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Community Development

Public Notice

Voluntary Demolition Program | One-for-One Replacement Plan Notice | September 30, 2014

We Have Affordable New 3BR 2BA Homes for Sale on W. 18th St. in Bryan!!!

Did you know the City of Bryan’s Community Development Department actually has homes for sale? Well they do. And you can find out more about these homes and our programs that provide homebuyer assistance here.

About Us

Community Development Services administers the City of Bryan’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and the Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) program funds in accordance to guidelines from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The department develops and implements a 5 year Consolidated Plan which is a required plan summarizing the status of housing conditions and access to non housing services such as health/social services, public facilities/infrastructure and economic opportunities for low and moderate income persons living in Bryan. Annually the department submits a plan to City Council and HUD indicating recommendation for specific activities for each program year, upon the review and recommendation of the Community Development Advisory Committee and the Joint Relief Funding Review Committee. At least 70% of the CDBG grant must serve low and moderate income persons and 100% and HOME funds are restricted to housing. The department provides in-house housing programs for eligible persons including: major rehabilitation/reconstruction, minor repair assistance, home-buyers assistance, clearance/demolition and acquisition.

Additionally the department works with private developers and other city departments to encourage new and re-development in the City’s older neighborhoods. The department is focusing on a broader effort, by partnering with development services, engineering, transportation, water services and public works to make a large impact on neighborhoods that have dilapidated, deteriorating houses. The department also funds annually local eligible non profits that provide health and social services in collaboration with the City of College Station through a joint review process each year, provides increased access to public facilities/infrastructure, and works with local non profits and for profit groups to encourage economic development.

FOR INFORMATION ON SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION, TDD OR OTHER TRANSLATION OR ACCESSIBILITY INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT AT 209-5175 SO THAT YOUR REQUEST MAY BE ACCOMMODATED.

Para información en la interpretación de lenguaje por señas, TDD o otra información de traducción o accesibilidad, por favor contacte al Departamento de Comunitario Desarrollo Servicios de la Ciudad de Bryan al 979-209-5175 para que su petición pueda ser acomodada.




Recent Accomplishments

Credit Access Business Ordinance

Information about the new Credit Access Business Ordinances

The City of Bryan recently amended the city’s Code of Ordinances in relation to Credit Access Businesses.

Ordinance 2032 states that a Credit Access Business is a credit service organization that obtains for a consumer or assists a consumer in obtaining an extension of consumer credit in the form of a deferred presentment transaction or a motor vehicle title loan (definition originates from Section 393.601 of the Texas Finance Code). The key points of Ordinance 2032 include providing for a registration program for credit access businesses that impose restrictions on extensions of consumer credit made by credit access businesses, and imposes record-keeping requirements on credit access businesses.

The City of Bryan also adopted Ordinance 2041. This ordinance included the definition for a credit access business, defined allowed building types for new or relocating businesses, and created distance requirements between credit access business locations and business locations from residential uses.

Other Recent Accomplishments




Mission Statement

The City of Bryan, Community Development Department exists as the mechanism to receive, allocate and administer funding provided to the City by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through its Community Development Block Grant Program and its H.O.M.E. Investment Partnership Program.

It shall be the mission of the Community Development Services Department of the City of Bryan to receive and administer Community Development Block Grant funds, Home Investment Partnership program funds in accordance with guidelines published by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other appropriate funding sources for the benefit of the citizens of the City of Bryan to:

  • Facilitate the development and preservation of affordable housing
  • Encourage fair housing
  • Promote neighborhood integrity and eliminate blighting influences
  • Assist in providing public services and facilities for low and moderate income citizens, and
  • Create economic opportunities in the community



Community Funding

Public Services Funding

The Cities of Bryan and College Station allocate 15% of the annual Community Development Block Grant funds they receive from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist local non-profit agencies. These public service operating funds are available to eligible non-profits through a competitive application process.

The Joint Relief Funding Review Committee reviews applications, holds public meetings and visits each agency in order to make funding recommendations to the Cities. The committee consists of six members, three from Bryan and three from College Station.

Some of the agencies that have received funding in the past include Scotty’s House, Twin City Mission’s The Bridge, Phoebe’s Home, Brazos Food Bank, Girls Club, North Bryan Community Center, Family Medicine Center, Hospice, Literacy Volunteers and Sheltering Arms. These agencies provide a wide range of health, food, clothing, shelter, educational, recreational, literacy, anti-crime and anti-abuse services to citizens. Each of these agencies strives to assist individuals and families in becoming self-sufficient.

