Birmingham applies for CDBG funds
By Kevin Elliott
The Birmingham City Commission on Monday, February 22, approved the application of more than $36,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The CDBG program provides funds for housing, public facilities and public service activities that benefit low-income households and people with special needs. Oakland County receives CDBG funding as an urban county, with participating communities required to join. Birmingham has participated in the program for more than 30 years.
Birmingham Director of Finance Mark Gerber said the city is expected to receive $36,090 for the 2021-2022 program year, the same as the previous year.
Under the CDBG guidelines, communities may spend a maximum of 30 percent of the funds on public service activities, with no less than $3,500 per activity with no more than four activities.
Birmingham has traditionally allocated the maximum amount to public services, which will total $10,827. Those funds will include $7,327 for yard services and $3,500 for senior services. Those funds will be administered by NEXT. The remaining $25,263 will be allocated to minor home repairs, which will also be administered by an outside agency through the city’s bid process.
“Since the city has so few low-income residents, the city is really restricted on what it can do with the remaining funding,” Gerber said. “The remaining funding is usually allocated to minor home repair and/or the removal of architectural barriers. The minor home repair activity provides funding for repairs to homes of low-income residents that typically are less than $5,000 per repair.”
Commissioners unanimously approved the resolution approving the application of CDBG funds.