City Seeks Input on How to Use Federal Grant

The city requests public response to identify the most pressing housing and service provider needs of South City residents.

South City Housing and Community Development is seeking input from residents about how to spend money to improve housing and community services over the next 5 years.

The city has released a survey that asks locals to rank items such as legal services, homeless shelters, mortgage counseling in order of priority.

City staff will use responses to the survey to create a 5-year plan in order to receive federal funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Past grant cycles have funded local non-profits that provide services including adult literacy and youth programs, as well as housing-related needs such as home repair.

The HUD grants, the Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) and the HOME Partner Investment, have grown smaller in recent years due to federal budget cuts.

Alin Lancaster of South City's Housing and Community Development Division said that in addition to dealing with federal budget cuts, the division can no longer supplement its CDBG activities with Redevelopment Agency funds, since all agencies in the state were dissolved earlier this year. 

"The recent dissolution of Redevelopment Agencies by the California Legislature on February 1, 2012, is the beginning of a new era of austerity, poverty, and increased homelessness," reads the current South City CDBG Action Plan. "Redevelopment Agencies statewide had bolstered the federal CDBG program, leveraging nearly $20 of Redevelopment funding to every $1 of CDBG funding."

For the current fiscal year that ends in June 2013, South City was granted $861,757. The size of the 5-year HUD grants that can begin to be implemented next July have not been announced.

A public meeting will be held on Thursday Nov. 29 for residents to share their housing and development ideas and priorities specifically for South City, Daly City and for San Mateo County has a whole. The meeting will be at the County Department of Housing at 264 Harbor Blvd. in Belmont from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

A second meeting will be held to exclusively address South City needs, the date and location of which have not yet been announced.

The survey will be available online here through Jan. 31, 2013.

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