Public Facility Funding

In addition to funding non-profit public services, Community Development Block Grant funds are also used in the acquisition of property, rehabilitation or construction of non-profit public facilities, building or repair of public infrastructure and purchase of park equipment. To receive funds the public facility must provide equal access to all citizens; be located in a low to moderate income area; or, provide services to low to moderate income citizens (as determined according to HUD guidelines). Below are several examples of past funding.

  • North Bryan Community Center, Girls Club, Brazos Food Bank, Scotty’s House, Twin City Mission, Crestview Retirement Community, Junction 505 and Bryan/College Station Community Health Center have each received funds to either rehabilitate or construct their facilities.
  • Sandy Point sewer was extended with the help of CDBG funds.
  • Scurry, Washington, Thomas, Henderson, Castle Heights and Williamson Parks all received new equipment purchased with CDBG funds.

Information concerning the application for public services and public facility funding as well as the award process may be obtained by calling Community Development Services Department at 979-209-5175 or by e-mail at the button at the top of this page.

Community Housing Development Organization Funding (CHDO)

Information concerning the application for approval as a CHDO, funding availability and the award process may be obtained by contacting Community Development Services at (979) 209-5175 or by e-mail communitydevelopmentweb@bryantx.gov.




Staff

alsiebondAlsie Bond

Department Manager
(979) 209-5181

Manages the coordination of the Community Development program of the City, including the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the Home Investment Partnership (HOME) Program. Directs and coordinates the implementation of projects funded in whole or in part with Community Development funds.

artroachArthur Roach

Assistant Department Manager
(979) 209-5173

Supervises the CD Department housing programs and staff; works directly with local developers, non-profits and other partners for new and redevelopment housing projects. Coordinates development of the annual Action Plan, the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report, and the 5 Year Consolidated Plan.
Texas SML Licensed Auxiliary Mortgage Loan Activity Residential Mortgage Loan Originator #220136

ericbartonEric Barton

Construction Project Specialist
(979) 209-5179

Manages CDBG and HOME construction projects; housing rehabilitation; new housing construction; public facilities projects; Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO); environmental requirements; and Davis-Bacon wage and hour requirements.

vickimackcarrVicki Mack-Carr

Housing Rehabilitation Specialist
(979) 209-5183

Manages the minor housing repair program; administers the down payment assistant program; and, administers the housing monitoring program.

BlancaNavaBlanca Nava

Program Analyst
(979) 209-5178

Coordinates public service agencies; maintains financial records; collects, organizes and analyzes program and demographic information.

Patricia OrtegaPatricia Ortega

Administrative Assistant
(979) 209-5175

Provides clerical and administrative support, record-keeping, and housing client application assistance.




Citizen Committees

Community Development & Real Estate Services has three committees whose primary responsibilities are to provide, through a public process, recommendations of funding requests for the allocation of eligible activities and use of funds for the City’s federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME funds.

Community Development Advisory Committee

This seven-member committee serves as an advisory committee on the use and allocation of the City’s Community Development federal funds. Members serve for two years and can be renewed upon re-application for three terms. The committee meets on the second Thursday of each month (unless otherwise designated) to provide a public forum for citizens concerning eligible grant activities within the City. The committee specifically makes funding recommendations to the City Council annually for all CDBG and HOME activities, with the exception of public service funding. These funds are recommended through through the Joint Relief Funding Review Committee (JRFRC).

Joint Relief Funding Review Committee

This six team committee is a joint committee, which shares responsibilities with the City of College Station for allocation recommendations for public service funding. The Bryan portion has three volunteers who serve for three years and can be renewed for up to two terms. During the review phase (April through June) the committee meets once a week in a public meeting to discuss public service applications. Key factors in reviewing these applications include the need for the service in the community, capacity of the agency to deliver the service, capacity of the agency to comply with city/state/federal regulations, ability of the agency to demonstrate that this is a new service or an increase in need for this service. Information is provided to the committee from both Cities concerning their 5-Year Consolidated Plan, needs assessments, and the history of funding. This committee also reviews the funding process and makes recommendations to revise if necessary. Surveys and evaluations are sent to public service agencies for input on the process.

Community Development Loan Committee

This seven member committee, appointed by City Council, meets on an as needed basis to review and make funding recommendations for economic development loan projects funded from Community Development B lock Grant funds, through public meetings. Economic Development Loan programs are currently not being funded due to lack of available funds.




Fair Housing and Discrimination

Fair housing protections are guaranteed and regulated by Federal, state, and local statutes, ordinances, regulations, guidelines, and executive orders. No person shall be subjected to discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, age, or national origin. These are known as “Protected Classes”. Discriminatory housing practices are prohibited in all housing-both publicly and privately-owned and developed housing.

