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Housing and Neighborhood Development

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Jennifer Cooper

Phone: (863) 534-5240
Toll Free: (800) 780-5346


Street Address: 1290 Golfview Ave. Bartow, FL 33830 Office Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Housing and Neighborhood Development (HND) works to improve Polk County’s communities and help its most fragile residents. It does this by prioritizing federal and state grant funds across a range of policy areas including affordable housing development and preservation, homelessness and homeownership. HND develops activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods and partners with nonprofit organizations to improve communities for low and moderate-income residents. These policy areas are fundamental to HND to create strong, sustainable communities and quality affordable homeownership and multifamily housing.

If you are searching for information on housing assistance or affordable housing, HND can help.

The Polk County Building Division expedites Affordable Housing Building Permits. Call (863) 534-6080 for information on the expedited permitting process.

Annual Action Plan 2024-25

Housing and Neighborhood Development Offices’ 2024-2025 Annual Action Plan for Public Review and Comment for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Grant and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Planned projects and Activities.

2024-25 Annual Action Plan

A 30-day review and comment period is currently being held to look over the projects and activities outlined in the Action Plan to begin October 1, 2024 and end September 30, 2025. If you need additional information, please contact Nancy Hurley at (863) 534-5244 or email at

Programs and Services

Polk's Federal and State investments
ServiceFY 2021/22FY 2022/23
Down Payment Assistance5344
Community Housing Development (CHDO)20
Owner-Occupied Rehabilitation2223
New Construction30
Tenant-Based Rental Assistance5151
Multi-family Housing Construction Units0176
Emergency Solutions Grant (Rental Assistance)240145
TOTAL Family Housing Improved387460
TOTAL Funds Expended$4,805,124$8,239,003
American Rescue Plan: Emergency Rental Assistance
AwardedExpendedFamilies Served
Polk County BoCC$14,788,454$14,788,4542,222
FL Rural/Debt Management Credit Coumnseling$3,985,085$3,985,085665
Agriculture and Labor Program, Inc. (ALPI)$8,110,000$7,903,3071,398
Heart for Winter Haven$4,725,000$4,725,000641
Salvation Army of Winter Haven$1,099,530$1,039,648161
as of December 2023

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

This grant program provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Each CDBG-funded project must meet one of three national objectives:

  • Benefit low and moderate income persons
  • Prevent or eliminate slum and blights
  • Meet other community development needs having a particular urgency

The Community Development Block Grant also funds the county’s demolition program, which is designed to eliminate slum and blight in unincorporated areas of Polk.

Polk County is required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to prepare an Annual Action Plan to govern the use of Federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and Home Investment Partnership (HOME) funds. These funds must primarily benefit low- and moderate-income persons and meet the following objectives: 1) Providing Affordable Housing that is both safe and decent, through construction/rehabilitation of owner-occupied units, rental assistance and preserving the housing stock. 2) Creating and maintaining a Suitable Living Environment, by providing needed infrastructure improvements, providing access to public facilities and public services, and reducing blighting conditions. 3) Expanding Economic Opportunities by supporting public services that help provide skills training, other tools needed to achieve self-sufficiency and promoting employment opportunities for low-income persons affected by activities and programs outlined in the 2023-2024 Annual Action Plan.

Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG)

ESG grants assist nonprofit organizations to provide emergency shelter and associated support services to homeless individuals and families.

Home Investment Partnership (HOME)

HOME grant funds are used to build, buy and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent, homeownership or to provide rent assistance to low-income individuals.

Section 3

Section 3 of the United States Housing and Urban Development HUD Act of 1968, (12U.S.C. 1701u) (Section 3) and implementing regulations at 24 CFP Part 135 states the purpose of Section 3 is to ensure that employment and other economic opportunities generated by certain Housing and Urban Development (HUD) financial assistance shall, to the greatest extent feasible, and consistent with the existing Federal, State and Local laws and regulations, be directed to low and very low income persons, particularly those who are recipients of government assistance for housing and to the businesses which provide economic opportunities to these persons.

If you have questions, call the Housing and Neighborhood Department office at (863) 534-5244, or email, labor and environmental compliance specialist. Visit HUD.GOV for additional information regarding Section 3.

State Housing Initiative (SHIP)

State Housing Initiative funds are used to preserve affordable housing for very low to moderate income families. These funds are given to local governments and are based on a population-based formula.

2022 - 2023 CAPER Draft Report Review

A Public Review and Comment of the Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) will be held during the Citizen’s Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting Friday, December 15, 2023, at 2:30 p.m. in Room 413, County Administration Building, 330 W. Church Street, Bartow, Fla. This meeting is scheduled to receive comments on Polk County’s October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023, Consolidated Annual Performance & Evaluation Report (CAPER). This report will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) on or before December 30, 2023. The CAPER report provides annual information on program accomplishments in meeting performance measures for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program.

A link to the October 1, 2022, to September 30, 2023, CAPER is now available below, and a printed copy is also available for examination and comment by the public at the Polk County Housing and Neighborhood Development Office, 1290 Golfview Ave., Bartow, Fla. 33831 during office hours 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

For questions or copies of any information referenced in the CAPER please contact Nancy Hurley at


Federal Grants

State Grants, Plans and Reports

Fair Housing in Polk County

For information or to file a Fair Housing complaint, contact:
Shawanda Bonner – Housing Compliance Specialist (863) 534-5214

The Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing information webpage:

Community Housing Development Organization

Federal HOME funds have a component called the Community Housing Development Organization, also known as the CHDO. At least 15 percent of HOME funds must be set aside for specific activities to be undertaken by a special type of nonprofit called a Community Housing Development Organization.

Community Housing Development Organization - CHDO Set-Aside Requirement

  • A CHDO is a private, nonprofit, community-based service organization that has obtained, or intends to obtain, staff with the capacity to develop affordable housing for the community it serves.
  • PJs must set aside a minimum of 15 percent of their HOME allocations for housing development activities in which qualified CHDOs are the owners, developers and/or sponsors of the housing. PJs must have a reasonable expectation of specific projects going forward.

CHDO Qualifying Criteria

A CHDO is a specific type of private nonprofit entity. CHDOs must meet certain requirements pertaining to its:

  • Legal status
  • Organizational structure, and
  • Capacity and experience

For more information about applying to be a Polk County CHDO, contact Nancy Hurley, housing compliance manager for the Polk County Housing and Neighborhood Development office at (863) 534-5244, or (863) 534-5240.