The Lodi City Council voted in favor of the Community Development Block Grant consolidated plan and 2019-20 annual action plan at a city council meeting on Wednesday night at Carnegie Forum.

This was the second time that city staff presented the consolidated plan to the city council. The first attempt to approve the plan resulted in a contentious debate over the use of the funds, when it was proposed that the Homeless Emergency Aid Program project receive $1,307 from the $624, 641 that was allocated by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development program.

Due to debate among the members over the use of funds, the vote for approval was postponed to Wednesday’s meeting.

The decision to approve the consolidated plan passed with overwhelming support that resulted in a 3-0 vote by City Councilman Alan Nakanishi, Mayor Pro Tempore Doug Kuehne, and Mayor Mark Chandler.

Council members JoAnne Mounce and Bob Johnson were not present to vote.

At Tuesday’s improvement committee meeting held at Carnegie Forum, the committee recommended that Lodi use CDBG money to partially fund tiny homes for people in sober living programs.

Although Lodi received $1.25 million from California’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program — known as HEAP —to pay for the tiny homes, City Manager Steve Schwabauer said it is not enough to fully fund the project.

“We expected to get 1.5 million for the project. So we decided to look at local grants to help fund a portion of the project,” Kuehne said.

The City of Lodi receives an estimated $600,000 annually from U.S. Housing and Urban Development to fund public service programs. The programs that are eligible must provide services that meet HUD funding guidelines.

Services that are eligible for funding are public facilities, crime prevention, access for disabled people, affordable housing and economic development for low-income and moderate-income people.

Before HUD releases funds to the city, the city must provide HUD with an Annual Action Plan, which is what the city had voted and adopted to during the council meeting.

The action plan communicates the city’s goals, and how the programs they want to fund are integral to their plans.

“I think the plan focuses on what we aim to achieve as a city and it has my full support,” Nakanishi said.

When the city receives its funding, 60% is allocated for a city-sponsored program, and 40% is used for local community organizations.

The 40% that is sourced locally is reviewed by the Lodi Improvement Committee, and it can offer project recommendations to the city.

There are three brackets of organization projects that come with a specific set of guidelines for each category; Public Service Projects, Planning and Administration and Fair Housing Activities.

Since adopting the consolidation plan and the annual action plan, the city will be able to disperse the allocation to local organizations and improve on projects.

The funding for the grants will not be available to the city until HUD releases the funds in July.

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