NEW BRITAIN - Representatives from community organizations in the city voiced their opinions on how the city should spend federal funds in the Common Council’s public hearing session Wednesday night.
The purpose of the hearing was to give organizations and residents a chance to comment on the city’s proposed 2017 Consolidated Plan – which allocates federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through Community Development Block Grants and HOME programs for the next fiscal year.
HUD has not released the fiscal year 2017 CDBG or HOME allocation yet, so the New Britain Commission on Community and Neighborhood Development utilized the current fiscal year’s allocation of $1,420,690 for CDBG and $445,053 for HOME programs to create the proposed plan.
23 organizations will receive CDBG funds in the proposed plan for the distribution of HUD funds, but more than 30 organizations made requests for grant money,
Mallory Deprey, a program coordinator from the YWCA, was asking for funding to help the organization’s House of Teens program, which provides health services and develops leadership skills in young girls.
“With the support from CDBG funds, our program will be able to enhance the support services that are provided to the students we serve,” Deprey said.
The YWCA is not currently on the proposed HUD funds plan to receive CDBG money.
Paulette Fox, the Executive Director of OIC New Britain, was there asking for support of the organization - which promotes healthy living and exercise for youths in the city.
“I want to continue having youth turned on to physical fitness,” Fox said to the council. “Health is critical.”
OIC New Britain is currently allocated $10,000 under the proposed HUD funds plan.
Nancy Morrissey, the executive director of Senior Transportation Services Inc., was asking for the council for $10,000 to help fund a ride service program for seniors in the city.
Morrissey said the organization has provided 1,168 rides to seniors in New Britain in the current fiscal year, a 16 percent increase in rides provided from last year.
Jason Gibson, the senior program director at the Boys & Girls Club, asked the council for the support of multiple programs the organization provides to youths in the city.
The organization is set to receive funding for two of the three programs in the proposed HUD funds plan.
A new set of guidelines and policies were recently put in place for CDBG and HOME program funding.
Under the new guidelines, no CDBG public service grant will be considered for a project costing less than $10,000. The cap of 15 percent of CDBG funds allocated to public service activities will be strictly enforced. No project having received three straight years of funding will be allowed to reapply for funding without taking at least a one-year hiatus.
Also, construction project funding will be limited to projects that are “shovel ready” and require CDBG or HOME funds to fill a gap. No multiyear project funding will be considered for funding.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.