Public Invited to Voice Ideas On How to Spend Federal Dollars

Fort Wayne, Ind. – The City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services is seeking input from citizens about how federal funds should be spent. Residents are invited to express their ideas and opinions at a public meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Indiana Tech Andorfer Commons Theater, 1600 E. Washington Blvd.
Input received from the public will be included in the Annual Action Plan that the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services submits to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. All HUD dollars must be spent to improve the quality of life for low- to moderate-income residents. In Fort Wayne, HUD funding is used to support the following six goals:
1)      Preserve and increase safe, decent affordable homeownership opportunities;
2)      Increase and preserve safe, decent affordable rental housing;
3)      Prevent homelessness for special needs populations and persons at-risk of homelessness;
4)      Decrease the number of homeless individuals;
5)      Increase economic opportunities for disadvantaged populations; and
6)      Promote neighborhood revitalization and empowerment.
Past City efforts that have been supported by HUD dollars include:
·         Buying and rehabilitating vacant and abandoned properties to create homeownership opportunities;
·         Assisting first-time homebuyers in purchasing a home;
·         Assisting homeowners to make their homes compliant with local codes;
·         Assisting homeowners with repairs;
·         Building and rehabilitating substandard rental housing;
·         Eliminating unsafe housing conditions that pose threats to safety, welfare and the health of children and families;
·         Providing rent and utility assistance to homeless individuals and families;
·         Providing supportive services to homeless individuals and families working toward self-sufficiency;
·         Providing job training to low- and moderate-income residents;
·         Supporting self-sufficiency through holistic delivery of services;
·         Buying vacant and abandoned sites to promote neighborhood stabilization and revitalization; and
·         Identifying and training neighborhood leaders to build stronger communities.
Citizens are welcome to comment on existing programs or provide new ideas for the use of HUD dollars. Individuals with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations 24 hours prior to the meeting by calling 427-1127.