Santa Clarita to receive $1.45M in federal CDBG funds

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal

Santa Clarita is closer to receiving $1.45 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds, some of which have been proposed to fund local projects, such as a new inclusionary park and to increase permanent homeless shelter beds, city officials said Tuesday. 

The city’s entitlement allocation for 2020-21 is $1,454,712, which is approximately $200,000 more than 2019-20 total, and in addition to these funds, Santa Clarita has just over $1.19 million in prior years’ unspent dollars, according to Erin Lay, a city housing program administrator. 

In order to receive the allocation, Santa Clarita must prepare an annual action plan that outlines specific ways CDBG funds will be spent and how each proposal meets the priorities in the city’s five-year consolidated plan. Those priorities include the improvement and expansion of affordable housing and infrastructure and the provision of supportive human services. 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development gives CDBG funding to local governments “to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons,” according to its website. 

On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved the draft of the 2020-21 annual action plan, which includes a list of the proposed funded projects and programs for the new year. 

These proposals stem from a city-conducted community needs assessment process to help determine the community’s current needs within the consolidated plan’s priorities. A total of 77 community-serving nonprofits were notified of the opportunity to apply for CDBG funding for the 2020-21 program year, and of that number, nine requested funding for 13 programs. The city is recommending 11 programs for funding in the new year. 

A total of $945,564 is proposed for funding an inclusionary park on the west side of the city and the shelter project, as well as a handyworker program for the local senior center. Under public services, more than $218,000 is recommended for several programs for local organizations such as Family Promise, Carousel Ranch, the Child and Family Center, Bridge to Home and the Bella Vida senior center. 

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