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Princeton residents asked to provide feedback on five-year consolidated plan for CDBG grant

A second hearing has been scheduled for Princeton’s participation in the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement program.

The hearing on Sept. 29 is to discuss the draft five-year consolidated plan that has been prepared by the municipality, along with a first year annual action plan. The draft plan will describe specific activities, programs and projects for consideration for funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The consolidation plan itself can be amended if it needs to be changed over the next five years.

The hearing follows an Aug. 17 initial meeting about the program. The purpose of the first public hearing was to garner input on what some of the needs are in town that could be addressed by the CDBG program. Those topic needs included mortgage assistance and broadband access for those in affordable housing and low-income neighborhoods.

The program which is under the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides grants to municipalities and counties to aid low and moderate income residents. Funds granted from the program are to be used to provide decent housing and a suitable living environment, and expand economic opportunities primarily for low and moderate income individuals.

Program funds can be used to acquire property for affordable housing projects, relocation of residents, demolition of a buildings posing a direct health and safety threat, and go toward rent assistance for low and moderate income individuals.

The municipality needed to develop a five-year consolidation plan and an annual action plan for the program. The consolidation plan identifies five-year funding priorities and goals. The annual action plan spotlights projects for the coming year.

Princeton is set to receive $242,985, which is an amount of money that will be for a 12-month period, in addition to $333,924 from the CARES Act to help address problems as a result of COVID-19, and prepare or prevent the virus from recurring in town.

Princeton will be able to use up to 20% of funding towards administration. Administration would include planning and staff time at the municipality for preparing plans, according to the program.

Changes can be made to the draft if there is feedback that could have an impact on the plan. The plan ultimately has to head to the Princeton Council for approval; after a resolution is approved, only then will the plan be submitted to HUD.

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