Council approves federal HUD plan

City Council recently approved a fairly standard plan for spending its annual entitlement money from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Develop­ment.

It was possible because Community Development Director Lee Slusser’s fear that the Trump administration would “zero out” Community Development Block Grant funding didn’t come true — yet, at least.

This year’s funding for CDBG was $1.42 million — not much different from last year’s amount.

Loan paybacks of $162,000 brought this year’s CDBG total to $1.58 million, according to a summary provided by CDBG program Manager Mary Johnson.

Of that, $346,000 will go for rehabilitation of single-family homes; $306,000 for demolition of blighted properties; $301,000 for program administration; $332,000 for street paving; $235,000 for the city’s bike patrol and $67,000 for code enforcement all in low- to moderate-income areas.

Of $193,000 in HOME funding, $129,000 will go for rehabilitation of rental properties, $44,000 for an upgrade of Improved Dwellings for Altoona’s Woodrow Wilson Gardens parking lot in Garden Heights and $19,000 for program administration.

Slusser’s fear that Trump would end the CDBG program didn’t come true because the program has wide bipartisan support, Slusser said.

It has the support because it’s important to communities all over the country, an importance routinely demonstrated by tracking of impacts, as required in program administration, he said.

The program’s advocates will continue to work with elected officials to ensure it continues, as the idea for doing away with the program hasn’t disappeared, Slusser said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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