Our Mission is to encourage affordable life style housing by providing housing opportunities, community development improvements and social service referrals for the residents of Port St. Lucie utilizing local, state and federal funds and local partnerships.
The Community Services Department is responsible for administering the housing program with grant funding from the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) program, when funds are available, HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the Neighborhood Stabilization Programs (NSP1 and NSP3). The Department also administers community development and public service projects with the federal CDBG funding. We research, write and administer grant funding for other federal, state and privately funded programs in coordination with the appropriate city departments. Community Services also works as a liaison between the federal or state agency and the city department, assuring that all federal and state regulations are followed during implementation of the grant-funded program. Finally, the Department provides information on social agency assistance available for low-income households.
Community Services administers a state funded housing repair/rehab program (SHIP) when funds are available. Because SHIP funds are limited (see below), the city will be utilizing Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) along with the SHIP program income, if any, in order to assist households on the current Repair/Rehab waiting list.
Community Services has established a waiting list of Low-Income homeowners who need repair/rehabilitation assistance for their primary residence. We add names to the list only after all of the households on the list have been assisted.
Community Services administers a state funded home purchase program (SHIP) when funds are available. The city received a limited amount of SHIP funds for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010; those funds provided advances for tax deferment credits under the Florida Housing Opportunity Program. We did not receive an allocation for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. A limited amount ($224,633) was received for fiscal year 11/12 and was allocated to the Repair/Rehab program. The city has also been utilizing Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funding to purchase foreclosed properties, repair them, and make them affordable, with financial assistance as needed, to income-qualified households.
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. The CDBG program provides annual grants on a formula basis to state and local governments.
The city has prepared a Five-Year Consolidated Plan which evaluates past performance in utilizing CDBG funds and provides objectives and outcomes that are identified based on the needs of the citizens. An Annual Action plan and various exhibits are also included. The plan was approved by HUD on Oct. 12, 2011.
The Action Plan portion of the Consolidated Plan is updated each year. Port St. Lucie’s 2012-2013 Action Plan was the subject of a Public Hearing at the City Council meeting on June 25, 2012. It was submitted to HUD on September 6, 2012 and approved on September 17, 2012.
The city benefited from CDBG Disaster Funding to help with recovery after the twin hurricanes hit our area in 2004. A portion of the funds was utilized for a Special Needs Shelter/Facility Retrofit at the Port St. Lucie Community Center and for Drainage repairs on Darwin Blvd., located in a low-income neighborhood, and a drainage project at Ravenswood Canal in the heart of the city. Additional funding is being utilized for other drainage projects in low-income areas. A copy of our CDBG Action Plan, which lists current activities, is referred to and available above.
The city is subject to compliance with Section 3 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 on contracts funded with CDBG funding. If you receive government assistance for housing and/or you are a low or very-low income resident of Port St. Lucie, you may qualify as a Section 3 resident and be eligible for certain economic opportunities. If you are a Section 3 Business Concern, you may receive preference on CDBG and NSP contracts with the City of Port St. Lucie. You must submit a Section 3 certification with your application for Section 3 covered contracts. To register for Section 3 opportunities, download and follow the instructions in the HUD Section 3 information sheet to complete and submit a certification.
Community Services promotes citizens' rights to fair housing. Our fair housing booklet "Fair Housing Opens Doors" is available in the Community Services Department, Room 221, or on this Web site. Fair Housing Continuum, Inc., a Fair Housing enforcement agency, can be contacted at (888) 264-5619 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Services staff provides referrals for additional community services available throughout St. Lucie County.