Development, Planning and Sustainability Committee: Community Development Block Grant Hearings, Day 1, Afternoon Session

Cleveland City Council
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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
1:00 p.m. — 5:00 p.m. EDT

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601 Lakeside Ave Cleveland, OH 44114 (Directions)

Cleveland City Hall, Mercedes Cotner Room 217 (or watch on YouTube)

It is budget season (again) in Cleveland! We’re going to document it!

On this day, Cleveland City Council will hold day 1 of the 2024 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) budget hearings.

We do not expect you to be a budget expert. Honestly, we don’t know many people who are. We want you to lead with your curiosity. Document the process as you see it. Ask questions about what you don’t understand. And of course, follow the money.

More resources and details about CDBG hearings are below. But first, some important assignment things to know:

NOTE: This assignment is for the afternoon session of day 1 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) budget hearings. This assignment is scheduled from 1 p.m. (the estimated return of council from lunch) until approximately 5 p.m. Council may return from lunch and begin the afternoon session earlier or later than 1 p.m. The Cleveland Documenters team will be monitoring the hearing, and will let you know when the afternoon session is expected to begin. However, you may still need to monitor the YouTube feed at least 15 minutes before the afternoon session is scheduled to begin.

Also, be sure to let us know what’s the best way to reach you while on assignment - phone, text, or email?

Pay: For budget assignments, we treat each session (AM or PM) as a four-hour meeting, even if it runs shorter.

  • Minimum pay if watching remotely: $108
  • Minimum pay if watching in-person: $144

More pay is added for sessions that run longer than 4 hrs & 15 min.

Documenters covering this should be prepared for the session to last up to four hours. If the session lasts longer than four hours and you cannot continue, let the Documenters team know and note where you leave off in your meetings notes or live-tweet thread.

Live tweeters: Because we are trying to make information from these budget hearings available for residents as quickly as possible, please only accept this assignment if you can live tweet this meeting WHILE the meeting is ongoing.

Notetakers: We know officials cover a lot in these sessions. You’ll have 48 hours to submit budget notes rather than the typical 24 (note: You’ll still receive an automated email to submit assignments within 24 hours).

Watching remotely?

The meetings are streamed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@ClevelandCityCouncil/streams

You can also catch livestreams on TV2O’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ClevelandTV20/live_videos

Also TV20’s website: http://www.tv20cleveland.com/watch-now/

Attending in person? Documenters: Be sure to bring your photo ID.

Who’s who?

Expect to see members of the council committee:

  • Anthony Hairston, chair
  • Jasmin Santana, vice chair
  • Stephanie Howse-Jones
  • Kris Harsh
  • Joe Jones
  • Kerry McCormack
  • Jenny Spencer

Other members of council may also attend.

On the mayor’s administration side, Director of Community Development Alyssa Hernandez and Assistant Director Michiel Wackers will likely attend. Other administration officials may join them.

Sections of the CDBG budget book set for this meeting (more on this below):

  • Introduction and Opening Statements (Chapter 1)
  • Budget Overiew (Chapter 2)
  • Residential Improvement (Home Repair Program – Chapter 3)
  • Housing Development (Chapter 4)

Note: Council may not get through all of these sections in your session. This committee is set to review one other piece of legislation on this day in addition to diving into the CDBG budget.

Some CDBG background

Separate from the General Fund budget hearings held in February, the annual CDBG budget hearings hone in on federal grants the city can receive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The grants are part of a federal assistance program that aims to build stronger and more resilient communities by providing additional money to local governments for community and economic development work. They often focus on improving housing and economic opportunities for low-income residents. Being federal money, the funds have specific requirements for how the city can use them. City Council uses these hearings to learn how the mayor’s administration plans to allocate the funds and potentially legislate changes.

This year, the total available to Cleveland in these federal grants is an estimated $28,285,095. The mayor’s administration projects the money would come from the following federal programs:

  • CDBG: $19,883,456
  • Federal HOME Investment Partnerships Act: $4,200,829
  • Emergency Solutions Grant: $1,826,276
  • Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS: $2,374,534

Additional resources:

Here are some additional resources that might be useful. We’ll keep our eyes out for others; feel free to do the same!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out! And remember: Lead with your curiosity and feel free to note in your coverage if something doesn’t make sense.

