Hope VI FreshStart

HOPE VI – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does HOPE VI stand for?

A: HOPE VI is an acronym meaning “Homeownership Opportunities for People Everywhere.”

Q: What is HOPE VI?

A: HOPE VI is a federal grant program that provides assistance directly to housing authorities such as The Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority. It is a highly competitive program experiencing sharply declining appropriations. Kingsport received $11.9 million in funding for the Riverview and Sherwood/Hiwassee redevelopment.

Q: To whom does HUD award HOPE VI Grant Assistance?

A: Only public housing authorities may apply for and receive HOPE VI funding. HUD’s HOPE VI assistance is tailored to carry out plans developed by each grant recipient. Each recipient of HOPE VI develops its own revitalization program under a HUD policy that gives local housing authorities great flexibility to come up with plans to meet their own unique needs.

Q: What are the purposes of HOPE VI?

A: HOPE VI has four stated purposes.

  1. Improve the living environment for public housing residents of severely distressed public housing projects through demolition, rehabilitation, reconfiguration, or replacement of obsolete public housing projects (or portions thereof).
  2. Revitalize sites on which severely distressed public housing projects are located and contribute to the improvement of the surrounding neighborhood.
  3. Provide housing that avoids or decreases the concentration of very low-income families.
  4. Build sustainable communities.

Q: What are the objectives of HOPE VI?

A: The HOPE VI Program has six key objectives:

  1. Change the physical shape of public housing by demolishing severely distressed projects and replacing them with garden-style apartments, townhouses, and single-family houses that become part of their surrounding communities.
  2. Reduce concentrations of poverty by encouraging a greater income mix among public housing residents and by encouraging working families to move into public housing and into new owner-occupied housing being built as part of the neighborhoods where public housing is located.
  3. Establish strong supportive services - such as education and training programs, child care services, transportation services, and counseling - to help public housing residents obtain and keep jobs and move from dependency to independence.
  4. Establish and enforce high standards of personal and community economic responsibility.
  5. Forge broad-based partnerships involving public housing residents, state and local government officials, the private sector, non-profit groups and the community at large in planning and implementing the new communities.
  6. Encourage homeownership.

Q: May a Housing Authority use HOPE VI funds to build market rate units?

A: No. However, the Authority may use other non-public housing funds to build market rate units to assist with creating a mixed-income community.

Q: Is there any provision to allocate monies for community support services or family self-sufficiency initiatives included in the HOPE VI Program?

A: Yes. A housing authority may request an amount up to 15 percent of the total HOPE VI Grant (e.g., 15% of 20 million = 3 million; or 15% of 10 million = 1.5 million) to pay the costs of Community Support Services activities. However, in order to score full points in this category, the housing authority must match each HOPE VI dollar with two dollars from local (non-public housing) resources.

Q: Does KHRA have a community support services or self-sufficiency initiative.

A: Yes. KHRA developed the FreshStart Program to fill this need. More information on this program is detailed in another section of this website. Click here to go to FreshStart.

Q: How does HUD control the costs of the HOPE VI construction?

A: HUD imposes a total development cost (TDC) cap for each proposed building type and bedroom distribution for the public housing replacement units. This cap includes infrastructure and community facilities. HUD publishes the TDCs each year for each section of a state. Public Housing funds, including HOPE VI, cannot exceed this cap. However, the costs may exceed this cap if non-public housing funds are utilized.

Q: Does HUD require a housing authority to procure a developer prior to submission of the application for HOPE VI Revitalization Grant funding?

A: Yes. The developer selected for the Kingsport project is Cornerstone Housing. Cornerstone is a nationally recognized development firm specializing in HOPE VI community revitalization projects. By creating public/private partnerships at the local level, Cornerstone works closely with communities and housing authorities to jumpstart neighborhood reinvestment, increase the local tax base and provide credible opportunities for motivating families to transition from dependency to self-sufficiency.

Q: Does the HOPE VI Revitalization Plan have to be included or described in the Authority’s Annual Agency Plan?

A: Yes. The KHRA 2008 Agency Plan is available for review at the KHRA offices.

Q: Can the Housing Authority use only HOPE VI dollars to finance the proposed revitalization?

A: No. To be a successful applicant, a housing authority must raise (“leverage”) substantial other monies over and above the amount of the HOPE VI funding for the build out of the planned revitalization. KHRA secured in-kind gifts and donations from several area organizations and companies as part of the revitalization effort.