The federal government might be shut down right now, but that doesn’t mean that we have to stop thinking about how to spend the federal funds that will (eventually, hopefully) come our way.
The Housing and Community Investment Department (HCID) is going to be hosting six community forums throughout the city this month to discuss the Consolidated Plan, and they would really like it if you would stop by to say hello and offer your thoughts on how federal money should be spent in your community.
“Hell, yes!” you’re surely thinking. Because who doesn’t want money spent in their community, right?
Yet, you remain slightly confused, wondering, “Hark, what is this Consolidated Plan you speak of?”
With the ascension of team Garcetti to the reins, city planning has seen some shuffling of the cards, er, departments. The Community Development Department (CDD) was dissolved and reconstituted in the form of the HCID. Its mandate, according to the website, is “the development of citywide housing policy and supporting safe and livable neighborhoods through the promotion, development and preservation of decent and affordable housing.” Within that category also fall a variety of family services and youth programs.
The Consolidated Plan is the city’s strategic plan to utilize “the annual allocations of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) grants to develop viable urban communities” in line with the HCID mandate. They work to do that by using the funds to provide viable housing and living environments and to expand economic opportunities, especially for lower income residents.
The city’s 2013 – 2017 Plan is the first such plan that is specifically transit-oriented. It seemed fitting that, given the unprecedented level of investment in transit of recent years, funds directed toward housing and generating economic opportunities be integrated or leveraged with those directed towards transit to maximize the benefits to communities. And while the city does have the plan guidelines established through 2017, federal funds are disbursed yearly. Therefore, priorities need to be revisited on a yearly basis.
Which makes your input important. Read more…