The discussion about how best to appropriate the thousands of dollars in Community Development Block Grant Funding used to be as long as it was contentious.
After a brief question and answer session with staff Monday night, the Lathrop City Council approved staff’s recommendations for how to best distribute the annual federal funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development that serves two purposes – to fund community programs like down payment assistance and home rehabilitation as well as assist local non-profits and community groups that can benefit from the extra cash.
Except for Councilman Steve Dresser’s concerns over whether the $1,000 that was suggested for San Joaquin Fair Housing – a mandatory amount if the city wants to use the non-profit agency to execute the housing programs that benefit Lathrop residents – the council had little qualms with the suggested amounts that will be given to the exact same organizations that benefitted last year.
The two organizations that requested funding – the Manteca/Lathrop Boys and Girls Club and the city’s own recreation department scholarship fund – were not granted the $5,000 each that they were asking for. With just over $6,000 to be shared amongst all of the non-profits – a set percentage of the overall allotment that the city receives – the full funding of either would have meant that the suggested organizations, each of which was selected by previous councils, would have had to have gone without.
Receiving funding this year are the Second Harvest Food Bank, who will get the largest check for $2,500, and Give Every Child a Chance, which will receive $1,224. San Joaquin Fair Housing, the Emergency Stockton Food Bank, and the San Joaquin County Human Service Agency’s “Meals on Wheels” program will all receive $1,000 each.
Dresser had specially asked what San Joaquin Fair Housing did for the City of Lathrop, and was informed by the administrator of the CDBG program as well as City Manager Steve Salvatore that the donation was part of a required contribution in order to use their services to help administer the HOME Investment Partnership Act funds that Lathrop receives every year – totaling almost $20,000 this last go-around.
The non-profit provides its services to the communities it serves in San Joaquin County free of charge, and is funded through CDBG funds from every city in the county. They also work to prevent discrimination in housing across the board and strives to “ensure that all members of the community have equal access to safe affordable housing.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.