According to the Housing & Urban Development (HUD) , the level of environmental review required depends upon the program design and project description. The responsible entity needs to consider the use of the categorical exclusion:
§58.35 Categorical exclusions.
Categorical exclusion refers to a category of activities for which no environmental impact statement or environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact under NEPA is required, except in extraordinary circumstances (see §58.2(a)(3)) in which a normally excluded activity may have a significant impact. Compliance with the other applicable Federal environmental laws and authorities listed in §58.5 is required for any categorical exclusion listed in paragraph (a) of this section.
(a) Categorical exclusions subject to §58.5. The following activities are categorically excluded under NEPA, but may be subject to review under authorities listed in §58.5:
(4)(i) An individual action on up to four dwelling units where there is a maximum of four units on any one site. The units can be four one-unit buildings or one four-unit building or any combination in between; or
(ii) An individual action on a project of five or more housing units developed on scattered sites when the sites are more than 2,000 feet apart and there are not more than four housing units on any one site.
(iii) Paragraphs (a)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section do not apply to rehabilitation of a building for residential use (with one to four units) (see paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section).
“Individual action” as used in §58.35(a) refers to an individual approval action about the particular dwelling unit(s) and may include new construction, demolition, and/or reconstruction (demolition and new construction). However, note that this categorical exclusion does not apply to rehabilitation of a building for residential use.
A responsible entity (RE) may apply the categorical exclusion at §58.35(a) on an individual application basis, allowing the RE to use this categorical exclusion when an individual applicant is submitting an application for construction, demolition and/or reconstruction of dwelling units. If the RE designs a program where individual applicants will be submitting applications for new construction of up to four dwelling units, then each individual application may be considered to be categorically excluded per §58.35(a)(4)(i). If the RE designs a program where individual applicants will be submitting applications for a project of five more housing units on scattered sites when the sites are more than 2,000 feet apart and there are not more than four housing units on any one site, then each individual application may be considered to be categorically excluded per §58.35(a)(4)(ii).
If the Neighborhood Stabilization Program is clearly designed and intended to develop a specific block/neighborhood or other limited geographic area, then an environmental assessment for the program/area will be required.
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