Council approves action plan for federal HOME and CDBG funds

City Council has approved an action plan for federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the next fiscal year. Staff had suggested making some changes to the process in order to meet HUD’s guidelines, but some groups pushed back on some of those proposals. (read the staff report)

“Staff will no longer request that the task force be changed to staff advisory,” said Deputy City Manager Sam Sanders. “Instead we’re going to focus on identifying income eligible participants to ensure that the diverse voice is always available.” 

Sanders said the city cannot use federal funds to pay participants to sit on that task force, but local funding can be found for that purpose should Council want to ensure participation by low income individuals. 

Charlottesville will also stop the process of designating a neighborhood to receive funds for three-year periods at a time. In recent years, projects in Belmont received those funds despite an influx of wealth. 

How the federal funds will be used (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

“Instead we will continue to work to identify projects that prioritize investment in those areas for the targeted low-income population to benefit from,” Sanders said. 

A project that had been recommended by the task force was $186,376.16  in funds for sidewalk improvements in the Ridge Street neighborhood, the current priority neighborhood. That will no longer be part of the action plan due to a concern that the project would not be completed in time to meet HUD’s deadline. Instead funds for project will be returned to the pool to allow for other proposals from the community to be funded for the Ridge Street neighborhood.

A second reading and vote on this year’s spending will be on Council’s agenda on June 6. 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the May 24, 2022 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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