Public comment period opens in East Providence for annual CDBG budget

City has received over three-quarters of a million dollars in program funds

By Mike Rego
Posted 4/9/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — Planning Department program director David Bachrach presented the preliminary annual Community Development Block Grant budget for 2020 to the City Council at its meeting …

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Public comment period opens in East Providence for annual CDBG budget

City has received over three-quarters of a million dollars in program funds

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — Planning Department program director David Bachrach presented the preliminary annual Community Development Block Grant budget for 2020 to the City Council at its meeting Tuesday night, April 7. Mr. Bachrach provided an overview to the members. No votes related to it were taken.

Total requests from non-profit organizations and some private entities totaled $1,018,137. The actual allocation for the CDBG program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the state to the city was $762,169, which was distributed in full in the department’s proposal.

Mr. Bachrach explained, the Planning Department came to its conclusions based on analysis of available data and after receiving Request for Proposals (RFPs) from entities. He added, “We marry them to meet the basic HUD parameters.”

According to those guidelines, “The CDBG program is intended to develop viable communities by providing decent housing, expanding economic opportunities and creating suitable living environments — primarily for low/moderate income persons (those earning at or below 80 percent of Area Median Income.”

The allocations are broken down into categories as follows (entity, program, requested amount, proposed amount):

Public Services
Day One: Sexual Abuse Victims’ Service, $11,000; $5,000
PACE R.I.: Elders Services: $12,000; $8,415
R.I. Center for Justice: Rental Housing Stabilization Project , $10,000; $5,000
JDP Theatre Co.: Production of the musical “Beauty and the Beast,” $13,105; $5,000
Boys and Girls Club: Job Ready Workforce Development Initiative, $19,000; $10,000
East Bay Community Action Program: Integrated Health Services, Nurse Case Manager, $10,000; $10,000
East Bay Community Action Program: Foster Grandparent Program, $10,000; $5,000
Good Neighbors: Day Shelter, $25,000; $8,000
R.I. Philharmonic: Music Education and appreciation, $3,500; $3,000
Rumford Towers: Community Van, $11,250; $8,000
Barrington Tap-In: Food Pantry, $5,000; $4,000
Lighthouse Shops: Food Access & Rescue, $10,000; $8,000
Family Services of R.I.: Victims Assistance, $7,657; $5,000
Housing
Community Development Division: Home Improvement Program, $250,000; $150,000
Affordable Housing: Development of new units and conversion of existing units through acquisition, $75,000; $50,000
Public Facilities
Family Services of R.I.: Transitional Housing Upgrades to Treatment Center for Girls - Wilson Shelter, $12,000; $5,000
East Bay Coalition Homeless: Critical Foundation work for permanent 3 family Housing for Homeless, $38,437; $10,000
Economic Development
Community Development Division/HUD: Section 108, $272,664 - 8/1/19 & $10,090 - 2/1/20, $282,754; $282,754
Community Development: Micro Enterprise & Small Business Loans, $50,000; $30,000
Administration
Community Development Division: Compliance and Administration of All Funded Programming, $152,434; $150,000

In a follow-up communication, Mr. Bachrach noted the proposed 2020 CDBG budget includes the potential of the city receiving up to $30,000 in additional funding that “is income generated by loans previously provided to property owners for repairs and to businesses to retain or create jobs.” He added those funds will be dedicated to supplementing the proposed line items for Public Service providers. He said the Planning Department will not know the exact amount available until late June.

At last week’s meeting, Mr. Bachrach emphasized, “This budget as it is presented today is a proposed budget and what I am looking for is public comment.”

The public comment period has started and ends on Friday, May 8. Comments regarding the proposed funding should be directed to Mr. Bachrach via email dbachrach@cityofeastprov.com, calling 401-435-7536 or through the postal service mailed to Community Development, 145 Taunton Ave., East Providence, 02914.

In addition, Mr. Bachrach noted public comments are also being accepted as the city attempts to prioritize needs to be included in a five-year plan (2020-2025) for CDBG Entitlement Grants worth approximately $3,600,000. Those comments can be directed in the same manner as are being accepted for the current year proposed budget.

Following the public comment period, Mr. Bachrach and those seeking allocations will return before the City Council for the body’s final approval of the 2020 CDBG budget, which usually occurs sometime during the summer months.

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