Summary of Services
The Housing and Community Resilience Department directs the City's sustainability, resilience, human services, housing, and code enforcement functions.
Critical activities and programs for the department include:
• Ensuring the integrity of neighborhoods is maintained and preserved through code enforcement activities such as lot mowing, towing of inoperable vehicles, boarding of dangerous, abandoned, and vacant properties, and eliminating housing code violations through voluntary compliance and use of the administrative/quasi-judicial hearing processes.
• Eliminating neighborhood blight and unsafe housing conditions through affordable housing owner-occupied rehabilitation programs, emergency repairs, permanent and temporary relocations, code enforcement rehabilitations, and accessibility rehabilitation programs.
• Increasing homeownership with homebuyer counseling and first-time home buyers’ down payment assistance.
• Contracting with 40 local human and social service agencies to provide direct services for children and families, at-risk youth, after-school programs, homelessness prevention, food programs, medical care for
low-income and homeless populations, essential living services, and senior services programs.
• Assisting in maintaining historic properties through a grant and loan program to restore and rehabilitate eligible historic structures listed in the national or local register of historic places.
The department has 32 full-time equivalent (FTE) and 12 temporary employees. FTEs increased from 17 to 32 during FY21 when two departments, Community Housing and Human Services and Sustainability and Community Preservation, consolidated and renamed to the Housing and Community Resilience Department.
Click here for the Housing Services website.
Click here for the Human Services website.
2-C-1: Number of new affordable homes or rental units built through the Community Land Trust.
Access to affordable housing units is both a basic need and aids in breaking the cycle of generational poverty. In 2017, the City and County Commissions accepted the recommendations of the Affordable Housing Working Group to promote the development and preservation of affordable housing. Included in those recommendations was a request to evaluate the feasibility of a Community Land Trust as a mechanism for developing and maintaining affordable housing options across the City. A Community Land Trust preserves affordable housing by retaining ownership of the land and has proven successful in communities across the nation.
In March 2020, the City Commission approved the Tallahassee Lenders Consortium Inc., as the organization that will act as the Community Land Trust. Moving forward, staff will work with the Tallahassee Lenders Consortium on startup operations in coordination with Leon County partners. Initial housing project concepts will focus on multi-family units and opportunities to convert vacant properties, for example, student housing units, into new affordable rent and ownership options. As a City with a significant university population, developers are building new student housing options. This continual new construction leads to decreased usage at older housing complexes and, eventually, vacancies.
2-C-5: Secure funding for Purpose Built Community and redevelopment of an additional 200 dwelling units at the Orange Avenue Housing Complex.
One of the most impactful ways the City can alleviate the impact of poverty over the next five years is to increase the availability of affordable housing and pursue redevelopment in the South City area. In line with this effort, the City’s Strategic Plan emphasizes actively connecting residents to resources that remove economic and social barriers. This strategic initiative is focused on improving the rental housing stock, underscoring the Commission’s continued commitment to safe and affordable housing for all.
The City is actively involved with revitalization efforts in the South City community, in partnership with multiple public and private agencies. In October 2019, the City Commission committed $150,000 to the formation of the South City Foundation (SCF) in consultation with Purpose Built Communities (PBC) Inc., a national model of holistic community revitalization. PBC works with neighbors, local government, residents and other stakeholders to ensure healthy, equitable outcomes for their partner community. Since the Commission committed the funds, City staff have been providing technical and advisory support to SCF to develop a revitalization strategy around the pillars of mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education and community wellness. SCF has since secured more than $100,000 in matching funds from 55 organizations, agencies and private donors.
Another key element of South City’s revitalization strategy is the redevelopment of the Orange Avenue Public Housing complex. The Tallahassee Housing Authority (THA) has engaged Columbia Residential Inc. to design and develop a multi-family subdivision for the Orange Avenue Public Housing complex. Columbia Residential has worked with PBC on several successful community revitalization efforts, and the proposed Orange Avenue project offers a unique opportunity to advance the South City efforts. To move these efforts forward, Columbia Residential applied to the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC) in December 2019 for State Apartment Incentive Loan and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit funding to build Phase 1 of the Orange Avenue Senior Housing development – a 110-unit affordable senior housing project. With support from the City and the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), this Phase 1 application qualified as a Local Government Area of Opportunity submission. In September 2019 the City Commission approved $1,300,000 in CRA and Affordable Housing Trust Fund dollars to support this first phase of the redevelopment of the Orange Avenue Housing Complex. The application to FHFC was successful and has moved to credit underwriting, the next step in the process. Underwriting approval is expected in August 2020, with final closing in the first quarter of 2021.
2-D-2: Create performance matrix to measure Return on Investment (ROI) for the Community Human Service Partnership (CHSP) by 2024.
During Fiscal Year 2019, the Community Human Service Partnership (CHSP) funded programs that provided critical human services to approximately 42,000 area residents. The range of services provided covers 10 categories of community needs including family support, basic needs and safety net services, emergency shelters, after-school and summer enrichment programs for at-risk youth and supportive services for seniors. Due to the wide range of services provided and the number of residents receiving assistance, it is difficult to compare the economic impact of different programs at the individual level.
Since its creation, CHSP has enhanced its program evaluation and data collection requirements, including collecting social and economic impact data from agencies. In 2020, the CHSP grant application was updated to include a section requiring applicants to report Social Return on Investment (SROI) data. As noted by the American Public Human Services Association, “SROI offers human service agencies an opportunity to measure the community impact and social value of their services and programs.” By implementing SROI as the measurement of agency success, the City can maximize the impact of CHSP funding to have the greatest possible impact on the community.
One example of how CHSP investment results in significant savings and cost avoidance in our community is the investment in programs for seniors and the disabled. During the last reporting period, 552 low-income households were provided with wheelchair ramps, durable medical equipment and disposable medical supplies. Such services allow people with serious disabilities to remain in their homes with dignity, thereby avoiding institutionalization which can cost more than $37,000 per person annually. The City will compile the SROI data reported by 2020 CHSP applicants and prepare an initial report on those results. In addition to reporting the SROI data, this report will include participant outcomes for all programs funded by CHSP.