Rochester and Rochester Hills city councils on Monday, November 13, will hold separate public hearings to discuss and approve applications outlining how they plan to use federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for the program's 2018 allocations.
The federal CDBG program provides funds to local municipalities dedicated to assist low- and moderate-income residents with affordable housing, home repairs and other needs through individual grants and other anti-poverty programs. The objective is to prevent or eliminate slums and blight, and to meet an urgent community need where no other funding is available. Community and charitable organizations may also make direct requests to the cities for direct grants. Federal regulations require communities to hold public hearings and pass a resolution approving the planned use of funds as part of the application process.
The Oakland County Community & Home Improvement Division, which assists Rochester and Rochester Hills with allocating CDBG funds, limits the number of projects to which communities can allocate funds to four in order to comply with federal regulations. For instance, in Rochester Hills, the city most recently allocated funds to minor home repair, yard services, battered and abused spouses services, and emergency clothing.
The Rochester Hills Fiscal Division, which oversees the city's CDBG application process, is recommending council maintain its current allocation plan. While grant amounts haven't yet been determined, 2016 program year allocations included $121,817 for minor home repairs, which funded about 40 projects such as furnace, water heater and roof replacements; $27,000 to public services, which included service to about 70 low-income senior or disabled adult households; $7,000 for emergency shelter and services for about 100 domestic violence victims; and $10,000 for emergency clothing services to about 500 low-income residents.
Specifics about the city of Rochester's CDBG application and allocation plan will be presented at Monday's public hearing.