sites are suitable for the project. It is recognized this may not always be possible. However, a policy of minimizing single site alternatives is emphasized. In general terms, the voluntary acquisition process shall be utilized to identify possible sites early in the project.  Sites shall be evaluated for suitability prior to the final design phase to the maximum practicable extent.  As soon as alternative sites are identified and evaluated, applicable acquisition procedures should commence.

Projects shall not normally be sent out for bids unless properties to be acquired or utilized for easements have been formally acquired or a commitment exists which is sufficiently firm and binding to be considered safe for the project to proceed with startup.  The Citrus County BOCC shall make the determination as to whether or not bidding, award and start up may proceed to closing on the property.

In those cases, where need for easements and/or acquisition is not identified until after the project is underway, procedures shall be expedited to the maximum practicable extent and utilization of funds, the value of which would be unrecoverable if the transaction did not occur. 

XIV.    DATA PROVIDED TO DEO FOR ADMINISTRATIVE CLOSEOUT
The following data will be provided for each housing unit as part of the administrative closeout for each activity providing direct benefit, i.e., housing rehabilitation, temporary relocation, hookups, etc., and summarized by activity and submitted with the administrative closeout package:

a)    Name of each recipient and address of each housing unit rehabilitated with CDBG-DR funds, the date the construction was completed on the housing unit, and the amount of CDBG-DR funds spent on that housing unit;

b)    Whether the household is headed by a female, the number of handicapped persons in the household, the number of elderly persons in the household and the low-to-moderate income (LMI) or very low income (VLI) status of the household.

c)    The number of occupants in the household, categorized by gender;

d)    The racial demographics of the household by number of persons (white, black, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hasidic Jew or American Indian/Alaskan native). 
APPENDIX A
CITRUS COUNTY
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT 
DISASTER RECOVERY (CDBG-DR)
HOUSING ASSISTANCE PLAN
Standard Code, HQS, and Green Rehabilitation Requirements

BUILDING STANDARDS FOR REHABILITATION

High Efficiency Toilets:
High Efficiency Toilets: If replacing existing toilets with new models, they must be high efficiency toilets (HETs), which use than 1.6 g.p.f. or less, including pressure-assist toilets that consume as little as 1.0 g.p.f., gravity-flush toilets that consume 1.28 g.p.f., and dual-flush toilets that offer two flush volumes. If possible, choose a toilet that has been through third-party MP (Maximum Performance) testing and is rated in grams; look for MP test results of 350 grams or higher or for toilets that meet the new EPA WaterSense program requirements.

Low Flow Fixtures:
If replacing faucets in the kitchen or bathroom, or showerheads in the bathroom, these fixtures must meet or exceed the following standard: Gallons per Minute = g.p.m.

•    Kitchen Faucets: Install a low-flow faucet aerator to 1.5 g.p.m. These can be of the fixed-type or the flip type.
•    Bathroom Faucets: Install a low-flow faucet aerator to 1.0 g.p.m. These should be fixed.
•    Showerheads: Install showerheads that use 2.0 g.p.m.

Appliances:
 
If replacing the following appliances, replacement units must carry Energy Star certification for the following:

•    Refrigerators and Freezers
•    Dishwashers (CEE tier >/= 2; min energy factor </= .68)
•    Clothes Washers (CEE tier >/= 2; Min. energy factor >/= 2.0; Water factor </= 6.0)
•    Ceiling and Ventilating Fans
•    Boilers, Furnaces, or Heat Pumps
•    Programmable Thermostats

HVAC:
If replacing components of the HVAC system of a home, new HVAC systems must be properly sized to ensure energy efficiency.  To ensure proper sizing and installation, follow the Energy Star/ACCA Quality Installation Standards (www.acca.org/quality/).  

•    Central Air Conditioners (min 14 seer or acceptable Duel mode models)
•    Room Air Conditioners
•    Lifted off the ground

Water Line and Water Heater Insulation:
If replacing or repairing water lines or water heaters, provide proper insulation of these components to improve energy efficiency. Select durable pipe insulation, and tightly insulate as many water lines, hot and cold, as possible. For water heaters, use water heater blankets, and ensure that the air flow beneath gas-fired natural draft water heaters is not blocked.  Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation of all water pipe and water heater insulation.

