The hearing will specifically focus the city’s action plan for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME program funding. City development director Vince DeJoy recently told WRFA that the city is required to host the hearing prior to signing off on the action plan and sending it to Washington for review.
“This is where we lay out the plan to the public and the city council as to what our proposed program activities are,” DeJoy explained. “So the public is welcome to make comments before hand and there’s also a 30 day comment period after this hearing and before we submit the plan, when amendments can be made.”
DeJoy also said that his office has been working on the action plan for the past several weeks, adding that this year’s plan will see an increased focus on Owner-Occupied rehabilitation programs, rather than rental property rehabilitation.
We’ve had a lot of rental rehabilitation programs in the past and this year we are going to focus more on owner-occupied rehab, because we feel there’s a lot of people that are hurting and they can’t afford to maintain their homes and keep them up to code,” DeJoy said. “So if we can find ways to get into neighborhoods and dramatically change neighborhoods, that’s what we intend to do.”
Tonight’s public hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. in city hall. Next month, DeJoy and the mayor will review all comments that have come forward and consider any final amendments, prior to sending it to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.