In June of 1974, then Mayor Joel Baldwin received a letter from President Gerald R. Ford announcing the signing into law the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. The president writes, “this historic legislation was passed by the Congress to change the old, helter-skelter system of helping our cities grow. The new act is designed to let the cities and counties of our Nation set their own priorities and make their own plans – with only very broad Federal guidelines.”
The three broad Nation Objectives are:
1. Benefit Low and Moderate Income Persons
2. Preventing or Eliminating Slums and Blight
3. Meeting community development needs having a particular urgency because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to health or welfare and other financial resources are not available.
Having recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) is generally considered the most successful community revitalization effort the government has ever developed. Administered by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) the program invests close to $5 billion into communities across America that have developed local plans to address local needs. Funds are allocated to Entitlement Communities (areas with a population of 50,000 or more) using a formula that takes into consideration the size of the community, the age of the housing stock, the level of economic decline and the concentration of low and moderate income residents. Funds are also formula granted to State governments to be made available to smaller, non-entitlement communities in need
of community development investments.
Every five years Entitlement Communities are required to develop a Consolidated Plan to assess community needs, establishes priorities and sets goals for addressing those needs. In Milford, the three primary goals in the current Consolidated Plan are:
1. The revitalization of low and moderate income neighborhoods
2. The improvement and expansion of the housing supply for low and moderate income persons, and
3. The strengthening of supportive social services and other services for low and moderate income persons.
Every year HUD awards Milford a grant amount based on the budget approved by Congress and the entitlement formula applied. This starts the process of the development of an Annual Action Plan. This Plan is a budget process that solicits community input and invites requests for funds from local community housing and social service agencies. Municipal departments are also invited to request funds for community improvement projects. The Milford Housing Partnership, chaired by the Mayor, conducts two Public Hearings in the course of the planning process to discuss requests for funds and solicit comment from the community at-large.
The Community Development Department also requests funds for specific programs and neighborhood improvements. In the past, CDBG funds have been used to fund Housing Rehabilitation and First Time Home Buyer loan programs. Detailed information on these programs and application requests can be made at other locations on this website. Funds have also been used to make public improvements in the Village of Devon, Walnut Beach, Wildemere Beach, Bayview Beach and Fairview Beach. The Community Development Department also receives funds to administer the program.
The Annual Action Plan process begins in February or when the allocation from HUD is received. After the Public Hearings have been conducted and the final Action Plan is developed, the Milford Board of Aldermen are asked to approve the process and the Plan is submitted to HUD for final approval. The fiscal year for the Milford CDBG program is October 1 through September 30. At the end of each program year a report is published to identify accomplishes. This document is called the Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER). The most recent CAPER is available on this website for your review.