2012-02-04 "Feds cut Vallejo Housing & Redevelopment funds" by Jessica A. York from "Vallejo Times-Herald"
Vallejo's Housing and Redevelopment Commission has voted to scrutinize how the city distributes its low- to moderate-income funds in the face of drastic federal cutbacks.
Federal funding for social service programs supporting seniors, homeless persons, low-income families and recovering addicts, will be unexpectedly reduced by 14 percent nationally for the coming fiscal year. That's on top of a 16 percent cut made to this year's budget, Vallejo Senior Community Analyst Guy Ricca told the commission on Thursday. The coming year's estimated Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding was set at about $1.1 million, before confirmation of the cutback was announced.
"With CDBG it's a cut, it's a reduction, (but) it's not totally fatal -- about 30 percent over two years," Ricca said.
The problem arises because Vallejo budgets CDBG money for two-year funding cycles, noting in its agreements with various organizations receiving funding that the second year is merely an estimate.
The more dramatic cutback, Ricca said, will be to the city's Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), with an additional 40 percent loss on top of this year's 11 percent drop. Funding for next year was expected to reach nearly $703,000. Ricca said an ad-hoc committee would likely have to sit down with staff to "spend significant time ... reorganizing."
Typically, HOME funds have been used for Habitat for Humanity rehabilitation projects, general community housing support programming, affordable housing and other uses.
All of the subcommittee's recommendations will ultimately require both full Housing and Redevelopment Commission and Vallejo City Council approval.