City of Lake Charles to hold public hearing on HUD funds Thursday

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 7:31 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - How would you spend a million dollars? The City of Lake Charles gets about that much each year from U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the third of three public hearings is coming up for anyone who wants to have comment about how the funds should be spent.

Over the past year, most of the money was used for housing rehabilitation - about $750K. Much smaller grants have been given to some nonprofit groups.

“There’s really two pots of money. The first is CDBG [Community Development Block Grant]. There’s a little more flexibility with what you can do with that. And then there’s the HOME fund, which is really designated for housing initiatives. In the past we’ve used the HOME funds to help people repair homes if their home was in a deplorable, unsafe condition. And we’ve done many of those homes within recent history,” said Mayor Nic Hunter.

He says about $400K must be used for housing.

“Yet to be determined what we’re going to do with these HOME funds going forward, but they are certainly dedicated to housing. And HUD says they must be used for housing, for low to moderate income population,” he said.

While the funds are strictly regulated some may be used for nonprofits, those in the current year include the community garden and the robotics camps for children this summer.

“The CDBG funds have more flexibility. So, that’s where we can partner with nonprofits, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be used for housing,” Mayor Hunter said.

At the public hearing Thursday, nonprofits can find out if they might be eligible for the funds. The notice says they must be at the hearing to apply for a public service grant.

The hearing will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Bellard Community Center, 2808 Hillcrest Drive.

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