Check the source website for additional information

Reporting

Edited and summarized by the Cleveland - OH Documenters Team

Note-taking by Marian Bryant

Council Member Spencer urges city to find 'gap funding' for projects

Live reporting by Stesia Swain

Officials discuss what's affordable housing in Cleveland

IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_
Happy Nighttime Everyone! My name is Stésià and tonight I’ll be tweeting coverage from today’s Development, Planning and Sustainability Committee: Community Development Block Grant Hearings, Day 1, Afternoon Session. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland

09:19 PM May 28, 2024 CDT

IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 2/31
This meeting was live streamed! To view this stream, click here! #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
youtube.com/live/FV0x0U_7_…
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 3/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland First being discussed is “CHDO” which stands for Community Housing Development Organization. This consists of nonprofit organizations that can do both regular housing development and affordable housing development. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 4/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland “In order to qualify for designation as a CHDO, the organization must meet certain requirements pertaining to their legal status, organizational structure, and capacity and experience.”
hudexchange.info/programs/home/…
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 5/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland This slide is briefly shared and not very explained. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 6/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland CHDO projects are of higher priority to receive this funding. 15% of these funds are required to be delegated to CHDO assignments. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 7/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland A notable moment of this meeting was Council Member Jenny Spencer sharing the concern that there is not enough funding and/or gap funding for these projects. The need seems to expand far beyond what is being provided. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 8/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland I will attach a couple of useful resources for this meeting. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 9/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Linked here is the book of Program Year 2024 Consolidated Plan City Council Budget Hearings or the “budget book”. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
documentcloud.org/documents/2469…
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 10/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Attached are the sections of the budget book that are applicable to this meeting. Council may or may not get through each of these sections. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 11/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Click here to view the full City Council Legislation. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
documentcloud.org/documents/2468…
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 12/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Click this link to view A document describing the city programs Cleveland intends to fund with this money #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
documentcloud.org/documents/2468…
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 13/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Click here to take a deep dive with Signal Cleveland and Cleveland Documenters on what these Block Grants are and how they work! This article includes the history on these grants, and a detailed overview of the purposes, processes, and procedures.
signalcleveland.org/a-guide-to-com…
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 14/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland I would like to take a small portion of this time to give a brief overview of the Community Development Block Grant Hearings. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 15/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland 1/4 The annual CDBG budget hearings hone in on federal grants the city can receive from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 16/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland 2/4 The grants are part of a federal assistance program that aims to build stronger and more resilient communities by providing additional money to local governments for community and economic development work. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 17/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland 3/4 They often focus on improving housing and economic opportunities for low-income residents. Being federal money, the funds have specific requirements for how the city can use them. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 18/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland 4/4 City Council uses these hearings to learn how the mayor’s administration plans to allocate the funds and potentially legislate changes. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 19/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland This year, the total available to Cleveland in these federal grants is an estimated $30,455,201. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 20/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland The mayor’s administration projects the money would come from the following federal programs:
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 21/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Council Member Jones asks how much, on average, these affordable homes and/or apartments would cost to rent. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 22/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland The answer in response to Jones’ question is “between $850-$1500” #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 23/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Jones is not pleased with this answer. Jones shares the opinion that not only are these prices “market rate” and too steep for the community they are to serve, but that the homes are not of adequate quality. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 24/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Jones shares the concern that certain materials as well as those of better quality are given to certain demographics of people and are not given to the poor. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 25/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Jones shares the opinion that the attitude of some individuals in power share the sentiment that the poor should just be grateful to have somewhere to live. Jones shares disdain for this view, tone, and attitude. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 26/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland As ARPA funds are being discussed, Jones asks if all of the ARPA funds allotted to projects of the sort have been used, and if so, why neighborhoods like those of Ward 1 weren’t given the opportunity to receive any of those funds. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 27/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland The answer was that about 60-70% of these ARPA funds have been allocated and spent. Any ward that did or not receive funding was based on scoring, project viability, and correctly submitted projects. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 28/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Jones shares the opinion that the approach needs to be less selective and more inclusive so that all neighborhoods of the city are adequately cared for. #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 29/31
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 30/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland Have questions? Think we got something wrong? Send any inquiries on the meeting or these tweets to @cledocumenters. Or email us at cledocumenters@gmail.com
#CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland
IG: @stevelilsister 🤍 @stesiaarie_ 31/31
@cledocumenters @signalcleveland As always, thank you for tuning in! Have a successful remainder of the week and see you next time! #CLEDocumenters @cledocumenters @signalcleveland

Agency Information

Cleveland City Council

Cleveland City Council is the legislative branch of the government of the City of Cleveland in Ohio. There are 17 elected Cleveland City Council members representing the 17 wards of the City of Cleveland. Each ward has approximately 25,000 residents. Council Members are elected to serve a four-year term. Council members serve two roles in their duties: to draft and enact legislation for the city of Cleveland and act as ombudsmen for their constituents.

Find meetings streamed at: *online on TV20 at: http://www.tv20cleveland.com/watch-now/

*The meetings are also streamed on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ClevelandCityCouncil/

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