With $40 million in federal funding, county launching Resilient SRQ Multifamily Affordable Housing program

Application period open until 5 p.m. May 1

This graphic provides details about the Resilient SRQ program in general. Image courtesy Sarasota County

The Resilient SRQ Multifamily Affordable Housing program is inviting nonprofit developers, for-profit developers, municipalities within the county and public housing authorities to apply for funding for new projects, Sarasota County staff announced this week.

The Multifamily Affordable Housing program has been planned to create additional dwelling units for low- to moderate-income households, a news release points out.

The program has $40 million available out of the $201.5 million that Sarasota County will receive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the 2023 Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) award. The funding is a federal response to the destruction that Hurricane Ian wrought in the county in September 2022.

“The aftermath of Hurricane Ian presented an increased need for affordable living units, and this program is designed to help meet that need,” said Laurel Varnell, Resilient SRQ program manager, in the release.

Those community members who are interested in the Multifamily Affordable Housing program may apply online at scgov.net/ResilientSRQ. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on May 1, the release points out.

Interested applicants are encouraged to attend an information session to learn more about the program, the release adds. One session will be held virtually from 10 to 11 a.m. on Monday, March 25; then, an in-person session is planned from 1 to 2 p.m. on Friday, March 29, in the first floor training room at the County Administration Center in downtown Sarasota. The address is 1660 Ringling Blvd.

Applicants can register for both sessions here. “After registration, applicants interested in the virtual option will receive a link to join the virtual session via Microsoft Teams,” the release explains.

Program staff will review applications for CDBG-DR eligibility and make recommendations to the Sarasota County Commission, which will be responsible for the final selection of projects, the release notes.

Applicants must meet all the following conditions for a project to be considered for funding, the release points out:

  • “Project proposes more than five rental units and a minimum of 51% of the units are affordable.
  • “Applicant agrees to a minimum affordability period of at least 20 years.
  • “Project is located in Sarasota County.
  • “Project is an eligible CDBG-DR activity (rehabilitation, reconstruction and new construction of affordable multifamily housing projects).
  • “Applicant has secured or taken adequate steps to secure underwriting.
  • “Project includes mitigation measures.

“If an applicant meets the minimum criteria,” the release says “projects will be scored on the applicant’s financial plan, leverage of funding, project readiness, project impact, period of affordability, the number of affordable units and a pre-award assessment.”

The following is a summary of the application process and review steps, the release adds:

  • “Step 1: Eligible parties will submit applications for projects to be considered.
  • Step 2: The Resilient SRQ team will review applications and make scoring recommendations to the Sarasota County Commission.
  • Step 3: The commissioners will discuss the recommendations and make the final selection of projects.
  • Step 4: For the projects chosen by the commissioners, “applicants will be required to enter into a subrecipient agreement outlining project-specific requirements.”

Additional information about eligibility requirements, scoring criteria and program updates may be found at scgov.net/ResilientSRQ or by calling 311.

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