County board approves final CDBG allocations

The Anoka County Board April 24 put the final stamp of approval for allocating money from two federal grant programs – the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the HOME affordable housing program.

No changes were made from the action of the Anoka County Housing and Redevelopment Authority – four county commissioners serve on the seven-member body – back in February.

According to Karen Skepper, county community and government relations manager, the county’s CDBG allocation of $1,365,789 was close to last year’s level of funding and has already been approved, instead of having the guess what the total might be.

The bad news was a big reduction in the HOME funding following negative stories in the Washington Post on how some of these federal grant monies have been spent in certain parts of the country, Skepper said.

“We had a huge cut of 28 percent and we expect that trend to continue,” she said.

For the HOME program, the county will receive $452,282 in 2012 and $390,000 of that will go to one applicant, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity for scattered sites rehabilitation of foreclosed properties in the county.

Under the regulations of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which funds both the CDBG and HOME programs, 15 percent of the HOME allocation has to go to a Community Development Housing Organization (CHDO).

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity meets the CHDO requirement, Skepper said.

The remaining HOME dollars will go to the county’s tenant based rental assistance program, $17,057, and administration, $45,228.

HUD requires that 70 percent of the CDBG grant dollars go to benefit low- and moderate-income families, according to Skepper.

“Hundred percent of our dollars will benefit low – and moderate-income families,” Skepper said.

With the CDBG grant dollars, $704,722 went into a competitive pool; $202,868 for public service programs (the maximum 15 percent allowed by HUD); $197,122 to the city of Coon Rapids, which is a HUD entitlement community for housing rehabilitation; and $259,077 for planning projects and administration (18 percent of the CDBG total; 20 percent is allowed by HUD).

Competitive pool allocations were:

• Anoka County Community Action Program to remove blighted manufactured homes from mobile home parks in the county, $100,000.

• Anoka County Community Development Department single family home rehabilitation program for low-income homeowners, $100,000.

• Anoka County Community Development Department, rehab the Cronin Building near the Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center for use as a homeless shelter/public facility, $208,272.

• Coon Lake Community and Senior Center, develop and upgrade public facility to conform with building code and meets ADA accessibility requirements, $296,450.

Public services programs awarded funding include:

• Anoka County Community Action Program Chores and More senior program, $10,000.

• Alexandra House emergency shelter full-time advocate position, $30,000.

• Family Promise of Anoka County, case manager and support services for homeless services, $40,000.

• Free2B! Inc., emergency car repair program for clients in danger of losing employment, $24,848.

• Lee Carlson Mental Health Center for Bridgeview transportation program, $20,000.

• Meals on Wheels (three agencies) for meal delivery to homebound, $20,000.

• North Metro Pediatrics to reduce emergency room use among uninsured and under-insured, $20,000.

• Rise Inc., senior adult day care, $10,000.

• Southern Anoka Community Assistance (SACA), food shelf with services, $10,000.

• Stepping Stone Emergency Housing, support services for homeless clients, $20,000.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]

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