There's No Place Like Home
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program was established by the Federal Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. Through this program, funds are available to help the City of Urbana meet their greatest economic and community development needs, with an emphasis upon helping persons of extremely low- to low-income. Congress has required that entitlement programs meet at least one of the following three national objectives: 1. Benefit low- and moderate-income persons, 2. Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight, and 3. Meet other community development needs that pose a serious and immediate threat to the health and welfare of the community.
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Recently, the Housing Authority of Champaign County hosted an affordable housing panel discussion and community wide conversation around building local solutions for development, policy, tenant rights, and more! Mayor Marlin was part of this panel discussion, as well as Rodney Davis,U.S. Representative IL; Carol Ammons, State Representative, District 103; Mike Marron, State Representative, District 104; Kerri Wiman, City of Champaign; Esther Patt, C-U Tenant Union; and Minnie Pearson, President, NAACP Champaign County.
Mayor Marlin said that between 60 to 63 percent of housing in Urbana is comprised of rentals.
"That is the result of Urbana being a small city with a huge student population. That's a fact," She said.
The Mayor spoke about Urbana's Rental Registration Program, whose fees pay for housing inspectors, acquires a database of property owners, and is the backbone of how Urbana has decent and quality rentals in its city proper. The Mayor also spoke about Urbana's Landlord Tennant Ordinance, their Human Rights Ordinance, and how Urbana, while they do not build themselves, is able to leverage monies to enocurage develpoment in Urbana by virtue of the Home Consortium, and the Community Development Block Grant.
"With our partnership with Habitat for Humanity, we have built 52 new and affordable homes in Urbana. We've supported the Housing Authority of Champaign County and private developers to build affordable housing here in Urbana. Plus, with grant funds we have improved infrastructure, and thereby improved neighborhoods," Mayor Marlin said.
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