Community Development Block grants help local governments

Brady and several surrounding cities and county will share part of $57.8 million in Texas Community Development Program (TCDP) grants by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). The 222 grants announced recently represent biennial funding from TDCP’s Community Development, Housing Rehabilitation, and Planning and Capacity Building funds, as well as annual funding from both the Colonia Construction and Colonia Planning funds. TCDP awards cities under 50,000 in population and counties under 200,000 in population federal Community Development Block Grants for public works, housing, planning, and economic development projects. All TCDP projects must primarily benefit low- to-moderate-income households in accordance with TDHCA and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements. ‘These funds will provide or improve affordable housing and basic public services for thousands of low-income Texans, necessities many of us take too much for granted,’ said Daisy Stiner, TDHCA Executive Director. ‘Equally important, these funds can also help smaller cities better plan for their housing and public facilities needs in the future.’ Stiner explained that because of the isolated nature and low population density of rural communities, public facility improvements are more expensive per capita than for urban and suburban communities. As a result, these communities are often without the financial resources needed to issue bond debt for improvements. ‘These grants are absolutely vital for Texas’ smaller towns with limited funding options,’ she said. The Community Development Fund is awarded through a biennial competitive application process and focuses principally on infrastructure needs such as water, wastewater, drainage, and road improvements. It is the largest of TCDP’s seven funds, accounting for $48.8 million of the $57.8 million in grants announced today by the Department. The Housing Rehabilitation Fund awards grants through a biennial competition for projects rehabilitating existing housing, with a particular emphasis on projects that make existing housing accessible for persons with disabilities. The Planning and Capacity Building Fund, also a biennial funding award, is designed to improve a community by preparing for its future housing and infrastructure needs. ‘The Department’s mission is to improve the quality of life through the development of better communities,’ Stiner noted. ‘Safe, sanitary, and affordable housing in decent neighborhoods should be the state’s goal for every household. These funds illustrate the high priority the Department places on fulfilling that mission.’ The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is Texas’ lead agency responsible for affordable housing, community development and community assistance programs, and regulation of the state’s manufactured housing industry. The Department annually administers funds in excess of $432 million, the majority of which are derived from mortgage revenue bond financing and refinancing, federal grants, and federal tax credits. Mason County is the only area entity to receive a Housing Rehabilitation Fund grant. All other area counties received grants under the Community Development Fund. Mason $250,000 Brady $174,900 Eden $174,900 Menard $174,999 San Saba $250,000 Coleman $250,000 The $174,900 Brady will receive will be used to replace a 30,000-gallon ground-level storage tank with a 100,000-gallon tank and also to install a pump station.

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