Wall and Roof Insulation:
All homes are presumed to meet with minimum insulation and sealing requirements. 

FLOORING

Hard-surfaced Flooring:
When replacing flooring, utilize hard-surfaced, resilient flooring materials, such as tile, wood, wood-laminate, bamboo, cork, natural linoleum, or finished concrete. When installing flooring using glues, use only low-VOC, formaldehyde-free adhesives.

Carpet: 
When removing carpet, replace it with hard-surfaced flooring when and where allowed. When carpet is installed, it should be located only in low-moisture areas. All carpet should be tacked down, not glued.  When possible, choose carpet products that are made from natural materials (recycled where possible), such as wool, cotton, jute or hemp, but which have not been treated with pesticides or contain residues from dyes and finishes used in manufacturing. 

Windows, Shutters and Exterior Doors:
When replacing windows, shutters and exterior doors and garage doors, adhere to the following standards set by Energy Star for minimum National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) ratings for U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) for the particular geographic region. All products must be hurricane grade.

Wind Zones must also be taken into account. Much of the County is located within the 110 MPH wind zone. When replacing windows, shutters and exterior doors they must be a Miami-Dade NOA approved product appropriate for the wind zone in which the housing unit is located.

Paints and Finishes:
When painting or applying finishes, use only low- or zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, primers, sealants, adhesives, coatings and other finishes, also, avoid plastic-coated paper and vinyl wall coverings. 

Composite Wood:
When installing or replacing composite wood, such as particle board and medium-density fiberboard (MDF), ensure that products are free of urea-formaldehyde, and do not install these materials in high-humidity or high-moisture areas. When composite wood must be used, choose products that are moisture-resistant, such as particle board and MDF produced with MDI (polyurethane) or phenol-formaldehyde binders. This standard also applies to cabinetry and furniture made with composite wood.  

Integrated Pest Management: 
Do not use any insecticides. Use Integrated Pest Management methods to control pests. Seal all cracks, holes and crevices on interior surfaces and exterior surfaces to prevent access by pests. Use copper mesh to plug larger holes prior to finishing with plaster or drywall. Do not use steel wool. Place a thin dusting of 98% boric acid under kitchen cabinets, in wall cavities, cracks and crevices in the kitchen. (www.doyourownpestcontrol.com)

Operations and Maintenance: 

  • Provide a guide for homeowners that explains the intent, benefits, use and maintenance of green building features, along with the location of transit stops and other neighborhood conveniences, and encourages additional green activities such as recycling, gardening and use of healthy cleaning materials, alternate measures for pest control, and purchase of green power. 

  • Provide a walk-through and orientation to the homeowner or new resident using the guide for homeowners from above that reviews the building’s green features, operations and maintenance along with neighborhood conveniences.  

ENERGY SMART PROGRAM ENERGY-SAVING MEASURES

Air Leakage Reduction:
Repair or replacement of broken glass.
Repair or replacement of threshold(s)
Packing of cracks
Caulking and/or weather-stripping
Installation of door sweeps
Repair or replacement of fireplace damper(s)
Installation of water heater insulation blankets
Resetting or replacement of thermostat control(s)
Replacement of exterior doors only if the existing exterior door cannot be repaired.

Insulation:

  • Installation of ceiling (attic) insulation and other materials necessary for the effective performance or preservation of the insulation, i.e., venting, etc.
  • Installation of wall and/or floor insulation and other materials necessary for the effective performance or preservation of the insulation, e.g., venting.
  • Installation of water heater pipe insulation

Lighting:
Replace incandescent bulbs with CFL’s.

