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  • By Lisa Brody

Meals on Wheels, home improvement funding

Bloomfield Township trustees unanimously approved $66,765 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars for low income seniors in the community who need assistance with home improvement loans and Meals on Wheels assistance.

Christine Tvaroha, senior services director, said the average age of seniors in the township is 84 years of age, who have owned their home for an average of 35 years.

In Bloomfield Township,Tvaroha said that CDBG began as Minor Home Repair services in 2009. Since 2014, the township has also participated in the Meals on Wheels programs. “We're actually recruiting,” she said. “It's a year-round program,” she said of the home repair program.

About 70 percent of CDBG funds go towards the Home Repair program, assisting about nine to 10 households a year, with a $5,000 annual maximum, and a $15,000 lifetime household maximum for those 60 years of age and older.

“The eligibility is set by HUD,” Tvaroha said. She noted that home improvements of long put off repairs also improve the value of the entire neighborhood.

Eligible repairs through the Minor Home Repairs program include to roofs, siding, chimneys, porches, sidewalks, stairways, plumbing, and electrical. Tvaroha encouraged residents to apply if they need assistance.

Funds from the township's CDBG program are provided to Oakland County and then funneled to the community based on an annual action plan, which identifies specific projects that meet federal program requirements. For 2019, $46,736 was recommended to be allocated to the home repair program, and $20,029 to the Meals on Wheels program.

The CDBG program is a federal program under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provides communities with resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. First created in 1974 as a compilation of numerous existing federal programs during the Nixon administration, the CDBG program is one of the longest continuously run programs at HUD.

A woman representing Haven, a non-profit which helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, requested that next year they receive some of the CDBG money. Savoie asked her if any other municipalities give block grant money to Haven.

“Twenty-seven other municipalities do,” she responded.

Savoie said it was something they would take under advisement.

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