• August 22, 2014

Killeen grants federal funds to local organizations

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Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:30 am

For organizations like Families in Crisis, federal funding is critical.

Killeen’s Community Development Advisory Committee has the annual task of determining how much in federal funds is allocated to various organizations, and recommending their determination to the council.

In Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Killeen City Council approved the allocation of more than $1 million in Community Development Block Grant Funds and $424,613 in HOME Investment Partnership Program funds.

“For more than 10 years the council has provided CDBG funds to help (Families in Crisis) provide transportation to our domestic violence survivors,” Larry Menke, with the organization, said. “Basically, that gives them the critical transportation they need to get to services like getting benefits — medical services, job services.”

Families in Crisis aids victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.

The grant program began in 1974 to aid in improving physical, social and economic conditions in communities with a population greater than 50,000. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees the funds, which for the most part benefit low- and moderate-income residents and meet community development needs.

Families in Crisis received $6,000 in CDBG funding.

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 of improvement to develop non-luxury housing and for tenant-based rental assistance or low-interest loans.

Without the city’s funds, organizations like Families in Crisis wouldn’t be able to provide critical services or apply for additional funds from other organizations, Menke said.

“It’s very critical for all the people in this community that we have the tenant assistance program, and are able to help them with rental,” he said. “As an off-shoot of that, if we had not been providing those services, we would not have been able to secure other funds from different agencies.”

The organization received $342,618 in HOME funds.

Leslie Hinkle, the city’s community development director, said for a majority of the organizations vying for part of the federal grants, the funding is essential for the continued operation in their particular programs.

Committee Chairman Ralph Cossey said deciding who gets funds and how much is “heart-wrenching.” He said as the committee begins the process of doling out funds, members take information from the community and try to align recommendations with the requests.

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