Discriminatory Actions

HUD defines unlawful discriminatory actions as including:

Discrimination in the sale or rental of a dwelling; in the terms and use of housing; by members of the real estate industry; Discriminatory advertising; and in residential real estate-related transactions by the following actions to members of a protected class:

  • Seller/Landlord’s refusal to rent or sell you housing
  • Tell you housing is unavailable when in fact it is available
  • Show you apartments or homes only in certain neighborhoods
  • Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Advertise housing to preferred groups of people only
  • Refuse to provide you with information regarding mortgage loans, deny you a mortgage loan, or impose different terms or conditions
  • Deny you property insurance
  • Conduct property appraisals in a discriminatory manner
  • Refuse to make reasonable accommodations for the disabled for a reasonable and equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.
  • Fail to design and construct housing in an accessible manner
  • Harass, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising or assisting someone else with his/her fair housing rights

Exception:

Single family housing that is sold by an owner is exempt from the Fair Housing Act when the owner:

  • Does not have an interest in more than three single family houses at a time;
  • Does not use a real estate broker to assist with the sale or rental of the property; and
  • Does not publish, or cause to have published, any discriminatory advertisement(s).

Fair Housing Complaints

If you have been trying to buy or rent a home or apartment and you believe your rights have been violated, you can file your fair housing complaint online with the U.S. Department of H.U.D:

Fort Worth Regional Office of FHEO
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
801 Cherry Street, Unit #45
Suite 2500
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
(817) 978-5900
1-800-669-9777
TTY (817) 978-5595
See: http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD/topics/housing_discrimination

Or, contact the Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division:

Texas Workforce Commission
Civil Rights Division
1117 Trinity Street, Rm. 144-T
Austin, Texas 78701
888-452-4778
http://www.twc.state.tx.us/crd/file_hsg.html

Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

As part of its mission to administer federal grants, the City of Bryan Community Development Services Department is required by Executive Order 12892 to affirmatively further fair housing in the programs and activities within its jurisdiction. The City of Bryan has adopted a Fair Housing Ordinance under Chapter 58, Article II of the City of Bryan Code of Ordinances and conducts an Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice update every five years to coincide with the 5-Year Consolidated Plan process.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has the primary role in administering the Fair Housing Act since its adoption in 1968. The 1988 amendments, however, have greatly increased the Department’s enforcement role. First, the newly protected classes have proven significant sources of new complaints. Second, HUD’s expanded enforcement role took the Department beyond investigation and conciliation into the area of mandatory enforcement.

Complaints filed with HUD are investigated by the Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO). If the complaint is not successfully conciliated, FHEO determines whether reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred. Where reasonable cause is found , the parties to the complaint are notified by HUD’s issuance of a Determination, as well as a Charge of Discrimination, and a hearing is scheduled before a HUD administrative law judge. Either party – complainant or respondent – may cause the HUD-scheduled administrative proceeding to be terminated by electing instead to have the matter litigated in Federal court. Whenever a party has so elected, the Department of Justice takes over HUD’s role as counsel seeking resolution of the charge on behalf of aggrieved persons, and the matter proceeds as a civil action. Either form of action – the ALJ proceeding or the civil action in Federal court – is subject to review in the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Significant Recent Changes to Fair Housing Laws

  1. The Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995 (HOPA) makes several changes to the 55 and older exemption. Since the 1988 Amendments, the Fair Housing Act has exempted from its familial status provisions properties that satisfy the Act’s 55 and older housing condition.First, it eliminates the requirement that 55 and older housing have “significant facilities and services” designed for the elderly. Second, HOPA establishes a “good faith reliance” immunity from damages for persons who in good faith believe that the 55 and older exemption applies to a particular property, if they do not actually know that the property is not eligible for the exemption and if the property has formally stated in writing that it qualifies for the exemption. HOPA retains the requirement that senior housing must have one person who is 55 years of age or older living in at least 80 percent of its occupied units. It also still requires that senior housing publish and follow policies and procedures that demonstrate an intent to be housing for persons 55 and older. An exempt property will not violate the Fair Housing Act if it includes families with children, but it does not have to do so. Of course, the property must meet the Act’s requirements that at least 80 percent of its occupied units have at least one occupant who is 55 or older, and that it publish and follow policies and procedures that demonstrate an intent to be 55 and older housing.A Department of Housing and Urban Development rule published in the April 2, 1999, Federal Register implements the Housing for Older Persons Act of 1995, and explains in detail those provisions of the Fair Housing Act that pertain to senior housing.
  2. Changes were made to enhance law enforcement, including making amendments to criminal penalties in section 901 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 for violating the Fair Housing Act.
  3. Changes were made to provide incentives for self-testing by lenders for discrimination under the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. See Title II, subtitle D of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997, P.L. 104 – 208 (9/30/96).