Health and Safety:
Repair gas leaks
Repair or replace water heaters
Install smoke detectors
Install carbon monoxide detectors
Replace furnace filters

General Code Compliance Requirements

  1. Existing Code Sources. As of January 1, 2009, all new rehabilitation work performed, as well as all new construction, must meet the requirements of: the Most current “International Residential Code” (IRC), the “Universal Plumbing Code” (UPC) and the “Universal Mechanical Code” (UMC), the “National Electrical Code” (NEC), the “Florida Building Code” (FBC).
  2. Housing Quality Standards. In addition to the requirements established in this standard and the requirements of local codes, all units assisted with CDBG-DR funds must meet the housing quality standards in 24 CFR 982.401.  In rehabilitation projects where the work is performed on a portion of the home, the entire home must pass Housing Quality Standard inspection criteria.

Structural Requirements

  1. General. Residential structures may be of any type of construction that is permitted by the Building Code. Roofs, floors, walls, foundations, and all other structural components of the building shall be capable of resisting any and all forces and loads to which they may be subjected.  All structural elements shall be proportioned and joined in accordance with the stress limitations and design criteria as specified in the appropriate sections of the Building Code.  Buildings of every permitted type of construction shall comply with the applicable requirements of the Building Code.
  2. Shelter. Every building shall be weather protected as to provide shelter for the occupants against the elements and to exclude dampness.  The roof covering shall be capable of accommodating required loads as specified in the Building Code.  The roof shall provide a barrier against the weather to protect the supporting elements and the structure beneath.  Roof covering materials shall be approved and installed in a manner consistent with the manufacturer’s requirements and in accordance with the Building Code.
  3. Protection of Materials. All wood shall be protected against termite damage and decay as provided for in the Building Code.
  4. Foundations. The foundation and its structural elements shall be capable of accommodating all superimposed live, dead, lateral, and all other loads in accordance with accepted foundation design practices.  Lots shall be provided with adequate drainage and shall be graded as to drain surface water away from foundation walls.  Finish grade shall be below floor grade as per the Building Code minimum requirements.

Space and Occupancy Requirements

  1. Location on Property. Newly constructed buildings shall be located with respect to property lines and to other buildings on the same property as required by the Building Code.
  2. Light. Habitable rooms within a dwelling unit shall be provided with natural light by means of exterior glazed openings (i.e. windows, skylights) with a minimum opening area of 10 square feet.  Habitable rooms include those for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.  Bathrooms, closets, halls, storage or utility space are not considered habitable rooms.  
  3. Ventilation. Habitable rooms within a dwelling unit shall be provided with natural ventilation by means of operable exterior openings (i.e. windows, doors) with a minimum opening area of 5 square feet.  Bathrooms, laundry rooms, and similar rooms shall be provided with natural ventilation by means of operable exterior openings with a minimum opening area of 1½ square feet.  In lieu of required exterior openings for natural ventilation, a mechanical ventilation system may be installed providing the number of air changes to meet code for the room being ventilated.
Sanitation Requirements  

  1. Plumbing Systems. An acceptable plumbing system consists of three separate parts:  an adequate potable water supply system; a safe, adequate drainage system; and ample fixtures and equipment.  All installations shall be consistent with the Building Code and minimum Section 8 Housing Quality Standards.  
  2. Septic Systems. A septic tank with the field located away from the house is acceptable in rural areas.  Documentation or certification is to be obtained from the local health department or authorized local agency indicating that it is an approved sanitary system.
  3. Bathrooms. Each unit must have a bathroom. The bathroom must be in a separate room with a flush toilet in operating condition. The unit must have a shower or a tub with hot and cold water in operating condition.  These facilities must be connected to an approved disposal system.  The facilities may be scattered within the unit (such as a toilet in one enclosure and washbasin in another area.  The washbasin or sink must have a gas trap (drain trap).  Floors of bathrooms shall be resistant to damage from water or dampness. 
  4. Kitchens. Each dwelling unit shall be provided with a kitchen which is defined as being a separate room or area of a larger room which is used primarily for preparation of meals and storage of food.  A bedroom with a refrigerator in it cannot be defined as a kitchen.  Defined by facilities contained, a kitchen or kitchen area must have a separate kitchen sink for preparing food and washing dishes, with piped hot and cold water which drains into an approved system, a stove for cooking food, a refrigerator for storing food and facilities for the sanitary disposal of food and refuse.  The sink shall be of a nonabsorbent material. All appliances must be free of hazardous conditions including a damaged or broken stove, sink or refrigerator that endangers users.  There must be no evidence of gas or water leakage that presents the danger of fire or electrical shock.  The stove and refrigerator must be free of potential hazards due to improper hookup.
  5. Fixtures. All plumbing fixtures shall be connected to a sanitary sewer or to an approved private sewage disposal system.  All plumbing fixtures shall be connected to an approved system of water supply and be provided with hot and cold running water, except water closets may be provided with cold water only.  All plumbing fixtures shall be of an approved nonabsorbent material.  All sanitary facilities shall be installed and maintained in a safe and sanitary condition and in accordance with applicable requirements of the Building Code.

