Monday, March 21, 2011
The city of San Diego got more than 100 applications for federal funds meant to tackle challenges like job creation and affordable housing. City staff recommend funding about 40 of those programs.
SAN DIEGO Applicants for federal Community Development Block Grants requested more than $27 million. But, the city only expects to get about $12 million through the program for the next fiscal year. City Council members will vote Monday on whether to approve a staff recommendation to fund about 40 of the 113 programs that requested funds.
Of the more than 60 programs slated to be turned down, council members asked city staff to find alternate funding for just one – the Neil Good Day Center for the homeless. Now, the downtown center could operate next year on redevelopment-agency funds.
But, not all council members are convinced the center is more worthy than other applicants who were denied.
“There are a lot of other very-well-deserving projects that didn’t get that," said Council President Tony Young. "Barrio Station and Casa Familiar – they’re both in redevelopment areas. The question is: What about them?”
Councilman Todd Gloria argued the fact that the city owns the facility sets it apart.
“So, if it’s not in use it’s still, in some ways, a city responsibility. And therefore I think we did need to take extraordinary efforts to try and preserve some level of functioning there," said Gloria. "We know that this is unique in terms of the service it provides – a day center as opposed to a shelter. It’s something that occupies several hundred homeless people everyday.”
The city received more than $16 million in Community Development Block Grants last year. Because Congress has not passed a budget for the next fiscal year, the $12 million funding level the city is working with for the coming fiscal year is only an estimate.