Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs - Building Homes and Strengthening Communities

TIERED Categorically Excluded Projects (Subject to 24 CFR 58.5)

Overview

Some Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Single-family projects may be required to conduct a tiered review. This means that the awardee can conduct an environmental review on a broad scale (city or county-wide). To do this, the awardee must submit a project description, tier plan, required checklists, and supporting documentation. Next, the awardee must publish or post a notice about the project, observe public comment period, and then proceed to submit smaller, site-specific reviews for each individual address, as it becomes known.

Example Scenario of Tiered Categorically Excluded Project (Subject to 24 CFR 58.5)

If an awardee wanted to purchase and rehabilitate a number of foreclosed homes throughout Travis County and remained in the process of finding homes, it could conduct a broad environmental review of Travis County. The awardee would first write a detailed Project Description. Next, the awardee would submit a tier plan that outlines factors on the statutory checklist appropriate to broad clearance and other factors appropriate to site-specific clearance. In a broad environmental review, the awardee would try to clear all of the factors possible, without knowing specific addresses of homes. Compliance factors like the Coastal Zone Management Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act could clear this way because Travis County is located many miles away from the Texas Coast and the only “Wild and Scenic River” in Texas is located near El Paso.

Public Notification Process

The awardee would next either publish a Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds in a Travis county-wide news paper or post the notice in at least three county-wide municipal buildings. If the notice is published in a newspaper, the awardee would need to wait through a seven-day comment period before submitting a Request for Release of Funds package to TDHCA. If the notice is posted in municipal buildings, the awardee would need to wait through a ten-day local comment period before submitting a Request for Release of Funds Package to TDHCA.

Submitting an RROF Package

A Request for Release of Funds Package consists of a RROF Form, a copy of the publication or posting, an affidavit confirming when the notice was published or posted, and proof that interested parties were notified about the notice. While not narrowly defining what constitutes an “interested party,” HUD generally recommends notifying the local EPA field office and appropriate city council.

The awardee must allow a 15-day federal comment period. After the federal comment period ends, TDHCA will authorize the awardee to use grant funds. Only after receiving an Authority to Use Grant Funds can an awardee begin submitting specific sites for environmental clearance.

Site-Specific Checklists

Awardees make their own site-specific checklists based on factors that did not clear in the broad review. Awardees can copy the appropriate factors from the Statutory Checklist.

Forms for a Tiered Categorically Excluded Project (Subject to 24 CFR 58.5)

  • Example Project Description
  • Example Tier Plan
  • Certification of Exemption
  • Compliance
  • Documentation Checklist
  • Certification of Categorical Exclusion
  • Statutory Checklist
  • Notice of Intent to Request Release of Funds Template
  • Request for Release of Funds
  • Site-Specific Checklist