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Volunteers honored, and shrinking CDGB funds at Hayward council

volunteersHayward had its annual proclamation ceremony honoring the various city volunteers on Tuesday. It also happens that National Volunteer Week is coming up, April 10-16. There’s been a “surge of volunteers,” said staff, with 630 names submitted for the honor this year compared with 520 last year. By the end of the ceremony, the front of the council chamber was packed with those receiving certificates for their good deeds.

 The council also received recommendations about how to divvy up federal Community Development Block Grant funds, which are given out by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. Hayward received 29 applications this year, eight of them new, asking for a total of $2.4 million. Staff projects a decline in fed funding of 10 percent, which would bring available funds down to about $1.6 million. According to the staff report, “This projection is based on the information that is available at this time. It is unlikely the allocation will be increased; however, it is possible that the allocation could be reduced by an even greater percentage.”

Hayward’s Citizen’s Advisory Commission and staff made the recommendations to the City Council, which will come up for approval at a public hearing later this month.

Three of the applying organizations were considered ineligible for the CDBG funds because they didn’t meet certain criteria. For example, to get a federal Public Services grant, the city requires the service to be related to providing housing. While programs such as immigrant case management assistance, or a request for palette racks at a warehouse that distributes food to the needy, or an established child-care program may support residents find and keep housing, staff ruled the links were not clear and direct enough to qualify.

Three others were not recommended for various reasons, and the rest were recommended funding for the amount requested. The city’s Minor Home Repair Program, Animal Shelter and Small Business Revolving Loan Program were recommended to receive the most funding, the three accounting for over 40 percent of the total funds.

You can read the full staff report and see the recommendations here.

Eric Kurhi