Goal of CDBG/HOME? Help people

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One use for federal grants: Improving sidewalks and other streetscape elements to make downtown more conducive to business investment and job creation.

Comment period ends Tuesday for federal grant programs 

COVINGTON, Ky. - The Covington public has until the end of the day Tuesday, July 14, to weigh in on how the City should spend over $4 million in federal funds aimed at neighborhood and downtown investment.
 
It’s an annual process that - this year - has two twists:
  • Because of the pandemic, the federal government both delayed and greatly compressed the timing of the process.
  • And the drafts available for comment include not only the one-year proposed budget for the CDGB and HOME grant programs (as is done every year), but also the five-year strategic document, an update of long-term goals that happens every five years. 
“The Annual Action Plan and the Five-Year Consolidated Plan are our guide to investing these federal funds to both make people’s lives better and our downtown stronger,” said Jeremy Wallace, the City’s Federal Grants Manager.
 
In the coming weeks, both plans - as well as the guidelines for some of the programs they fund - will be submitted to the Covington Board of Commissioners for approval.
 
The combined Action Plan and Consolidated Plan can be seen HERE.
 
Because of restrictions on in-person gatherings related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City didn’t hold an in-person hearing on the draft plans this year. Instead, Wallace created a 23-minute virtual video in which he explains the plans’ various pieces. It can be seen HERE.
 
To submit comments, email Wallace at jwallace@covingtonky.gov or call him at (859) 292-2147.
 
CDBG program
The Community Development Block Grant program is earmarked for a wide variety of services and programs - primarily in low- and moderate-income areas - such as street and streetscape infrastructure, park improvements, crime prevention, parks and recreation, code enforcement, economic development, and literacy.
 
A little over $3 million is available this year, including about $1.5 million in new funds and $1.5 million in carryover funds, which include money allocated to ongoing projects.
 
The HOME program
To spend money in the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, Covington is part of a consortium that includes the cities of Ludlow, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton.
 
The HOME budget includes almost $1.4 million, which includes about $570,000 in new funds and about $800,000 in money carried over from previous years.
 
In Covington, the HOME program typically funds a variety of housing-related programs, including set up to help people buy homes and to create, repair, and maintain affordable housing.
 
“The Annual Action Plan and Consolidated Plan are centered on a fundamental philosophy: Government should invest in improving the lives of its citizens,” Wallace said. “We look forward to implementing these programs.”
 
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