The City of Bellevue hit it big this year, taking 78 percent of available Community Development Block Grant funds.
Of the $480,531.81 available for dispersal to public or private entities in 2019, the city’s CDBG Committee awarded $375,531.81 for paving and park improvements.
The primary beneficiary will be the Chandler Hills area, where pavement will be removed and reconstructed, curb and gutters will be installed and a guardrail on 17th Street between Sydney and Josephine streets will be replaced. Those projects will cost $260,631.81.
The second project will see Washington Park in Olde Towne improved with ADA-compliant sidewalks, curb ramps and paths, as well as new playground equipment, improved ground covering and a picnic shelter. Those projects will cost $114,900.
Community Development Block Grants are given by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development annually to cities with populations greater than 50,000. The money may be awarded to private or public entities so long as approved projects improve areas of the city deemed low income.
The city typically receives between $300,000 and $350,000 from HUD. That figure was boosted this year by funds returned by previous recipients and made available for the coming year.
Funding requests are reviewed by the city’s Community Development Block Grant Committee, whose members are appointed by the City Council. The committee reviews applications and forwards a recommendation to the council, which makes the final decision.
Other 2019 recipients are:
• Habitat for Humanity of Sarpy County, which received $22,000 to purchase one or more lots within the city on which they will build affordable houses.
• The Housing Foundation of Sarpy County, which is the nonprofit arm of the Bellevue Housing Agency, received $10,000 to help convert 51 units of public housing to the foundation.
• The Bellevue Junior Sports Association received $8,000 to help cover registration fees for low- and moderate-income households.
• Heartland Family Service received $15,000 for its Housing Navigation Program, which provides various forms of support to persons in Bellevue who are at imminent risk of homelessness.
Another $50,000 was reserved to pay Abby Highland, who manages the city’s CDBG program, holds public hearings on applications and ensure compliance with HUD regulations.