Every five years local agencies are to provide updates to the federal government on how they’ve spent Community Development Block Grant dollars. The city of Inglewood submitted their report Dec. 30, 2021, which was rejected days later on Jan. 4, 2022. Were they tipped off?
They are required to hold the meetings and to obtain responses from the community. If they need a template, plenty of local cities have them posted. If they don’t spend the funds, or don’t meet the goals as specified in their Consolidated Plan (usually a three to five year plan without annual reporting, then they are in a heap of trouble and will probably have to pay the money back nowadays. Depends on their responses to HUD. If they don’t have someone who knows what they are doing, they’d better get one. And pay them. There is so much education at the HUD site, this is really strange.
The funds – and they put this in writing- are not to substitute for services normally City paid.Oh Well says:22/03/07 at 11:05 pmEdit
In 2016, the city was found to have made nearly $700,000 in unallowable expenditures against federal CDBG funds and had to pay it back.
If the city didn’t have the money to begin with, how did it have it to pay back?
QUESTIONABLE CDBG “EXPENSES”
- Sidewalk repair;
- 1st Time Homebuyer Program (1st place went to a city employee who was allowed to apply while working in the Housing Department; she would be transferred to another department, and job title reclassified to Staff Assistant);
- HOME Repair funds;
- Consolidation of Inglewood Housing Authority & Housing Protection;
- COVID Rent Relief;
- Upgrades to Rogers Park (the only visible upgrade is the recent refurbishment of the basketball courts promoted as a partnership with HBO Max. Did CDBG funds pay for it or not?
It is unclear why HUD rejected the City’s 2020 CAPER report as fast as it did, but they asked for clearer understanding of the successes of the program, as the city missed the target in several areas, while noticeably increasing spending on seniors (meals on wheels).
Residents can get a sense of what the City’s “smoke and mirrors” means to us if taxpayers are made to return money to the federal government for unallowable expenditures.
Unfortunately, that is a problem not just for the above mentioned cities. In order to get the funds, they have to find out if the census tract consists of poverty to low to moderate income residents if they are using income qualification. LMI. Which means they have to ask each resident in the sidewalk area if they meet low to moderate income by household.
If they go LMA, low to moderate income area, then that area is narrowly defined by most recent census tract. So if the fed census says the people in tract 1234.5 are above the income guidelines, then they are in violation and may have to pay the money back. So many cities think they won’t catch this. But they do. The person responsible is the person who signs the Consolidated Plan. So minions won’t be the fall guy.
Too many people think it’s “free money” far from it. Comes with reams of paperwork and electronic monitoring. So, you can look up your City’s Consolidated Plan for this year by simply googling it. If you want to know how well they did last year, Google the city name and CAPER. Lots of people are not trained or have bosses that are not trained or trained 15 years ago under OMB A-122. No mystery. Information is published online. As Trevor Noah says “now you know.” I think you can ask for the training if you are a member of a non profit. You may have to pay. Not much.Oh Well says:22/03/07 at 11:23 pmEdit
City employees typically charged with completing the reporting documents are no longer employed there so it is unclear which employee signed off on the Dec. 30, 2021 submission to HUD’s Los Angeles office.
What’s most concerning is if the City has used these funds for “administrative costs”, that aren’t allowed, and employees suffer in the process.
The city will hold a public hearing today, to get public input on how the CDBG funds should be spent. You can participate by phone by calling:
- Dial-in for Closed Session: 1-669-900-6833 Meeting ID: 883-6080-6112 Passcode: 257604
- Dial-in for Open Session: 1-888-251-2949 or 215-861-0694, using the specific access codes detailed below for the respective City Council Dates:
- March 8, 2022 – Access Code: 6652925# wait 3 seconds and press # again