Today, the Salt Lake City Council is scheduled to discuss Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s recommendations for projects to be undertaken in FY 2017-18 utilizing federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development (HUD). These include projects funded by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).
On March 7, 2017, Mayor Biskupski presented the Council with her recommendations from nearly $7.7 million worth of requests this year. Salt Lake City anticipates approximately $5.9 million in funding from HUD this year. Applications are received from non-profit and city agencies, they are reviewed by resident based boards who make recommendations to the Mayor on which projects to fund.
This year, the Housing and Neighborhood Development (HAND) division, which oversee the programs, overhauled the process to increase impact, decrease administrative burden, and provide more technical support. These changes include establishing a $30,000 minimum funding level, as recommended by HUD. This minimum funding level is intended to help agencies balance administrative costs of these grants with the impact they are intended to provide.
Mayor Biskupski’s recommendations include:
– $565,000 for City run rehabilitation and homeownership programs
– $231,890 for Jordan River Parkway improvements
– $120,169 for sidewalk and concrete repair projects
– $300,000+ for support of homeless services including funding for the Road Home, Inn Between, YWCA, Wasatch Homeless Healthcare, Catholic Community Services, Volunteers of America, and others
– $120,000+ for support of city-wide early education and youth programs, including the Boys and Girls Club, Head Start Programs, Guadalupe School, and the Columbus Foundation
In his recent budget proposal, President Donald Trump proposed cutting nearly $6 billion in funding from HUD, including the elimination of the HOME and CDBG programs. These cuts would impact future funding beginning in 2018-19.
“Not quite two months into his term of office, President Trump is proposing a budget which would strip millions of dollars Salt Lake City uses to improve infrastructure and provide services to residents most in need, including ADA upgrades and home repair for seniors,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “This is not the final word, now it’s critical for our Congressional delegation to recognize the devastating impact the President’s proposal would have on cities and towns across the state.”
President Trump’s proposed budget indicates local governments would be expected to make-up any shortfalls resulting from these cuts.
“If the proposed cuts went through, it would be difficult for Salt Lake City to fully fund many of the projects impacted, including keeping the employees who help run these programs,” said Mike Akerlow, Deputy Director of the Department of Community and Neighborhoods. “It will certainly put a strain on the services we provide to residents on a daily basis.”
Jade Sarver, member of the Community Development-Capital Improvement Projects Board, the resident advisory board that makes recommendations to the Mayor added, “ending programs like CDBG and HOME doesn’t just cut money from the City budget, it ends a way for neighborhoods to be directly involved in prioritizing critical safety and improvement projects.”