Block grant approved for El Cajon

March 30, 2014 by  

El Cajon will be receiving community development funding in the form of block grants, although exactly how much the city will receive remains to be seen.

After a series of public hearings, the city council has developed a plan for distributing the money it receives this year. Working under the assumption that El Cajon will receive a sum similar to what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided last year ($850,000), the council made its allocations.

The largest block of funds was for making improvements to Renette Park ($500,000). After that, money was set aside to make improvements at Redwood Avenue and First Street ($125,000). From there the allocations became much smaller, with $60,000 going for solar roof panels for the East County Transitional Living Center. The Public Works Department’s request for pedestrian curb ramps that would be ADA-compliant was approved, but reduced significantly from the original request of $76,000 to $16,000.

To receive a HUD block grant, a city must have a population greater than 50,000 and the money must be used to benefit low or moderate-income residents. Due to a loan payment that must be made for the city’s housing division, the amount that can be dispersed from the block grant will likely be a little more than $770,000.

The amounts of funds spent for city improvements and social services are often given to brochure printers to include in materials made available to those thinking of relocating by the local Chamber of Commerce.