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By Shawn Raymundo

The City Council on Tuesday night, May 3, identified the projects and programs on which to spend nearly $330,000 in federal housing money that the city is anticipated to receive in the upcoming fiscal year.

Councilmembers unanimously approved the city’s Annual Action Plan during their meeting Tuesday, earmarking $260,802 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds toward the ongoing sidewalk improvement project along Avenida Cabrillo.

According to the city, it is expected to receive a total of $329,535 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Fiscal Year 2022-2023, and it intends to also utilize $133,597 in previous grant funds that were uncommitted.

As required to receive the block grant, the city must adopt an Annual Action Plan outlining how the funds will be used.

For the upcoming action plan, the council voted to set aside the bulk, or roughly 80%, of the projected funds for the sidewalk project, which includes “installing missing and replacing deteriorated sidewalks curb and gutter, retaining wall and ADA ramps,” between El Camino Real and Calle Seville, the city explained in its agenda report.

The action plan also allocates $75,000 for the city’s Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program, which provides homeowners with $25,000 loans to “address housing and building code deficiencies.”

“The loan carries zero percent interest, with repayment deferred until the sale or transfer of the property,” the city said in the report. “Loan repayment proceeds are recycled into additional home rehabilitation loans.”

Another $12,000 is to be allocated to the similar Commercial Façade Rehabilitation Program.

According to the city, up to 15% of its CDBG funds—potentially amounting to $49,430 this coming fiscal year—can be allocated toward public service grants that support local nonprofit organizations.

This past February, the city received grant applications from six organizations that were later reviewed by the city’s Social Service Budget Committee. At the committee’s recommendation, Camino Health Center, Family Assistance Ministries and Laura’s House will receive $10,000 each to assist their various programs.

Age Well Senior Services, which manages the Dorothy Visser Senior Center in San Clemente, along with the Parentis Foundation, are each set to receive $5,000 under the action plan. The remaining $9,430 will offset the city’s Fun on the Run after-school and summer recreation services.

 The remaining $65,900 of anticipated and prior year CDBG monies will be assigned to the city’s administrative activities, such as staff time to manage the grant and pay for fair housing services.

The action plan was approved in a unanimous 4-0 vote, with Councilmember Kathy Ward absent.

SR_1Shawn Raymundo
Shawn Raymundo is the managing editor for Picket Fence Media. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.

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