Wednesday, August 24, 2011

CDBG Funds: Covington offers facade grants. Cincinnati solution ? Bulldozers

Once again, stark differences are apparent between the way our city of Cincinnati uses federal dollars , namely CDBG  (Community Development Block Grant) funds, verses more progressive cities like Covington.

Covington has initiatead a Homeowner Facade Grant Program which is administered via the city Community Development Department. These grants are to assist homeowners with facde improvements visable from the city right of way.

Designed to assist home owners meeting certain income requirement it is just one more tool to build stronger neighborhorhoods and includes roof and gutter repairs, painting and porch trim repairs vs the Cincinnati approach which is to hit homwowners with VBML's and condemn orders.

We congratulate Covington for taking a "Foward thinking" approach much as countless other communities have across the country for use of CDBG funds and we find our selves asking why Cincinnati would rather subsidize demolition contractors with our federal tax dollars rather than make real efforts to build neighborhoods as Covington and other cities have done?

4 comments:

  1. I just want to let the author know that Cincinnati spends its CDBG on many community development projects. Only a fraction of those involve demolition, and much of that demolition is related to industrial brownfield redevelopment.

    Here is the link to Cincinnati's annual CAPER report (which is a public document) that shows how the city is spending its CDBG, HOME, and other federal Entitlement grants. Pages 1-56 provide a wealth of narrative information that I'm sure would surprise the author of this blog.

    http://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/cmgr/downloads/cmgr_pdf41530.pdf

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  2. I've actually read that report and the facts are that Cincinati spends an inordinatly large percentage of its federal funds on demolition when compared to other cities. The fact we have 5000 buildings on the VBML/condemn list shows the lack of creativity or forward thinking on the part of city officials and lack of understanding of how to partner with the community that is affected by their decisions.

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  3. Paul, I can't speak to the rest of your response, but I'll repeat:

    You are simply wrong about how Cincinnati spends its CDBG funds.

    It's OK to be critical, but at least be honest and know your facts.

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  4. Given I am not hiding behind initials and given as a preservation consultant I routinely work with other cities and am privey to how they spend their funds, I stand by my comment.

    Given our neighborhood filed a citizens copmplaint with HUd regarding the city section 106 review policy and the way they conduct demolitions, the fact that HUD is investigating clearly illustrates I must have some knowledge of what goes on.

    Feel free to comment but hiding behind initials does not give you much credibility.

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