By Lori Den Hartog, CDBG administrator -City of Meridian
Health screenings for seniors, a community pathway, an afterschool transportation program, food for those in need, and down payment assistance for new homebuyers: at first glance the list above does not seem have anything in common. However, these are all activities being undertaken by community organizations throughout Meridian that are recipients of grant funds through the City’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. Each year Meridian receives an allocation of these funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) according to a formula that takes into consideration the percentage of Meridian residents who are at a low to moderate income level.
The purpose of the CDBG program is to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, especially for low- and moderate income individuals and families. The City works to accomplish the goals of the CDBG Program by first identifying the needs of the community and then seeking out community partners who have the capacity to carry out specific activities or projects. Each year a variety of community partners submit their ideas for ways to achieve the goals of the program, and through an open and public process the City Council determines how much grant funding to allocate to which community organizations. These partnerships have included the Meridian Boys & Girls Club, the Meridian Food Bank, the Meridian Senior Center, Ada County Housing Authority, Neighborhood Housing Services, and the Meridian Development Corporation.
This week the City is kicking off planning for the upcoming CDBG Program Year with a workshop for all current and potential community partners on Friday, April 29 at 10 a.m. in City Hall. The workshop will provide potential grant recipients with specific program criteria, requirements and timelines for applying. If you are involved with or know of an organization that may have an interest in partnering with the City please attend the workshop this Friday or call Lori Den Hartog, CDBG Administrator at 884-5533 with any questions.