At Tuesday’s meeting, the Monrovia City Council approved staff’s proposal for the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Supplement (CDBG-CV) funding.
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program is part of the Housing and Community Development act and is meant to improve the quality of life for people of low to moderate incomes in low-income census tract areas, aid in the prevention of neighborhood deterioration, and meet other urgent community development needs through funding to local communities.
The Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) administers CDBG funding for non-entitlement cities with a population less than 50,000. Monrovia participates in LACDA and receives an annual allotment of CDBG funds. Monrovia utilizes this money to fund a portion of the Code Enforcement program as well as providing Home Improvement Grants to income qualified property owners.
On March 27, the CARES Act was signed into law, which includes $5 billion in additional CDBG funds to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. As a direct allocation, $2 billion of the $5 billion goes to state and local governments. The City of Monrovia has been allocated $127,380 from the $13,668,315 received by LACDA. These additional funds can be used immediately to assist low to moderate income individuals and households who have been impacted by COVID-19. The city must be spent by Sept. 30, 2022.
While there is no shortage of needs in the community, four programs were identified by staff to utilize the CDBG-CV supplemental funding to provide assistance to Monrovia’s vulnerable and low-moderate income residents. The proposed programs include:
- $60,000 to assist renters.
- $20,000 to assist residents with utility payments.
- $20,000 for the San Gabriel Valley Volunteer Center to assist with the Meals on Wheels program.
- $20,000 for Foothill Unity Center to assist with food costs.
Programs that provide direct assistance must ensure that recipients meet the income restrictions set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The rental and utility assistance programs will be managed by the Community Development Department. This will be administered similar to the Home Improvement Grant Program.
Foothill Unity Center has an income qualification system in place to ensure assistance is directed towards low to moderate income residents. However, the San Gabriel Valley Volunteer Center does not currently base its services on income. Therefore, city staff will assist the center to incorporate income qualification into their process to ensure that CDBG funds are utilized in accordance with the funding guidelines.
City staff is currently in the infant stages of preparing for this new. Additional details will be released soon by the city.