Johnson County gave the green light on Thursday, Oct. 28, for use of an anticipated more than $2.5 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
These federal funds will be applied toward housing rehabilitation and minor homeowner repairs, emergency assistance, homeless relief, public facility improvements and a wide assortment of other local public services.
Following a public hearing, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the county’s 2022 Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant and Home Investment Partnerships programs as recommended by the Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee and the cities of Olathe and Lenexa.
Johnson County anticipates receiving approximately $2,551,351 in 2022 funding, including $1,354,000 in CDBG program funds and $1,197,351 in HOME funds for community development and housing activities.
Both programs feature local control over federal funding awards with resources being allocated in accordance with HUD guidelines but as directed by the BOCC-appointed members of the advisory committee.
Submission of an Action Plan is required by HUD annually for the county to continue receiving federal funding. The plan is managed by the Johnson County Department of Planning, Housing and Community Development.
“The annual Action Plan to HUD allows us to continue helping those who need our help the most. Funds will assist those who need housing and utility assistance, those who are homeless and those who require home modifications or repairs to ensure they stay safe and healthy at home,” said Chairman Ed Eilert. “Through our cooperative and collaborative efforts with the Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee and cities, we ensure a significant local influence over federal tax dollars being returned to our community via the CDBG and HOME programs.”
The board’s current strategic priorities include “strengthen and finance the appropriate level of service to meet the needs of the county’s vulnerable population and create conditions that promote community health.”
The CDBG allocations in 2022 will assist three agencies providing emergency assistance to income qualified households. Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas was awarded $18,000 from the county and $11,805 from Olathe. Jewish Family Services was allocated $8,725. Olathe also set aside $13,305 to the Salvation Army. Emergency assistance helps eligible household towards rent or utility payments.
Three agencies helping the homeless in Johnson County will receive CDBG funds, including $18,000 for Hillcrest Ministries of MidAmerica for transitional and rapid rehousing services, $18,000 for the Johnson County Interfaith Hospitality Network to help end homelessness through case management and $10,000 for Metro Lutheran Ministries for emergent services for the homeless and at-risk households.
Other CDBG allocations include:
Olathe and Lenexa will receive a percentage of CDBG funding after administration costs to allocate to city projects and determine the projects to be funded. Projects from both cities are listed in the Action Plan.
Olathe has allocated $141,645 for the city’s housing rehabilitation program to serve low-income Olathe homeowners. The city’s taxi coupon program to transport low-income participants was awarded $28,230. Olathe also earmarked $11,235 for the Johnson County Park and Recreation District to support childcare scholarships for children of low to low-moderate income families when school is not in session.
Lenexa designated $168,000 to upgrade street lighting at 79th Street and Quivira Road.
The 2022 Action Plan anticipates an allocation of $718,146 for the local HOME program for the rehabilitation of eligible owner-occupied homes and acquisition, rehabilitation and production of affordable housing throughout Johnson County.
Community Housing Development Organizations will be awarded $264,603. This represents a statutory 15% set-aside for creation of affordable housing opportunities for low to moderate income families.
The 2022 plan does not fully fund all requests for CDBG allocations. The county received $685,223 in public service, public facility and housing requests with $475,000 available for allocation. Johnson County’s public services, which must be kept at 15% of the annual Action Plan, had $191,036 in requests with only $97,725 allocated.
Seventeen of Johnson County’s 20 cities participate in the county renewed cooperation agreements for federal funding by the Action Plan. Overland Park and Shawnee receive their own CDBG entitlement from HUD. Bonner Springs is only partially in Johnson County with its seat of government in Wyandotte County.
All cities in the county, including Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park and Shawnee, have cooperative agreements with the county to participate in the HOME program through the Johnson County HOME Consortium.
With the board’s approval Thursday, the 2022 Action Plan will be submitted to HUD for final review and federal funding authorization.