Title 24

SECTION 570.441

570.441 Citizen participation - insular areas.

§ 570.441 Citizen participation - insular areas.

(a) General. An insular area jurisdiction submitting an abbreviated consolidated plan under 24 CFR 91.235 shall comply with the citizen participation requirements described in this section. An insular area jurisdiction submitting a complete consolidated plan in accordance with 24 CFR 91.200 through 91.230 shall follow the citizen participation requirements of § 91.100 and § 91.105, except for § 91.100(a)(4). For funding under section 106 of the Act, these requirements are applicable to all aspects of the Insular Areas program, including the preparation of the proposed statement and final statements as described in § 570.440. The requirements for citizen participation do not restrict the responsibility or authority of the jurisdiction for the development and execution of its community development program.

(b) Citizen participation plan. The insular area jurisdiction must develop and follow a detailed citizen participation plan and must make the plan public. The plan must be completed and available before the AFH and statement for assistance is submitted to HUD, and the jurisdiction must certify that it is following the plan. The plan must set forth the jurisdiction's policies and procedures for:

(1) Giving citizens timely notice of local meetings and reasonable and timely access to local meetings consistent with accessibility and reasonable accommodation requirements in accordance with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the regulations at 24 CFR part 8, and the Americans with Disabilities Act and the regulations at 28 CFR parts 35 and 36, as applicable, as well as information and records relating to the grantee's proposed and actual use of CDBG funds including, but not limited to:

(i) The amount of CDBG funds expected to be made available for the coming year, including the grant and anticipated program income;

(ii) The range of activities that may be undertaken with those funds;

(iii) The estimated amount of those funds proposed to be used for activities that will benefit low- and moderate-income persons;

(iv) The proposed CDBG activities likely to result in displacement and the jurisdiction's plans, consistent with the policies developed under § 570.606(b), for minimizing displacement of persons as a result of its proposed activities; and

(v) The types and levels of assistance the jurisdiction plans to make available (or to require others to make available) to persons displaced by CDBG-funded activities, even if the jurisdiction expects no displacement to occur;

(2) Providing technical assistance to groups that are representative of persons of low- and moderate-income that request assistance in commenting on the AFH and developing proposals. The level and type of assistance to be provided is at the discretion of the jurisdiction. The assistance need not include the provision of funds to the groups;

(3) Holding a minimum of two public hearings for the purpose of obtaining residents' views and formulating or responding to proposals and questions. Each public hearing must be conducted at a different stage of the CDBG program year. Together, the hearings must address affirmatively furthering fair housing, community development and housing needs, development of proposed activities, proposed strategies and actions for affirmatively furthering fair housing consistent with the AFH, and a review of program performance. There must be reasonable notice of the hearings, and the hearings must be held at times and accessible locations convenient to potential or actual beneficiaries, with reasonable accommodations, including materials in accessible formats, for persons with disabilities. The jurisdiction must specify in its citizen participation plan how it will meet the requirement for hearings at times and accessible locations convenient to potential or actual beneficiaries;

(4) Assessing its language needs, identifying any need for translation of notices and other vital documents and, in the case of public hearings, meeting the needs of non-English speaking residents where a significant number of non-English speaking residents can reasonably be expected to participate. At a minimum, the citizen participation plan shall require the jurisdiction to make reasonable efforts to provide language assistance to ensure meaningful access to participation by non-English speaking persons;

(5) Responding to citizen complaints and grievances, including the procedures that citizens must follow when submitting complaints and grievances. The jurisdiction's policies and procedures must provide for timely written answers to written complaints and grievances within 15 working days after the receipt of the complaint, where practicable; and

(6) Encouraging citizen participation, particularly by low- and moderate-income persons who reside in areas in which CDBG funds are proposed to be used.

(c) Publication of proposed AFH and proposed statement. (1) The insular area jurisdiction shall publish a proposed AFH and a proposed statement consisting of the proposed community development activities and community development objectives (as applicable) in order to afford affected residents an opportunity to:

(i) Examine the document's contents to determine the degree to which they may be affected;

(ii) Submit comments on the proposed document; and

(iii) Submit comments on the performance of the jurisdiction.

(2) The requirement for publishing in paragraph (c)(1) of this section may be met by publishing a summary of the proposed document in one or more newspapers of general circulation and by making copies of the proposed document available on the Internet, on the grantee's official government Web site, and as well at libraries, government offices, and public places. The summary must describe the contents and purpose of the proposed document and must include a list of the locations where copies of the entire proposed document may be examined.

(d) Preparation of the AFH and final statement. An insular area jurisdiction must prepare an AFH and a final statement. In the preparation of the AFH and final statement, the jurisdiction shall consider comments and views received relating to the proposed document and may, if appropriate, modify the final document. The final AFH and final statement shall be made available to the public. The final statement shall include the community development objectives, projected use of funds, and the community development activities.

(e) Program amendments. To assure citizen participation on program amendments to final statements and any revision to the AFH, the insular area grantee shall:

(1) Furnish its residents with information concerning the amendment to the consolidated plan or any revision to the AFH (as applicable);

(2) Hold one or more public hearings to obtain the views of residents on the proposed amendment to the consolidated plan or revision to the AFH;

(3) Develop and publish the proposed amendment to the consolidated plan or any revision to the AFH in such a manner as to afford affected residents an opportunity to examine the contents, and to submit comments on the proposed amendment to the consolidated plan or revision to the AFH, as applicable;

(4) Consider any comments and views expressed by residents on the proposed amendment to the consolidated plan or revision to the AFH, and, if the grantee finds it appropriate, make modifications accordingly; and

(5) Make the final amendment to the community development program or revision to the AFH available to the public before its submission to HUD.

(f) Performance reports. (1) The citizen participation plan must provide citizens with reasonable notice and an opportunity to comment on performance reports. The citizen participation plan must state how reasonable notice and an opportunity to comment will be given. The citizen participation plan must provide a period of not less than 15 days to receive comments on the performance report before it is to be submitted to HUD.

(2) The citizen participation plan shall require the jurisdiction to consider comments or views of citizens received in writing or orally at public hearings in preparing the performance report. A summary of these comments or views shall be attached to the performance report.

(g) Application for loan guarantees. Insular area jurisdictions intending to apply for the Section 108 Loan Guarantee program must ensure that they follow the applicable presubmission and citizen participation requirements of § 570.704.

[69 FR 32780, June 10, 2004, as amended at 80 FR 42366, July 16, 2015]