Killeen’s Community Development Advisory Committee has the daunting task of recommending what local organizations should receive federal funding.
Ralph Cossey, committee chairman, said designating funds and determining how much an organization gets is a “heart-wrenching” job.
“We take very seriously the information that the community has given us with making these recommendations,” Cossey said. “We try to align our recommendations with those requests.”
The city began the process of doling out federal funds from the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Program earlier this week when it presented its proposed action plan for the 2015 fiscal year to the council.
The federal grant program was instituted in 1974 to aid in improving physical, social and economic conditions in communities. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees the funds, which are distributed to cities with a population in excess of 50,000. For the most part, the funds benefit low- and moderate-income residents and meet community development needs.
“The funding is pretty competitive and there is more competition for funding in the public service portion of the grant,” said Leslie Hinkle, community development director for the city. “That portion of the grant is limited to 15 percent.”
Killeen will receive $984,406 in CDBG funds for the 2015 fiscal year and has $48,358 in funds from the prior year for a total of a little more than $1 million to allocate to local organizations.
The city also will receive $327,980 for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and $96,633 in re-programmable funds and program income for a total of $424,613.
The HOME Program falls under Title II of the National Affordable Housing Act. It’s used for homeowner purchase, rehabilitation of housing for rent or ownership, for demolition or improvement to develop nonluxury housing and for tenant-based rental assistance or low-interest loans.
Hinkle said federal laws allow for 20 percent of CDBG and 10 percent of HOME funds to be used for administration and planning of CDBG and HOME activities.
For the majority of the organizations vying for funding, it is essential for the continued operations in their particular program, she said.
The first public hearing on the funding is at 5 p.m. Tuesday during the Killeen City Council regular meeting at City Hall, 101 N. College St.
Following that, staff will solicit resident comments and participation and revise the plan where necessary based on input. The second public hearing is June 24.
Contact Natalie Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7555