In challenging economic times, low-to-moderate-income families may oftentimes be hit the hardest. However, due to the joint efforts of several departments at the City of Lee’s Summit and local non-profit organizations, the City has offset some of these financial hardships by implementing a successful Consolidated Plan of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The funds for this program are used to assist entitlement cities in developing viable urban communities by providing decent housing and suitable living environments, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low-to-moderate-income persons.
Each year, the City’s CDBG program, administered by the Planning and Development Department undergoes an evaluation by the Regional Office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to determine how effectively the City has utilized CDBG funds. As a part of the review, HUD evaluated the Planning and Development Department and its effectiveness in meeting statutory and regulatory requirements for CDBG funding and how well the CDBG program is managed. Last year, the City met each of the priorities and objectives outlined in the City’s Consolidated Plan and received a satisfactory rating, the highest rating available, for all CDBG-funded projects.
In 2008, the City of Lee’s Summit received approximately $310,000 for CDBG with 100% of these funds used to benefit low-to-moderate-income persons. This exceeds the Federal performance standard of 70%. Additionally, these funds were used to support several critical projects in Lee’s Summit, such as the Minor Home Repair Program, First-time Homebuyer Program, and local public service organizations. Due to the availability of these funds, 11 low-to-moderate-income families with homes in need of repair received assistance and 32 first-time homebuyers were provided with down payment assistance.
This funding also benefits local non-profit organizations, as the City dispersed approximately $44,300 for local public service programs, such as “One Good Meal.” By granting this funding to local public service organizations, an additional 8,680 residents received CDBG benefits, thus increasing the quality of life for a broader population of residents.
Over the course of 14 years, the City has allocated more than $5 million to low-to- moderate-income families in Lee’s Summit. “We will continue to do the most with the CDBG funds that are made available to our community” said the City’s Long-Range Planning Division Manager Heping Zhan. “We are very lucky to have strong support and direction from our Mayor and City Council, as well as cooperation from City departments and local non-profit organizations; it makes all the difference in how well we meet the needs of the community.”