Cedar Rapids looks to allocate $1.3 million to remove housing barriers

Downtown Cedar Rapids in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (The Gazette)
Downtown Cedar Rapids in an aerial photograph in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, May 14, 2014. (The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids residents are being sought to help prioritize $1.3 million in federal money on programs and resources for low- to moderate-income households in Cedar Rapids.

In the past, this money from Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership programs has gone to homeless shelters, Habitat for Humanity, down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, rehab assistance for home emergencies, or modification of buildings for safety reasons, said Sara Buck, housing services manager.

“We are looking for people to tell us where are those housing barriers, where are gaps in funding, where are needs in the community so we know where to prioritize funding for the next five years,” Buck said.

A public meeting and open house on the topic is planned for 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th St. NW. City officials are encouraging residents to take an electronic survey with in-depth questions, which is open online until March 6. The survey is available by clicking on the “Housing Funding Prioritization” link on the homepage.

The 2020-2025 funding cycle plan is expected to be ready for public comment through the month of April, followed by a public hearing and vote before the Cedar Rapids City Council in May. The plan is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Cedar Rapids to receive federal housing and community development funding.

Waypoint Services, Matthew 25, Safe Place Foundation, Catherine McAuley Center, HACAP and Neighborhood Transportation Services are among more than a dozen local organizations supported by the funds.

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