The Coast News Group
Carlsbad City Hall. Photo by Steve Puterski
Carlsbad City Hall. Photo by Steve Puterski

Carlsbad CDBG program outlines 5-year goals

CARLSBAD — During its Jan. 14 meeting, the Carlsbad City Council approved the Community Development Block Grant program for the next fiscal year.

Through the U.S. Department of Urban Housing, the CDBG program delivers grants to cities and counties to develop viable urban communities with decent housing, a suitable living environment and expanding economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income people.

Nancy Melander, CDBG program manager, presented the five-year consolidated plan and a yearly action plan for CDBG funds. The five-year plan highlights needs and conditions and sets priorities and future uses for the money.

“The city engaged a total of 228 residents, a significant increase,” she said of the community outreach campaign. “The top two areas of need are affordable housing and supportive services for the homeless.”

In addition to affordable housing and homelessness, the four other priorities include strengthening support services for lower-income and special needs residents, improving facilities, providing fair housing services and administering the CDBG program, Melander said.

The estimated budget for the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Funding Plan is $565,819, which is based on the city’s prior year entitlement. The budget outlined in the funding plan includes the anticipated entitlement ($565,819) and the maximum percentage of dedicated funding for public services ($84,872), administrative costs ($113,163) and facility improvements and affordable housing ($367,784), according to the staff report.

The cost of public services and administrative costs are regulated by HUD and cannot be adjusted, Melander said. Applications are available and the deadline to file is Feb. 14, she said, and finalists will be presented to the City Council in March.

Councilwoman Cori Schumacher said residents concerned about addressing homelessness can engage with the CDBG Advisory Committee, along with discuss how to spend money from the federal government.

In addition, the City Council also approved an agreement to purchase 2678 Alameda Circle, in the Mulberry neighborhood of Bressi Ranch. The unit is an affordable home thus the city has first right to purchase it.

The agreement allows the city the option to purchase the property at a restricted price for a 30-year term. On May 14, 2019, the council adopted the CDBG Program Action Plan allowing for the city to exercise its option to purchase affordable housing resales at a restricted price and authorizing the use of CDBG funds for the purchase.

The price was calculated to be $222,300 and the city and owner subsequently entered into a purchase agreement, and escrow has been opened with the intent of completing the property acquisition by Jan. 17, but no later than Feb. 10, 2020.

The City Council also authorized the city manager to execute all required documents to complete the purchase of the subject property, which includes acceptance of the grant deed, and to expend up to $235,000 in CDBG funds to cover the purchase price, according to the staff report.