City sets needs hearing for federal funds
The City Commission has scheduled a needs hearing for Nov. 1 for the federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership funds.
The city holds a public hearing to gather community input on needs within the community. The hearing is required for the federal program and staff uses the public comment to develop the annual action plan for use of the funds that is submitted to the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development.
The CDBG and HOME programs are federal programs administered by HUD to help fund local community development programs including affordable housing, public service agency assistance, economic development and public infrastructure projects, according to city staff.
The primary goal of these programs is to assist the low and moderate income in Great Falls.
State and local governments receive funding from HUD based on a formula derived from population and housing statistics, according to city staff.
HUD requires public input, especially input from lower income citizens and the agencies representing them, on issues and needs of the community.
Commissioners will be asked to give consideration to citizen comments received during this public hearing when determining funding priorities for the CDBG and the HOME funds, according to staff.
For the 2023-2024 program year, the city will start a competitive application process for CDBG funded projects once again. For the last several years, the city has operated on a year round application process; which left the city in a position making the timely spending of CDBG funds a challenge.
Staff believes resuming the competitive application process earlier in the fiscal year will improve the timely use of the funds, which has specific federal criteria.
HOME funding will continue to be awarded on a yearround basis, according to staff.
For the current program year, the city received $764,295 in CDBG funds and $319,759 of HOME funds.
The city expects to receive similar amounts for next year’s program cycle.