Disability Protections

If you or someone associated with you:

  • Have a physical or mental disability (including hearing, mobility and visual impairments, chronic alcoholism, chronic mental illness, AIDS, AIDS Related Complex and mental retardation) that substantially limits one or more major life activities
  • Have a record of such a disability or
  • Are regarded as having such a disability

Landlord Prohibitions

  • Refuse to let you make reasonable modifications to your dwelling or common use areas, at your expense, if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing. (Where reasonable, the landlord may permit changes only if you agree to restore the property to its original condition when you move.)
  • Refuse to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices or services if necessary for the disabled person to use the housing.

Example: A building with a “no pets” policy must allow a visually impaired tenant to keep a guide dog.
Example: An apartment complex that offers tenants ample, unassigned parking must honor a request from a mobility-impaired tenant for a reserved space near her apartment if necessary to assure that she can have access to her apartment.

However, housing need not be made available to a person who is a direct threat to the health or safety of others or who currently uses illegal drugs.

Requirements for New Buildings

In buildings that are ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, and have an elevator and four or more units:

  • Public and common areas must be accessible to persons with disabilities
  • Doors and hallways must be wide enough for wheelchairs
  • All units must have:
    • An accessible route into and through the unit
    • Accessible light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls
    • Reinforced bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars and
    • Kitchens and bathrooms that can be used by people in wheelchairs.

If a building with four or more units has no elevator and will be ready for first occupancy after March 13, 1991, these standards apply to ground floor units.
These requirements for new buildings do not replace any more stringent standards in State or local law.

Family Protections

Unless a building or community qualifies as housing for older persons, it may not discriminate based on familial status. That is, it may not discriminate against families in which one or more children under 18 live with:

  • A parent
  • A person who has legal custody of the child or children or
  • The designee of the parent or legal custodian, with the parent or custodian’s written permission.

Familial status protection also applies to pregnant women and anyone securing legal custody of a child under 18.
Exemption: Housing for older persons is exempt from the prohibition against familial status discrimination if:

  • The HUD Secretary has determined that it is specifically designed for and occupied by elderly persons under a Federal, State or local government program or
  • It is occupied solely by persons who are 62 or older or
  • It houses at least one person who is 55 or older in at least 80 percent of the occupied units, and adheres to a policy that demonstrates an intent to house persons who are 55 or older.

A transition period permits residents on or before September 13, 1988, to continue living in the housing, regardless of their age, without interfering with the exemption.

Information Required for HUD Fair Housing Complaints

  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of the person your complaint is against (the respondent)
  • The address or other identification to the housing involved
  • A short description to the alleged violation (the event that caused you to believe your rights were violated)
  • The date(s) to the alleged violation

Complaint Process

HUD will notify you when it receives your complaint. Normally, HUD also will:

  • Notify the alleged violator of your complaint and permit that person to submit an answer
  • Investigate your complaint and determine whether there is reasonable cause to believe the Fair Housing Act has been violated
  • Notify you if it cannot complete an investigation within 100 days of receiving your complaint

Conciliation

HUD will try to reach an agreement with the person your complaint is against (the respondent). A conciliation agreement must protect both you and the public interest. If an agreement is signed, HUD will take no further action on your complaint. However, if HUD has reasonable cause to believe that a conciliation agreement is breached, HUD will recommend that the Attorney General file suit.

Complaint Referrals

If HUD has determined that your State or local agency has the same fair housing powers as HUD, HUD will refer your complaint to that agency for investigation and notify you of the referral. That agency must begin work on your complaint within 30 days or HUD may take it back.

Expedited Assistance Available

If you need immediate help to stop a serious problem that is being caused by a Fair Housing Act violation, HUD may be able to assist you as soon as you file a complaint. HUD may authorize the Attorney General to go to court to seek temporary or preliminary relief, pending the outcome of your complaint, if:

  • Irreparable harm is likely to occur without HUD’s intervention
  • There is substantial evidence that a violation of the Fair Housing Act occurred

Example: A builder agrees to sell a house but, after learning the buyer is black, fails to keep the agreement. The buyer files a complaint with HUD. HUD may authorize the Attorney General to go to court to prevent a sale to any other buyer until HUD investigates the complaint.

Reasonable Cause Determination

If, after investigating your complaint, HUD finds reasonable cause to believe that discrimination occurred, it will inform you. Your case will be heard in an administrative hearing within 120 days, unless you or the respondent want the case to be heard in Federal district court. Either way, there is no cost to you.

