LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AEDC) - Five public hearings will be held throughout the state to receive comments from Arkansans on how to allocate approximately $26.7 million in funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the fiscal year beginning July 2013. There is no cost to attend and registration is not required.
The meetings are hosted by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), in partnership with the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA), the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
As a requirement to receive funds from HUD, these four agencies must submit to the public a single Consolidated Plan describing their planned use of the funds.
Programs funded by HUD include Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Home Investment Partnership (HOME), Emergency Solution Grants (ESG), and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) programs.
CDBG funds for small communities are administered by AEDC and have traditionally been used for senior citizen centers, public health facilities, childcare centers, fire protection, community facilities, economic development projects, and water and wastewater projects.
HOME funds are used to assist with home construction and rental assistance for low income families.
ESG funds are used for the operation of homeless shelters and to provide services to homeless persons.
HOPWA funds are used to provide housing and rental assistance to persons who are HIV positive.
The public hearings will be conducted at five sites:
DeQueen, March 22, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
Cossatot Community College, University of Arkansas
Adams Agriculture Building, Rooms 611 and 612
183 College Drive
Siloam Springs, March 29, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
Community Room, Arvest Bank
Highway 412 and Holly Street
North Little Rock, April 1, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
Arkansas Municipal League
301 W. Second Street
Paragould, April 2, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
3404 Linwood Drive
McGehee, April 9, 2013, 11:00 a.m.
901 Holly Street
All meeting locations are wheelchair accessible. Persons needing interpreters or other accommodations are requested to telephone AEDC at 501-682-7392 and speak to Basil Julian so that arrangements can be made in advance.
The comment period will extend for 30 days beginning on March 17, 2013, and ending at 4:30 p.m. on April 16, 2013. Public comments will be considered in the final draft of the Consolidated Plan, which will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on May 1, 2013.
To be considered in the final plan, written comments must be received during the 30-day public comment period. Written comments may be addressed to: Consolidated Plan Annual Update, Grants Management Division, Economic Development Commission, 900 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 400, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201. The deadline to submit comments to the Economic Development Commission at the above address is 4:30 p.m. on April 16, 2013.
Copies of the Consolidated Plan are available and may be reviewed at the county judge's office in each county courthouse or at the library of every two-year and four-year college. Citizens may view the plan online at www.arkansasedc.com.
For more information, contact Basil Julian at 501-682-7392 or email bjulian@ArkansasEDC.com.