Mechanical System(s) Requirements

  1. Heating. Dwelling units shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 70º F. (21.1ºC.) at a point 3 feet above the floor directly or indirectly in all rooms used for living.  Such facilities shall be installed and maintained in a safe condition and in accordance with all applicable laws and requirements of the Building Code.  Un-vented fuel-burning heaters are not permitted. Wood, wood pellet or similar heating devices must be installed according to the manufacturer’s directions and according to applicable requirements of the Building Code.  All heating devices and wood burning heaters shall be of an approved type.
  2. Evaporative Cooling Systems. Evaporative cooling systems shall be installed according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Evaporative cooling systems shall be installed so as to minimize the probability of damage from an external source.  Every evaporative cooler shall be accessible for inspection, service and replacement without removing permanent construction. 
  3. Electrical Equipment. All dwelling units shall be connected to electrical power. Every habitable room shall contain at least one electrical convenience outlet and at least one electric light fixture. Every water closet compartment, bathroom, and laundry room shall contain at least one GFCI type electrical convenience outlet and one electric light fixture.  Every kitchen shall have at least two GFCI type electrical convenience outlets and one electric light fixture.
  4. Water Heaters. Gas water heaters may not be in bedrooms or other living areas unless safety dividers or shields are installed.  Water heaters are to be properly installed and maintained with adequate venting, relief valves and discharge lines conforming to current Uniform Plumbing Codes.
  5. Ventilation. Ventilation for rooms and areas and for fuel burning appliances shall be provided as required in the Building Code.  Ventilation systems shall be maintained in good operational order.

Safety Requirements

  1. Attached Garages. Garages attached to dwelling units shall be completely separated from the residence and its’ attic area by means in accordance with the Building Code.  Openings from a private garage directly into a room used for sleeping purposes shall not be permitted.  Other openings between a garage and residence shall be equipped with a properly fire rated self-closing door as prescribed by the Building Code.  Garage and carport floor surfaces shall be of approved noncombustible material.  That area of floor used for parking vehicles shall be sloped to facilitate the movement of liquids toward the main vehicle entry doorway.
  2. Detached Garages. Detached garages are not eligible for CDBG-DR replacement or repair.
  3. Exits. Dwelling units shall have access directly to the outside or to a public corridor. All buildings or portions thereof shall be provided with exits that meet the local Building Code, Fire Code or considered adequate by the appropriate local officials.  Sleeping rooms shall have at least one operable window or exterior door approved for emergency egress, escape, or rescue.  The unit must be operable from the inside to a full clear opening without the use of separate tools.
  4. Smoke Detectors. Each unit must have at least one hardwired (with battery backup) smoke detector in proper operating condition on each level of the dwelling unit, including basements but excluding crawl spaces and unfinished attics.  Smoke detectors are to be installed inside of each separate sleeping area or bedroom, in the corridor giving access to each separate sleeping area, and where there is a ceiling elevation change of two feet or more.  Detectors must be installed in accordance with and meet the requirements of National Fire Protection Association Standard (NFPA) 74 or its successors (currently NFJPA 72).  For assistance in determining specific requirements mandated by the standard, agencies should contact State or local fire officials with jurisdiction over the proposed property and with expertise concerning these requirements.  If the unit is occupied by any hearing-impaired person, smoke detectors must have an alarm system designed for hearing impaired persons as specified by NFPA 74. 

