The City of Austin has opened the public comment period on a proposed amendment for the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Action Plan. This amendment is to incorporate additional funds provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the impacts of COVID-19.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (Public Law 116-136) (CARES Act) makes available Community Development Block Grant-coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. As part of the CARES Act, HUD has allocated $7,262,074 to the City for its CDBG-CV program.
Responsive to public input, the City of Austin has established program objectives and criteria for its federal CARES Act programs. CDBG-CV funds will be allocated with program guidelines released through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The public comment period is in accordance with the City of Austin’s Citizen Participation Plan as amended, Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 373 and the waivers of HUD program regulatory requirements to help prevent, prepare and/or respond to COVID-19. These waivers allow jurisdictions to reduce the 30-day comment period to no less than 5 days to receive public comment. The City is making every effort to continue the community input process while observing social distancing protocols during COVID-19.
Opportunities to Review Proposed Amendment to the FY 19-20 Plan
The public is invited to review and comment on the City’s SpeakUp Austin page on the proposed substantial amendment through December 4, 2020.
December 4, 2020
Public Hearing for FY 19-20 Action Plan Amendment
The public is invited to provide input during the special videoconferencing meeting of the Community Development Commission (CDC) scheduled for December 4, 2020. Meeting details and instructions for providing public comment during the virtual public hearing can be found on the meeting agenda of the Community Development Commission website Community Development Commission website. Community members must sign up by noon the day before the meeting in order to provide public comment. The Austin City Council will consider the proposed substantial amendment at the Austin City Council meeting on Dec. 10, 2020.
Draft Funding Recommendations for U.S. HUD Coronavirus Response
City of Austin - December 4, 2020
Note: The draft funding proposals reflect staff recommendations to address community needs responsive to COVID-19. Recommendations as to how best to fund these proposals may change based on funding availability from a range of sources to address these community needs.
Recommendations for use of CDBG-CV funds:
ACTIVITY: EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE
FUNDS: Approximately $2.2 Million
DEPARTMENT: HOUSING AND PLANNING
- Funding for emergency rental assistance activities will be used for direct rental assistance payments made to landlords. The intent of this program is to provide emergency rental assistance to households impacted by COVID-19. This program is designed to be a short-term solution and a rapid response to those experiencing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19, supporting the City of Austin’s goal to provide stable housing options for families. This effort will also help the department in its mission of preventing the displacement of Austin’s low-income community members.
ACTIVITY: CHILD CARE SERVICES
FUNDS: Approximately $2.5 Million
DEPARTMENT: AUSTIN PUBLIC HEALTH
- Funding for child care assistance activities will be used for direct child care services to sustain jobs of low- to moderate-income essential workers responding to coronavirus. There continues to be a waitlist for child care subsidies for over 2,000 children, and this funding will enable eligible essential workers on the waitlist to receive child care. This funding will also help to keep child care facilities operational and low- to moderate-income workers employed. These activities are consistent with the Child Care Services program under the Special Needs Assistance priority in the FY 2019-24 Consolidated Plan and FY 2019-20 Action Plan.
ACTIVITY: SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE
FUNDS: Approximately $2.5 Million
DEPARTMENT: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
- Funding for this activity will be used for grants to small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, for the purpose of creating and retaining employment for low- to moderate-income workers.