The federal stimulus package may provide an extra $300,000 to $400,000 for a city grant program that gives funds to organizations that serve low- to moderate-income citizens.
Margene Swarts, assistant director of planning and development services for the city, said staff members are keeping their fingers crossed that funding for the Community Development Block Grant program and the HOME fund program receive additional federal dollars. Without the boost, several local social service agencies seeking funding under the program won’t be fully funded.
“What we have now is not very much money to go around to try to meet the needs that are there,” Swarts said.
Absent the stimulus package, the city is expecting to receive no increase in funding over last year’s federal allocation. That would mean a total of $1.14 million in CDBG funding and $626,000 in HOME funds. The city receives the money each year as part of a federal formula designed to provide funding to cities with significant numbers of low- to moderate-income people.
The federal regulations limit the city to spending no more than 15 percent of the CDBG funds on operational expenses of social service agencies.
Here’s a look at some of the groups that have requested funding:
• $6,115 to the Brook Creek Neighborhood Association for operating expenses.
• $11,516 to the East Lawrence Neighborhood Association for operating and communication expenses.
• $6,100 to the North Lawrence Improvement Association for operating expenses.
• $10,520 to the Oread Neighborhood Association for operating expenses, and $1,260 to install a water meter in a community garden.
• $2,734 to the Pinckney Neighborhood Association for operating expenses.
• $20,000 to the Ballard Community Center for its Emergency Services Council.
• $4,000 to the Douglas County AIDS Project for its Emergency Assistance Program.
• $25,000 to Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. for landlord-tenant counseling programs.
• $36,500 to the Lawrence Community Shelter for homeless shelter operations.
• $42,465 to The Salvation Army for its emergency shelter and feeding program.
• $36,000 to Community Living Opportunities for a roof repair.
• $220,000 to the city’s Public Works Department for sidewalk repair and replacement.
• $33,000 to Independence Inc. for its accessible housing program.
• $8,400 to Van Go Mobile Arts Inc. for exterior lighting of its building.
• $300,000 to the Lawrence-Douglas County Housing Authority for its homeless transitional housing program.
• $135,000 to the Tenants to Homeowners organization for its affordable housing program.
• $590,000 to the Community Development Division of the city for various home rehabilitation and energy efficiency programs.
• $300,000 to the Lawrence Community Land Trust for its first-time homebuyers program.
• $198,000 to cover the city’s cost to administer the CDBG and HOME programs.
City commissioners are expected to receive final recommendations from the Community Development Advisory Committee in early May.