(Flint, Mich)— The following is information provided by Flint City officials in response to two recent articles reported by MLive regarding City Council approval of proposed reprogramming of unspent Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for three projects. Officials from the Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has asked Flint City officials to provide clarification regarding proposed revisions from City officials.
“We are currently responding to their list of questions pertaining to the projects and the process,” said Suzanne Wilcox, Acting Director of Planning and Development for the City of Flint. “We believe we followed the process, and we believe the proposed projects are indeed eligible. The Department of Planning and Development communicates regularly with HUD, and much of the conversation revolves around analysis and interpretation of the regulations. We were already in the process of reviewing and revising some of our policies due to the current lack of a city wide review committee and other EM orders that need to be amended.”
At a recent Flint City Council meeting, Suzanne Wilcox, addressed information in the MLive article regarding Flint exceeding its 10% cap, requiring the City to submit a formal request to HUD.
“That information is not accurate. The 10% cap is HUD’s standard if municipalities do not have a Citizens’ Participation Plan (CPP) in place. The City of Flint does and its standard is ‘new activities that exceed 15% of the federal program grant (CDBG, HOME, or ESG) year from which the funding is derived, unless arising from state or federal declarations of emergencies or disasters and activities occur with City Council review and approval.’ These activities were under that 15% threshold. In addition, the CPP, (adopted in 2013, and is posted online and accessible to anyone wishing to review it), requires a 30-day comment period prior to approval. We are not required to submit a formal request to HUD as stated in the article.”
The City is currently in the process of doing its due diligence and anticipates further discussion with HUD prior to executing any contracts.