In response to combating the effects of COVID-19, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) allocated special CDBG funds for entitlement entities. The City of Grants Pass will receive $220,405 in CDBG entitlement funds to be used to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. This allocation was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) signed into law by President Trump on March 27, 2020, in response to the growing effects of this historic public health crisis. The funds are referred to as CDBG-CV funds.
The CDBG-CV funds received by the City will be allocated to those activities that address COVID-19 related community needs. A Substantial Amendment to the CDBG 2019-2020 Annual Action Plan is required and usually a thirty (30) day public comment period is required, but the CARES Act allows HUD to waive this requirement provided that no less than five (5) days are provided for public comments on such an Amendment.
The CDBG-CV funds allocated under the CARES Act may be used for a range of eligible activities that prevent, prepare for and respond to the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19. The proposed activities must meet one of the three National Objectives as required by CDBG regulations.
In addition and for the purpose of an expedited use of the CDBG-CV funding, the bill eliminates the cap on the amount of funds a grantee can spend on public services, removes the requirement to hold in-person public hearings in order to comply with national and local social gathering requirements, and allows grantees to be reimbursed for COVID-19 response activities regardless of the date the costs were incurred. The bill also allows grantees to apply the waiver of statutory regulations to 2019 and 2020 CDBG allocations.
The amended City of Grants Pass’ CDBG 2019-2020 AAP will describe how these funds will be spent locally. Some recommendations received have been support for the Food and Friends Senior Meals on Wheels and partnering with Josephine County Transit for delivery of the meals to a wider range of the community, staffing to help with the meal preparation, ordering of meals and tracking of deliveries. Protective gear for staff and clients as well as emergency food/hygiene/transportation for our youth programs and shelters, support for telehealth equipment to provide mental health services and funds for PPEs, emergency housing assistance for rental and homeowners to help pay utilities, rent, mortgages.
Public comments are encouraged and should be submitted to Scott Lindberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anne Ingalls at email@example.com.