By Myrna Trauntvein
Nephi City has received help on some projects that the council had wanted to undertake with the help of CDBG.
Randy McKnight, city administrator, asked Glenna Matekel, Program Specialist Division of Housing and Community Development (CDBG), two questions the council has had about CDBG projects.
"Could a project qualify that would pay for Internet access services for low and moderate income families who have no other connection to the Internet?" McKnight asked.
"Typically persons can go to libraries (for example) for internet
access. This wouldn't be considered a basic need such as water,
sewer, heat," said Matekel.
McKnight said that the city council wondered if there was assistance for mobile homes inside mobile home parks.
He asked if CDBG funds could be used in any way to improve housing conditions for some mobile home owners if they were inside mobile home parks.
"Some of the homes are owner-occupied, and some are rental units," said McKnight.
Owners in mobile home parks who live in their units rent spaces from the park owner.
"Neither of these suggestions would be eligible with CDBG funds," said. Matekel.
She said that mobile home parks were a dilemma.
"We wouldn't make improvements that would unduly enrich a private owner," she said. "Of course, you know some of the basic rules for housing rehab such as they have to be owner-occupied and the trailer has to be sitting on property owned by the person who owns the trailer, the trailer can't be older than 1978 and it goes on..."
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), one of the longest-running programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funds local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development. CDBG, like other block grant programs, differ from categorical grants, made for specific purposes, in that they are subject to less federal oversight and are largely used at the discretion of the state and local governments and their subgrantees.
Nationally, CDBG funds were spent for the following purposes in 2011: Public infrastructure (32.7 percent), Housing (24.8percent), Administrative and planning (15.1 percent), Public services (11.4 percent), Economic development (7.3 percent), Property acquisition (4.9 percent), Other (3.8 percent).