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City receives another $825K in CDBG funding

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  For the second time this year, the city has received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) totaling $825,000. The first CDBG grant for the same amount was awarded in February. Therefore, Everett has received a total of $1.6 million in CDBG funding this year.

  Planning Director Matthew Lattanzi said $40,000 will go to Housing Families Inc., $60,000 will go to Bread of Life, $35,000 will go to For Kids Only and $30,000 will go to Mystic Valley Elder Services. The remaining $438,000 will be used to support the Housing Rehabilitation Program.

  “Assuming an average allocation of $36,500 per unit, this equates to twelve units eligible for rehabilitation,” said Lattanzi. “Residents can apply for zero percent interest loans for home repair projects and, if the property owner continues to own and live on the premises for a certain number of years, the loan is 100 percent forgivable.”

  Like the February grant, the city received the maximum amount available from the state Department of Housing and Community Development.

  “These funds go a long way in supporting organizations, which utilize the funds to directly benefit Everett residents,” said Lattanzi.

  He said CDBG funds are used for projects and programs that are not included in the city’s annual budget. One example of this use is the Homeowner Rehabilitation loan program. “This provides a direct benefit to homeowners who occupy the houses that they own,” said Lattanzi. “The loans are dedicated solely to income-qualified individuals. They are completely forgivable if the individual remains in the house for a certain amount of years, thus encouraging our longtime residents to apply for the grant, rather than investors capitalizing on the grant.”

  He said that in prior years CDBG funds have been used for affordable housing projects, Housing Production studies and small business assistance.

  CDBG money can also be used to defray the cost of projects even if they are funded by the city. Although this is not the case for this year’s budget, Lattanzi said the funds have been used to reduce of the cost of budgeted items, including park designs, beautification projects and an awning program for Broadway businesses. “By funding these, it helps to mitigate the total city budget, which means the financial burden is lessened on the taxpayer,” he said.

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