General Conditions
a. Substandard Conditions. When substandard conditions are encountered in a unit to be rehabilitated with CDBG-DR funds, all substandard items must be addressed.  Any building or portion thereof which is determined to be an unsafe building in accordance with the Building Code or Housing Quality Standards, or any building or portion thereof including any dwelling unit in which there exists any conditions that endangers life, limb, health, property, safety, or welfare of the public or occupants thereof shall be deemed to be substandard. 

b. Structural Hazards. Buildings or portions thereof shall be deemed substandard when they are or contain structural hazards.  Structural hazards shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

     •    Deteriorated or inadequate foundations
     •    Defective or deteriorated flooring or floor supports
     •    Flooring or floor supports of insufficient size to safely carry imposed loads
     •    Members of walls, partitions or other vertical supports that split, lean, list, or buckle due to defective material or deterioration
•    Members of walls, partitions, or other vertical supports that are of insufficient size to carry imposed loads with safety
•    Members of ceilings, roofs, and supports or other horizontal members which sag, split or buckle due to defective material or deterioration
•    Members of ceilings, roofs, and supports or other horizontal members that are of insufficient size to carry the imposed loads with safety
     •    Condition of stairs, railings and porches that are hazardous or not sound
     •    Potential for collapse of the chimney or the chimney is not capable of safely carrying smoke, fumes, and gasses from the unit to the outside
    
c. Nuisance. Buildings or portions thereof in which there exists any nuisance as defined in the Building Code are deemed substandard buildings. 

d. Hazardous Electrical Wiring. Electrical wiring which was installed in violation of code requirements in effect at the time of installation or electrical wiring not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices in areas where no codes were in effect or which has not been maintained in good condition or which is not being used in a safe manner shall be considered substandard. 

e. Hazardous Plumbing. Plumbing which was installed in violation of code requirements in effect at the time of installation or plumbing not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices in areas where no codes were in effect or which has not been maintained in good condition or which is not free of cross-connections or siphonage between fixtures shall be considered substandard. 

f. Hazardous Mechanical Equipment. Mechanical equipment which was installed in violation of code requirements in effect at the time of installation or mechanical equipment not installed in accordance with generally accepted construction practices in areas where no codes were in effect or which has not been maintained in good and safe condition or which is not being used in a safe manner shall be considered substandard. 

g. Faulty Weather Protection. Buildings or portions thereof shall be considered substandard when they have faulty weather protection.  This is defined as conditions that would allow significant amounts of water or air to enter the unit which would result in damage such as the following: 

     •    Deteriorated, crumbling or loose plaster or stucco
     •    Deteriorated or ineffective waterproofing of exterior walls, roof, foundation, or floors, including broken windows or doors
     •    Broken, split, rotted or buckled exterior wall coverings or roof coverings
     •    Visible internal water damage that indicates roofing failure

h. Faulty Materials of Construction. The use of construction materials which are not specifically allowed or approved by the Building Code, or the use of approved materials which have not been adequately maintained in a good and safe condition, shall cause a building to be substandard.

i. Hazardous or Unsanitary Premises. The accumulation of weeds, vegetation, junk, dead organic matter, debris, garbage, offal, rat harborages, stagnant water, combustible materials and similar materials or conditions on a premises shall constitute fire, health or safety hazards and shall be abated. 

j. Improper Occupancy. All buildings or portions thereof occupied for living, sleeping, cooking or dining purposes which were not designed or intended to be used for such occupancies shall be deemed substandard.

***Special Notes***

This document is designed as a guide and general reference tool for construction contractors to use in the
rehabilitation of homes purchased as a part of the Citrus County Housing Rehabilitation program.

This document should in no instance be used in an attempt to circumvent or bypass any of the following codes: IRC, FBC, UPC, NEC, or any other applicable International, Federal, State, or Local code.  It is the sole responsibility of all awarded contracting firms to comply with all applicable codes, including the Florida 
Green Building Standards (where permitted). Failure to do say may result in dismissal or termination from the County’s Housing Rehabilitation program.