The City of Meridian receives annual funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for its Community Development Block Grant.
The grant money is close to $500,000 and is allocated items outlined in the city’s five year plan which are housing, accessibility, and public service. The plan started in 2017 and ends this year.
“There’s a cap on public services it’s 15% of the total grant, and then housing and accessibility. That’s the remainder,” Community Development Coordinator Crystal Campbell said. “And we kind of split it based on the applications we received. We split it kind of in half as much as possible.”
Campbell says various organizations apply and go through a “competitive” application process.
For the public service category this year, Meridian is funding two separate agencies; Jesse Tree, a temporary rental assistance group that helps families that are at risk of losing housing, and the Boys and Girls Club, which gives children access to year-round programs.
For this year’s housing portion of the grant, the money will go toward the Homeowner Repair Program, which helps residents live in comfortable and safe homes.
Most of the accessibility funding will go towards Chateau Park’s all-abilities playground and pathway. The project will replace the existing playground with an all-abilities park and it will also add a pathway to connect the playground to a moderate-income neighborhood.
“$500,000, unfortunately, doesn’t go very far, especially when you’re talking construction,” Campbell said. “So we actually only have four projects (and) we have a couple of backup projects.”
This year’s backup plans are the Homebuyer Assistance program and streetlight modernization.
Meridians CDBG website shows that through 2019 the program has helped many residents, including 143 houses that received homelessness prevention, and 97 children who received scholarship programs.
CDGB submitted its plans to HUD on July 30.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said the public service cap was 50%.