Meridian will hold public hearing for input on how to spend federally funded grant

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The City of Meridian is looking for public feedback on its five-year consolidated Community Development Block Grant plan.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sends funding annually to the City of Meridian for the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG. Every five years, HUD requires the city to turn in a new consolidated plan in order to “ensure current needs to the community are being met.” The new plan covers the years 2022 to 2026. 

The CDBG program funds a mix of development needs, focusing on those with low-to-moderate income. In order to look further at community needs, the city put together a needs assessment. 

For its assessment, the city used data from the 2016 to 2020 American Community Survey, a demographic survey done by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data shows an estimated 6.5% of people were in poverty and 5.1% of households received SNAP or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. During the same time period, there were 38,049 households in Meridian. 

2022 plan

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.

The CDGB contains a list of categories that cover public service, housing, and public facility and infrastructure improvements. Within those categories are potential projects earmarked for funding.

This year the grant is funding NeighborWorks Boise, a nonprofit that specializes in down payment assistance and homeowner programs to make buying a home more attainable. $157,423 of the grant would go toward homeowner repair, which would cover weatherization, emergency repairs, and accessibility. Another $40,000 would go to homebuyers assistance that can be used for expenses such as down payments and closing costs.

For public services, the grant will supply Jesse Tree with $42,761. Jesse Tree is a temporary rental assistance group that helps families at risk of losing housing. Another $14,859 would be awarded to the Meridian Senior Center for transportation costs associated with seniors’ medical needs, activities, meals, and more. And $20,000 would be allocated to the Boys and Girls Club for access to summer programs and extended care. 

Funding for public facility improvements includes $100,000 for adding streetlights to Franklin and 5th streets and another $97,423 for modernizing and installing streetlights at the Landing Subdivision.

Last year, Meridian put funding toward Jesse Tree, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Homeowner Repair Program.

The public hearing and presentation of the plan is scheduled for July 26.

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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