Future housing in Bloomington to get boost with 28 emergency vouchers, $2.25M in federal funds, “multi-million dollar” request to city council by mayor

At a Tuesday press conference held on the back porch of the Bloomington Housing Authority’s community center on Summit Street, some new information was announced about support from the federal government for local housing programs.

Bloomington’s mayor, John Hamilton, also announced that in July he’d be making a request of the city council to support housing initiatives, through an extra appropriation for the 2021 budget year.

The mayor’s request will be for a “multi-million dollar” investment of Bloomington’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Bloomington’s total amount of basic ARPA funds is around $22 million.

In other news announced on Tuesday, Bloomington Housing Authority executive director Amber Skoby said BHA is one of 700 housing authorities across the country that is receiving 28 new emergency vouchers. The vouchers are for individuals and families who are experiencing homelessness, at risk of homelessness, fleeing, or attempting to flee domestic violence or who were recently homeless.

The emergency vouchers will be available starting July 1.

The city’s housing and neighborhood development (HAND) director, John Zody, prefaced his remarks by noting that last year Bloomington had received $250,000 in additional CDBG funds, to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zody announced that another $650,000 in pandemic-related CDBG funds will be made available for applications starting next week.

An additional fresh set of housing funds was announced by Zody. Bloomington will get an additional $1.6 million through the American Rescue Plan.

The money can be used specifically for the preservation or production of affordable housing, tenant-based rental assistance, supportive services including homeless prevention services, and housing counseling, Zody said. No final guidance from the feds on the use of the extra $1.6 million has been provided, Zody said.

Also at Tuesday’s press conference, Tina Peterson (Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County) and Efrat Feferman (United Way of Monroe County) gave an update on their work to build a coalition to establish needed collaboration and coordination for the countywide area, to create a sustainable strategy to reduce housing insecurity and prevent homelessness.

Continue reading “Future housing in Bloomington to get boost with 28 emergency vouchers, $2.25M in federal funds, “multi-million dollar” request to city council by mayor”

$1 million in federal community development grants brings Bloomington’s 30-year total to $28.9 million

At its regular Wednesday meeting this week, Bloomington’s city council approved annual allocations for a bit more than $1 million worth of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

The exact amount was $1,017,968

That makes $28,921,325 of total CDBG funding that has been allocated to Bloomington since 1991.

Under federal guidelines, up to 15 percent of the funds can be used to fund social service programs.

This year Bloomington maxed out the 15 percent with the following social services funding allocations: Hoosier Hills Food Bank ($25,000), Broadview Learning Center ($2,700), Community Kitchen ($25,000), Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington ($25,000), New Leaf – New Life ($25,000), Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard ($25,000), Monroe County United Ministries ($25,000).

Physical improvement projects account for 65 percent of the funding allocations, and administration costs take up the remaining 20 percent. Continue reading “$1 million in federal community development grants brings Bloomington’s 30-year total to $28.9 million”

$800K in federal community development fund allocations OK’d by Bloomington city council

At its regular Wednesday meeting this past week, Bloomington’s city council approved allocations for $800,000 worth of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

Doris Sims, who’s director of the city’s  HAND (Housing and Neighborhood Development) department led off the presentation to the city council on the resolution.

The amount awarded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development could turn out to be more than $800,000. If additional funds turn out to be available, the resolution approved by the city council allocates the extra money based on a priority ranking of programs that were not fully funded, or funded at all, in the basic allocation. Continue reading “$800K in federal community development fund allocations OK’d by Bloomington city council”