CLEARWATER – CAPER is the acronym for the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report that must be filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.by municipalities that receive federal funds under the Community Development Block Grant or HOME Investment Partnership programs.
At its Dec. 17 work session, the Clearwater City Council received a preview of this year’s CAPER from Geri Campos Lopez, the city’s director of economic development and housing,
“The CAPER document serves as the basis for program monitoring for compliance and for financial audits for all activities conducted during Fiscal Year 2011-2012 as outlined in the (city’s) consolidated plan,” a staff memo to the council explained.
“The report provides (the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development) with necessary information for the Department to meet its requirement to assess each grantee’s ability to carry out relevant Community Planning and Development programs in compliance with all applicable rules and regulations.It also provides information necessary for HUD’s annual report to Congress and it provides grantees an opportunity to describe to citizens their successes in revitalizing deteriorated neighborhoods and in meeting objectives in their Consolidated Planning Document,” the report said.
With a budget of $1,338,564 and $2,807,683 left over from the previous year, Lopez’s department had $4,145,267 to work with in the most recent fiscal year. Of that, it spent $2,482,656 and carried $1,663,591 over to the current fiscal year.
Services provided with the funds include down payment assistance, housing rehabilitation, public services, new construction, public facilities, fair housing, and economic development. These services are performed entirely with federal grants, and no Clearwater ad valorem taxes are used.
In fiscal year 2011-2012, 14 owner-occupied rehabilitation loans, totaling $322,578, and 14 down payment assistance loans, totaling $197,050, were made. The 208-unit Prospect Towers senior housing complex received an $800,000 rehabilitation loan, and the 48-unit Norton Apartments rental complex received a similar loan in the amount of $394,446.
An existing loan to the 192-unit Palmetto Park Apartments was restructured, and the Habitat for Humanity Community Housing Development Organization received a $225,808 development loan. Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, Inc., also received a $425,000 loan to provide “construction bridge financing” for 25 homes.
SP Country Club Homes Inc. was given a $475,770 loan for financing the construction of four townhome units and providing down payment assistance on those units. And Boley Centers Inc. – Sunset Point Apartments, Inc. received a $346,451 development loan for 14 units.
The city also spent $370,000 to upgrade an athletic field in the North Greenwood neighborhood. In addition, it purchased the property at 14 South Greenwood Ave. to facilitate the redevelopment of the former Car Pro site in the blighted East Gateway area.
Public services provided with the federal funds in the last fiscal year included helping 80 people through the Community Service Foundation, 162 through Gulf Coast Legal Services, 213 through Personal Enrichment and Mental Health Services, 63 through the Pinellas Opportunity Council, and 690 through the Willa Carson Health Resources Center. The city helped 226 people through Westcare Gulfcoast Florida, 116 through the Kimberly Home and 26 through the Intercoastal Advocacy Institute. In addition, Clearwater helped 418 people through the Safety Harbor Neighborhood Family Center, although the City of Safety Harbor paid a pro-rated share of the cost, based on the percentage of people helped who were Safety Harbor residents.
The City Council is expected to approve the report at its Dec. 20 meeting and authorize Lopez to send it to the federal government.