After a public hearing held on Monday, April 25, the Waterford Township Board of Trustees approved the township’s 2011-12 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocations via resolution.
The CDBG program, administered through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides funds to benefit low- and moderate-income residents to renovate older housing, revitalize neighborhoods, provide human services, and rebuild community infrastructure.
No more than 20 percent of a community’s given program year allocation can be used to support programs or administration; and no more than 15 percent can be pledged to public service-related programs.
“There’s not enough money for public service programs,” said Community Planning and Development Director Robert Vallina. “That has been the case since the money started going down four years ago. At this level of funding, we don’t have the financial capacity for that.”
This year, the length of time it took the U.S. Congress to adopt a 2011 Fiscal Year budget delayed HUD’s CDBG grant notification process by about five months. Waiting for this notification has put the township at a disadvantage since it’s still required to meet all of HUD’s requirements in advance of rolling out the new CDBG program by July 1.
Due to the delay, HUD has been unable to commit to a firm 2011-12 program year allocation total, so the 2011-12 allocation is only an estimate.
“Friday we got a little more certainty from HUD,” said Vallina, who added that he anticipates $322,504 in CDBG funding for the year plus another $10,000 from supplemental program income, gleaned from residents repaying past CDBG loans after selling their properties.
Of the anticipated $332,504 total CDBG allocation for 2011-12, $202,827 is earmarked or housing rehabilitation. Since Waterford began this program 36 years ago, $10.96 million has been used to rehabilitate 1,704 houses.
The township’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program will continue in the coming year to provide no-interest, no-monthly payment loans to qualified citizens, with an emphasis placed on female heads of households, senior citizens, handicapped individuals and minorities. Loans must be repaid once the house is sold or there is a change in the title.
About $23,275 of the 2011-12 CDBG funds will be channeled toward program administration. Such costs include necessary supplies, services, capital expenses, and the wages and fringe benefit costs for the percentage of time spent by staff on CDBG projects.
The remaining $106,402 will be reserved for code enforcement to fund a portion of administrative and clerical costs.