City approves community grants

·2 min read

Jul. 5—VALDOSTA — Valdosta is scheduled to receive $647,095 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as its entitlement funding allocation under the Community Development Block Grant Program, city officials confirmed.

Each year, the city is required to develop an annual action plan that outlines proposed activities and the funding amounts associated with each proposed activity.

This year's amount is $46,582 less than the Fiscal Year 2021 allocation of $693,677.

Valdosta has participated in the CDBG program since 2004, with the community benefiting from numerous improvements in the areas of housing, public facilities, improvement activities and infrastructure, city officials said.

Valdosta participates as an Entitlement Community, which means that the city automatically receives an allotment of funds each year based on federal formula data.

Listed are the proposed activities for the 2022 program year:

Economic development: $25,000.

Continuing Small Business Education and Technical Assistance

Funding will be used to inform, educate and promote economic development in conjunction with the Valdosta Small Emerging Business Program through continuing education opportunities and small business technical assistance.

Housing: $431,176.

Single Unit Residential Rehabilitation

Funds will be used to offer owner-occupied housing rehabilitation through direct loans and grants to low- and moderate-income homeowners for the rehabilitation of single-family residential structures. An emergency home repair program, minor repair program, major repair program, demolition and lead paint abatement will be conducted by city staff.

Program administration: $129,419.

Funds will be used to pay portions or entire salaries, benefits and administrative costs of community development and finance department staff in oversight, management, monitoring and coordination of CDBG programs.

Public service: $61,500.

Great Promise Partnership Program Funding

Funding will be used to hire high school students who are eligible participants in the Great Promise Partnership Program. The positions will provide part-time employment hours during the school year and full-time employment hours during summer.

Back to School Book Bag Giveaway

The city will hold its annual book bag community event that will supply low- to moderate-income families with supplies needed for educational purposes.

Neighborhood Action Associations

Funding will be used to assist residents of the neighborhoods in the designated revitalization area of the City of Valdosta with organizing formal neighborhood associations. The funding will be limited to $500 per recognized group for centralized community information systems only (neighborhood boards or hubs).

Total expenditures: $647,095.

The proposed activities were presented to residents at a public hearing held June 9 and is also in a period of public comment for the proposed spending until July 9.

The final FY22 annual action plan must be completed and submitted by July 13 to the HUD.