EAST PROVIDENCE — The City Council will hold a public hearing tonight to give residents and local profit and non-profit agencies the chance to offer input on the funding requests proposed in city's 2013-2014 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application.
This year, the city is applying for $620,675 in grant funding for local community development and housing needs, which will be available for programming during the fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2014.
The council's meeting begins at 7:30 at City Hall, 145 Taunton Ave.
The state-administered CDBG program provides funds for a wide range of affordable housing, community redevelopment and commercial business assistance activities directed toward neighborhood revitalization, economic development and improved community facilities and services. The 33-year-old federal grant program is administered by the state, which must ensure that at least 70 percent of its CDBG grant funds are used for activities that benefit low- and moderate-income persons.
East Providence City Manager Peter Graczykowski says high priorities for funding this year are activities that increase economic opportunities for East Providence residence and businesses, and that any funds received must further the goals of the City’s 2010-2015 consolidated plan, which outlines the five-year priorities that are specific to East Providence.
Community Development Coordinator David Bachrach will be on hand tonight to discuss the proposals submitted this year by profit and non profit agencies and community groups. The $620,675 in grant funding the city is applying for includes $350,000 for economic development; $20,000 for public facilities; $100,526 for public services; $87,000 for affordable housing; and $120,149 for administration.
The $350,000 for economic develop includes $95,000 for business development financing for up to five businesses or developers that will create at least five new jobs; and $255,000 for a mandatory federal Section 8 loan payment
The $20,000 for public facilities will pay for repairs to the Meadow Crest playground serving the relocated Oldham School students.
The $100,526 for public services includes funds for various literacy, mental health, medical and violence prevention programs offered by the East Providence Housing Authority, Weaver Library, Newman Church, Literacy Volunteers of East Bay, East Bay Center, East Bay Community Action Program, Boys & Girls Club, Big Brother, Day One and the Women’s Center.
The public hearing will kick off a comment period where written comments can be emailed or sent to Bachrach. To be reviewed and considered, all comments must be received by the last day of the comment period.
A copy of all comments will be included in the one-year action plan to be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development next month for final approval.
CDBG, like other block grant programs, differ from categorical grants, made for specific purposes, in that they are subject to less federal oversight and are largely used at the discretion of the state and local governments and their sub-grantees. CDBG funds are allocated to more than 1,100 local and state governments on a formula basis. Locally, the grants are determined by the Governor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.