The City of Meridian is seeking public input on its five-year Consolidated Community Development Block Grant Plan.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development sends funds to the City of Meridian each year for the Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG. Every five years, HUD requires the city to submit a new consolidated plan to “ensure that the current needs of the community are met.” The new plan covers the years 2022 to 2026.
The CDBG program funds a combination of development needs, focusing on low-to-moderate income people. To dig deeper into the needs of the community, the city conducted a needs assessment.
For its assessment, the city used data from the American Community Survey from 2016 to 2020, a demographic survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data shows that about 6.5% of people were in poverty and 5.1% of households received SNAP or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. During the same period, there were 38,049 households in Meridian.
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 live.
The CDGB contains a list of categories that cover utilities, housing, and improvements to public facilities and infrastructure. Within these categories are potential projects for funding.
This year, the grant is funding NeighborWorks Boise, a nonprofit organization that specializes in down payment assistance and homeowner programs to make buying a home more accessible. $157,423 of the grant would go towards homeowner repairs, which would cover weatherization, emergency repairs and accessibility. An additional $40,000 will go to homebuyer assistance which can be used for expenses such as down payments and closing costs.
For utilities, the grant will provide Jesse Tree with $42,761. Jesse Tree is a temporary rental assistance group that helps families at risk of losing their homes. An additional $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 the addition of streetlights at Franklin and 5th Streets and an additional $97,423 for upgrades and installation of streetlights in the Landing Subdivision.
Last year, Meridian provided funds to Jesse Tree, the Boys and Girls Club, and the Homeowners Repair Program.
The public hearing and presentation of the plan are scheduled for July 26.