Administrative Hearing

If your case goes to an administrative hearing HUD attorneys will litigate the case on your behalf. You may intervene in the case and be represented by your own attorney if you wish. An Administrative Law Judge (ALA) will consider evidence from you and the respondent. If the ALA decides that discrimination occurred, the respondent can be ordered:

  • To compensate you for actual damages, including humiliation, pain and suffering.
  • To provide injunctive or other equitable relief, for example, to make the housing available to you.
  • To pay the Federal Government a civil penalty to vindicate the public interest. The maximum penalties are $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for a third violation within seven years.
  • To pay reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

Federal District Court

If you or the respondent choose to have your case decided in Federal District Court, the Attorney General will file a suit and litigate it on your behalf. Like the ALA, the District Court can order relief, and award actual damages, attorney’s fees and costs. In addition, the court can award punitive damages.

Lawsuits

You May File Suit: You may file suit, at your expense, in Federal District Court or State Court within two years of an alleged violation. If you cannot afford an attorney, the Court may appoint one for you. You may bring suit even after filing a complaint, if you have not signed a conciliation agreement and an Administrative Law Judge has not started a hearing. A court may award actual and punitive damages and attorney’s fees and costs.

Other Tools to Combat Housing Discrimination

If there is noncompliance with the order of an Administrative Law Judge, HUD may seek temporary relief, enforcement of the order or a restraining order in a United States Court of Appeals.

The Attorney General may file a suit in a Federal District Court if there is reasonable cause to believe a pattern or practice of housing discrimination is occurring.




Information for Bidders, Contractors and Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises

NOTICE

The City of Bryan Community Development Services Department has published an invitation to bid #14-072 for the demolition and reconstruction of a single family home at 1101 E. 28th Street in Bryan for a low to moderate-income homeowner.

Bids are due by August 19, 2014. Section 3-certified firms are encouraged to bid, as are firms seeking Section 3 status.

See the bid on the City’s online bidding system here: Residential Demolition & Reconstruction Project

Information for Contractors and Bidders

For information concerning bidding on projects contracted by the City of Bryan Community Development Services Department, please visit the web page of the City’s Purchasing Department for information concerning how to become a registered vendor, and to view active and expired bids:

Purchasing Services Department

No contractor or bidder will be discriminated against on the grounds of race color, creed, sex, or national origin in consideration for an award.

To register as a provider of minor repairs (contracts under $5,000) for such repairs as roofing, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, handicap accessibility, etc., please download and return the following form: “Minor Repair Contractor Information

Small and Minority Firms, Women’s Business Enterprise and Labor Surplus Area Firms

Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises and Labor Surplus Area Firms will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to Community Development Service Department invitations to bid.  The City of Bryan hereby affirmatively solicits and encourages submittal of bids by small and minority firms, women’s business enterprise and labor surplus area firms.  In order to promote maximum participation by these firms, bid requirements may be divided into smaller quantities or the delivery schedule altered to accommodate the capacity of such enterprises.  If a prime contractor receives and award and lets subcontracts, the prime contractor is required to take the following affirmative steps:

  1. Placing qualified small and minority business enterprises on solicitation lists;
  2. Assuring that small and minority businesses are solicited whenever they are potential sources;
  3. Dividing total requirements, when economically feasible to permit maximum participation by small and minority business and women’s business enterprises;
  4. Establishing delivery schedules, where the requirement permits, which encourage participation by small and minority business, and women’s business enterprises.
  5. Using the services of the Small Business Administration, and the Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce.

Listings of Historically Underutilized Businesses are available from the State of Texas:
http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement//cmbl/hubonly.html

Registration as a Section 3 Business

As part of the City of Bryan’s Section 3 Plan to provide business opportunities to low-income businesses and persons, contractors are invited to register as a Section 3 Business.  Registration as a Section 3 Business certifies that the business is either:

  • (A) 51% Owned by a low-income person or resident of public housing in the College Station-Bryan MSA; or,
  • (B) At least 30% of the employee workforce of the business are low-income persons or residents or public housing in the College Station-Bryan MSA; or,
  • (C) Commits to subcontract at least 25% of the work to businesses in category (A) and (B).

To register as a Section 3 Business, please review the City of Bryan Community Development Service Department Section 3 Plan here:

Bryan Texas Section 3 Compliance Plan

Then, complete the certifications and applicable affidavits, and submit them to:

Section 3 Certification
Community Development Services Department
405 W 28th St.
Bryan, TX 77803

For assistance, please call (979) 209-5175 and request assistance with Section 3 Certification.




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