The State Director for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Programs with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), Suzanne Barnard, visited East Texas on Thursday seeking public input from regional stakeholders on a newly proposed 5-year plan for the CDBG program and proposed changes to the disaster relief fund.
Forty (40) attendees including elected officials, city managers/staff, grant writers, and administrators joined at ETCOG offices to provide feedback on program changes.
ETCOG held the public meeting with the objective to provide East Texas community stakeholders an opportunity to speak with TDA staff on the proposed program changes and the potential impact these changes may have on rural East Texas communities. Proposed program changes include the replacement of the current Regional Review Committee structure process where CDBG grant applications are scored regionally with a more sustainable Statewide Committee structure. Additional changes are being contemplated to the CDBG Disaster Relief Fund.
TDA staff plan to seek input across the State through stakeholders meetings and working with the Texas Association of Regional Councils.
HOUSING ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE FOR ALTO TORNADO VICTIMS
In July, ETCOG held a community meeting for Cherokee County residents affected by the April 13, 2019 tornadoes in Alto to offer assistance through our new HOME Disaster Relief Program. The meeting was met with such community interest, seats and standing room were filled at Alto City Hall.
Since 2018, ETCOG began offering disaster housing assistance through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA). The HOME Disaster Relief Program allows ETCOG to support the rebuilding or repairing of homes in counties in our region affected by disasters.
To rebuild, the single-family homes average costs are from $85,000 to $94,000 depending on the size of the family. Eligible clients must have experienced property damage from the disaster, have a clear title on their home with no liens, not received FEMA assistance, and plan to continue to live in the affected area.
Call 903-218-6565 to speak with housing staff or view application documents at ETCOG.org/housing.