Scottsdale City Council weighs federal grant dollar allocations

Scottsdale City Hall is at 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. (File Photo)

The city of Scottsdale is likely to allocate $1,190,867 in Community Development Block Grant dollars meant to bolster public service efforts in the community in fiscal year 2017-18.

In addition, the city anticipates to provide $254,217 in HOME Investment Partnership Program funds next fiscal year with dollars going toward building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership assistance to low-income people.

The city of Scottsdale’s fiscal year 2017-18 begins July 1, 2017.

“The city of Scottsdale has participated in the CDBG program for the past 42 years,” said Scottsdale Community Assistance Manager Michelle Albanese during a May 9 public hearing at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

“The city has also participated in the HOME program for the past 20 years.”

The Community Development Block Grant program — a federal grant system through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — provides grant dollars funding assistance efforts ranging from emergency home repairs to providing dollars for local nonprofit outreach efforts.

Up to 15 percent of CDBG dollars can be used to fund social services such as nonprofit homeless shelters, rehabilitation efforts and outreach efforts while up to 20 percent can be used for administration or planning services.

The grant program is based on population. Communities below the 50,000 population threshold are not included in the funding formula, according to federal law.

“Since 2010 the CDBG and HOME programs have suffered excessive budget reductions,” Ms. Albanese pointed out to council. “From 2011 to 2014 CDBG has decreased a total of $158,000, which is over 15 percent.

However, in the last two years funding has decreased $46,505. The anticipated allocation for this fiscal year is level funding in the amount of $941,577.”

The recommendation for federal grant dollars in this case comes from the Scottsdale Human Relations Commission where five public hearings were held on applications for CDBG dollars to pass through the city of Scottsdale to local nonprofits.

“Due to the increasing of proposal requests year after year, the Human Services Commission provided direction to staff to seek alternative funding sources for food programs and regional homeless shelters,” Ms. Albanese said of the growing need the city of Scottsdale is beginning to realize. “Staff secured resources from the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community to provide additional funding for these programs. Leveraging the SRPMIC grant funds provided funding for six programs in fiscal year ‘17-’18.”

Ms. Albanese points out the SRPMIC funding, which is anticipated at $248,000, will be presented to Scottsdale City Council at its June 27 meeting.

“The commission reviewed a total of 19 proposals from agencies requesting over $1.3 million in CDBG and HOME funds,” Ms. Albanese points out.

“The commission recommends funding six public service activities, three housing rehabilitation activities and three facility improvement projects with CDBG funds. One proposal for HOME funds was re-viewed and the commission recommends funding that one HOME activity.”

The CDBG and HOME programs will provide funding for 15 agencies to deliver programs and services to over 1,800 individuals in the community, according to Ms. Albanese.

Scottsdale City Council May 9 approved Resolution 10750 unanimously, which provides for myriad statutory requirements for the city to participate in the federal grant programs for both CDBG and HOME funds.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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