The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) has launched the inaugural application period for its Housing Affordability Planning Program (HAPP). Under this program – established in October 2021 – HAPP will award small, flexible grants of up to $75,000 to area local governments and non-profit developers engaged in the planning, approval, or development of housing near transit stations.
Grants are intended to assist with a variety of housing pre-development, project implementation activities, or housing policy studies that have the potential to increase the amount of housing opportunities near transit that are accessible to residents with lower incomes. Project timelines would be limited to a maximum of 12 months. According to the COG website, grant applications could include support for the following:
Market studies to assess the feasibility of affordable housing development, including adding and/or increasing the level and term of affordability for a development near transit;
Financial feasibility analysis to increase total number of income-restricted affordable units or deepen affordability targets for a proposed project near transit;
Concept plan drawings to support an application for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and other financing sources, additional development rights, or community meetings;
Assessment of land use and zoning changes or incentives to allow for increased affordability and/or density near transit areas;
Development of a program or evaluation of an existing program intended to increase new housing near transit that is accessible to those with lower incomes; or
Outreach to communities, especially with culturally competent materials, to secure support for proposed new housing near transit that is accessible to those with lower incomes.
The application deadline is March 23, 2022.
For more information about HAPP and for additional resources and application instructions, please visit www.mwcog.org/community/planning-areas/housing-and-homelessness/housing-affordability-planning-program.