Washtenaw County commissioners gave initial approval to the 2014 Urban County action plan at their April 16, 2014 meeting. The plan covers the period from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015 and outlines how the Urban County consortium intends to spend federal funding received from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). [.pdf of draft action plan]
The Urban County is a consortium of Washtenaw County and 18 local municipalities that receive federal funding for low-income neighborhoods. Members include the cities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Saline, and 15 townships. “Urban County” is a designation of HUD, identifying a county with more than 200,000 people. With that designation, individual governments within the Urban County can become members, entitling them to an allotment of funding through a variety of HUD programs. Locally, the Urban County is supported by the staff of Washtenaw County’s office of community & economic development (OCED).
Two HUD programs – the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership – are the primary funding sources for Urban County projects. For the upcoming year, the Urban County will be receiving $2.914 million, including $1.832 million from CDBG and $925,308 from HOME. That represents a 5% decrease in CDBG compared to the current year, and a 2% increase in HOME funding.
The 2014 plan identifies six overarching goals: (1) increasing quality, affordable homeownership opportunities; (2) increasing quality, affordable rental housing; (3) improving public facilities and infrastructure; (4) promoting access to public services and resources; (5) supporting homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing services; and (6) enhancing economic development activities.
A public hearing on the 2014 plan was previously held on March 19, 2014. A final vote on the plan is expected on May 7.
This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]