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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEAE: April 15, 2009

City seeks public comment on homelessness prevention

Input will focus on amendment to Consolidated Action Plan and federal stimulus funding

The City of Kansas City, Mo., has announced the receipt of new funding from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program. The program provides homeless prevention assistance to households that would otherwise become homeless due in part to the economic crisis; and to provide rapid re-housing of persons who are defined as homeless.

“It is critically important that every dollar of this money is leveraged to bring relief to those who are homeless or are on the brink of homelessness.” said City Councilwoman Sharon Sanders Brooks, 3rd District, and chairwoman of the City’s Housing Committee. “In searching for the best way to allocate these funds, our goal is to have an all-inclusive process to ensure all ideas are heard.”

The program will receive $3.6 million in new federal funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. As part of the allocation and consolidated plan amendment process, the Housing and Community Development Department is seeking input from residents on the City’s plan for use of funds. Funds will be allocated through non-profit agencies, payments will not be made directly to individuals. The request for proposals for non-profit agencies to dispense funds will be available soon.

“There are regulations defining the ways the funds can be spent, but within the parameters, we have a little flexibility” said Shirley Winn, director of the Housing and Community Development Department.

The funds will become a part of the city’s consolidated plan through the Housing and Community Development Department, and the Neighborhood and Community Services Department will develop and administer the program in consistency with the plan.

The City’s Housing Committee will hear public testimony regarding fund use at its April 22 meeting, which will be held at noon on the 10th floor of City Hall, 414 E. 12th St. A public comment form will be published on the City’s designated webpage upon authorization to amend the plan.

Residents may submit comments via e-mail to Bonnie_Davis@kcmo.org with the subject line “My Input on HPRP.” Comments also may be faxed to (816) 784-4512 or mailed to: Attention of Bonnie Davis, Robert J. Mohart Center, 3200 Wayne Ave., Kansas City, MO 64106.

    
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