As a result of the damage sustained in the 2018 storms—Typhoon Mangkhut and Super Typhoon Yutu—the CNMI received an allocation of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds, which is administered by the Northern Marianas Housing Corp. In order to address both the direct and indirect impacts of the two storms, the Commonwealth has developed the Rental Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, and New Construction Program to cover the eligible costs for repair or replacement of storm-related damage to individual site rental properties as well as to increase the stock of rental units with new construction or acquisition of individual units. Available rental units prior to the disaster were quickly rented, thus creating an even bigger shortage of available and affordable, safe, decent rental units.
On May 28, 2021 and July 28, 2021, the NMHC board of directors adopted the Rental Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and New Construction Program Policies and Procedures—under the CDBG-DR Affordable Rental Housing Development Program. The three CDBG-DR Affordable Rental Housing Development Programs being made available to the public include:
1 to 4 Units Program – This program will provide a combination of interest-free loan (75% of total cost) and forgivable loan (25% of total cost) to rental property owners with one to four units. The forgivable loan portion is forgiven after completing the affordability period that is contingent on the type of construction project. The remaining interest-free loan balance for both rehabilitation/reconstruction and new construction/acquisition will also be forgiven but after completing 15 years of payments. Tenants must be Low-to-Moderate Income individuals/families.
5 Plus Units (Non-LIHTC) Program – The program proposes to address the current housing rental shortage through the rehabilitation and development of affordable rental housing, including acquisition, demolition, rehabilitation and new construction, as it pertains to the development of subsidized and affordable units for Low-to-Moderate Income individuals/families.
GAP Filler to LIHTC Program – The program objective is to leverage LIHTC, or Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, to extend the impact of CDBG-DR funding with the aim of increasing the inventory stock of affordable multifamily rental units. NMHC intends to optimize the use of CBDG-DR funds by providing gap funding and if needed, interim and permanent loans, to leverage available LIHTCs to create/rehabilitate affordable rental housing. All developments funded through this program will benefit low-and moderate-income populations.
For more information, visit cnmi-cdbgdr.com or contact the NMHC CDBG-DR Division at 233-9447/9448/9449/9450 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications may be picked up at the CDBG-DR office in San Jose, Saipan, the Tinian Field Office (NMC Campus), and the Rota Field Office, Songsong, Rota from 8am to 4pm. (PR)