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Meridian to put together new five-year plan for Community Development Block Grant

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The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) was back in front of Meridian City Council last night. 

The City of Meridian receives annual funding for its CDBG from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money is used to address a wide range of community development needs.

To decide how the money is spent, city leaders must craft a five-year consolidated plan that identifies and addresses community needs. Next, they will create an action plan, which is submitted annually and presents projects the grant will fund. It also acts as an application for next year’s funding. The next step is project implementation, which is then followed by an end-of-year report. 

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Community leaders working on the project laid out concerns they would like to see addressed with the CDBG.

Dawn Tolan Of the West Ada School District spoke to the council about fair housing issues and used examples of homelessness that she sees working in the school district. 

“The issues we have regarding homelessness for our students is, one is a big thing, especially in the last year or two is affordable housing,” Tolan said. “So, with the economy the way it is really hard for them to find reasonable rent or housing. “

HUD funding is limited in what it can cover. For example, it cannot be used to build affordable housing. But it can help improve areas where people in need are living. Elizabeth McNannay of Resource Consultants, who is working with the city on the CDBG plan, said examples of eligible projects are added street lights, housing rehabilitation, installing sidewalks, or generally improving certain areas.

“There are some scattered sites throughout the city and in some of those eligible areas that might be ripe for a community garden,” McNannay said. “And supporting access to public services that improve health outcomes because we know that people who have access to parks and to physical activity and services have better outcomes and cost less overall when they have access to those items.”

The CDBG has two competitive applications. A housing, public facility, and infrastructure application and an application for public services such as the Boys and Girls Club. 

Last year, Meridian put funding toward Jesse Tree, a temporary rental assistance group that helps families that are at risk of losing housing. They also used the funding for the Boys and Girls Club and the Homeowner Repair Program, which helps residents live in comfortable and safe homes.

Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson - BoiseDev Reporter
Autum Robertson is a BoiseDev reporter focused on Meridian and McCall. Contact her at [email protected].

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