The Community Development Bloc Grant money, distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is meant to assist people with low and moderate income “by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment and for expanding economic opportunity,” explained Scott Claar, associate planner with the city’s Development Services Department.
He said to be eligible for the HUD money, projects have to benefit low-income people, address a slum or blighted condition, or address an urgent need of life, health or safety.
Of the total $417,761 available, funding for public service activities is capped at 15 percent of the city’s total allocation, Claar said.
In the past, public service money has gone to nonprofits such as Tracy Interfaith Ministries, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tracy, Second Harvest Food Bank and McHenry House Tracy Family Shelter.
The rest of the money is dedicated to public facilities — one-time uses to improve physical conditions, Claar said. A recent beneficiary of that money is the project to build an outdoor recreation area at the Lolly Hansen Senior Center, which is under way.
Claar said that a subcommittee of the Tracy Parks and Recreation Committee makes recommendations to the City Council about which grant-eligible projects should receive funding.
In addition to the bloc grant funds, the city expects to receive $62,144 during the 2013-14 fiscal year in federal Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds. The city will distribute the money for home and rental construction and/or rehabilitation, and to first-time homebuyer assistance efforts, according to Claar.
An application for bloc grant or HOME funds can be obtained from the city’s Development Services Department at City Hall, 333 Civic Center Plaza, by calling 831-6429, or at the city’s website, www.ci.tracy.ca.us/?navid=534. Complete applications are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 8.
Claar said a public meeting to answer questions about bloc grant funding has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19, at conference room 120 in City Hall.
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