I can remember first learning about categorical grants, block grants, and matching grants way back in high school social studies and I’m pretty sure at that time my eyes glazed over but now that I’ve seen firsthand how much good happens because of those grants I’m a big fan.
The City of Kent is an entitlement city which makes us eligible for a certain amount of community development block grants each year through HUD. HUD provides the grants on a formula basis to cities and counties to develop viable urban communities, provide decent housing and a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.
HUD awards grants to entitlement community grantees to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services.
Entitlement communities like Kent get to develop their own programs and funding priorities that becomes our annual CDBG Action Plan. HUD gives Kent a fair amount of latitude for how to use the grants but we are required to prioritize activities which benefit low- and moderate-income persons or aid in the prevention or elimination of slum or blight.
Additionally, grantees may fund activities that meet other community development needs that have a particular urgency but don’t have other financial resources available to meet those needs.
Here’s an excerpt from the end of year (2013) report for how Kent used it’s CDBG funds.
The City’s Community Development staff have put together the schedule for accepting the 2015 CDBG funding applications and they’re encouraging agencies, service groups, neighborhood planning groups and even other City Departments to submit projects ideas for funding consideration.
Here’s the 2015 CDBG calendar.
February 4, 2015 – Ad appears in the Record Courier announcing the first public hearing for the 2015-2019 CDBG Consolidated Plan and the 2015 Action Plan will be held Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 7:25 pm.
February 18, 2015 – First public hearing for the 2015-2019 CDBG Consolidated Plan and the 2015 Action Plan.
February 20, 2015 – Deadline for submitting 2015 application to the Community Development Department.
February 25, 2015 – Staff forwards CDBG funding recommendations to City Manager’s Office for transmittal to City Council.
March 4, 2015 – City Council Community Development Committee discusses staff recommendations and adopts motion approving 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan objectives and CDBG projects to be funded in PY2015.
April 21, 2015 – Ad appears in the Record Courier announcing the 30-day public comment period begins. Draft of the 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan and 2015 Action Plan is available for public review.
May 6, 2015 – Ad appears in the Record Courier announcing the second public hearing 2015-2019 CDBG Consolidated Plan and the 2015 Action Plan will be held Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 at 7:25 pm.
May 20, 2015 – Second public hearing for the 2015-2019 CDBG Consolidated Plan and the 2015 Action Plan and 30-day public comment period ends. City Council approves Ordinance authorizing submission of Plan to HUD.
June 12, 2015 – Staff submits the 2015-2019 CDBG Consolidated Plan and the 2015 Annual Action Plan to HUD Columbus Field Office at least 45-days prior to the beginning of the PY (June 17, 2015).