Riverview opposed to CDBG funding allocation changes

Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW – The City Council passed a resolution at its Jan. 7 meeting opposing the proposed Wayne County changes to the Community Development Block Grant Program, which would significantly reduce its allocation.

The CDBG Urban County Program, federally funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funds the 34-city Wayne County Community Development Program, which is planning to switch from an allocation model to a Request For Proposals model which would favor economically distressed cities.

Riverview officials said the new model removes local community control, which currently decide which programs best meet the needs of seniors, people with disabilities and low to moderate income residents.

During the past 10 program years, the city has received $978,984 from the CDBG program grants, of which $115,295 have gone to senior services, $40,000 to the Guidance Center, $131,000 to the Housing Rehabilitation Program, and $30,809 to building improvements to help with Americans with Disabilities Act compliance.

Residents in eligible neighborhoods also have received $326,447 in sidewalk improvements, $220,044 in park and playground improvements, and eligible residents in Colonial Village have benefited from a $35,000 smoke and fire alarm installation grant.

The council went on record in its resolution, stating that the change in project emphasis and scoring criteria that Wayne County has proposed will deny Riverview access to future CDBG grants.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)