The City of Norman has received $535,688 from Community Development Block Grant-CV (coronavirus) funding under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security Act to use toward COVID-19 relief.
President Trump signed the CARES Act into law March 27.
During a Norman City Council meeting May 12, council members approved the fund allocations. Now the motion is in the process of being sent to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for approval, which could take about a month, said Lisa Krieg, the City of Norman's CDBG grant manager.
According to a staff report, funding recommendations include the following:
• $25,000 toward administration
• $59,000 toward the hiring of a full-time homeless programs technician to help program coordinator Michelle Evans
• $50,000 toward a start-up package funds for homeless residents newly placed into housing, including beds and available household items
• $376,688 for rent and utility assistance for Norman households with annual income less than 80% of area median income
• $25,000 for nonprofits delivering home-delivered meals, including $5,000 each to Aging Services Inc., Food and Shelter Inc., Meals on Wheels Inc., Salvation Army Inc., Thunderbird Clubhouse Inc.
Krieg said the funds were distributed throughout the state based on a formula allocation, which determined the amount Norman received.
She said the city has received calls daily asking for assistance, but residents have been referred to other partner agencies because the city's funds aren't currently available.
She said the city posted the homeless services technician position recently and about 10 people applied. Interviews were hosted earlier this week and an applicant was selected. A background check is being done before the city makes an official offer. The position is fully funded through Fiscal Year End 2021 and will transition to a general fund position for FYE 2022,
Krieg said each housing start-up kit costs $500, so the funds will allow the city to help 100 individuals with house supplies.
Krieg said the city hopes to have a fund set up for residents impacted by COVID-19 to request rent and utility assistance in mid-June, depending on when HUD approves the fund distribution. Once details are established, more information will be released.
Krieg said the assistance is meant to help residents who have had a reduction of income or lapse in employment due to COVID-19 and “stay-at-home” orders. With the funding, the city expect to be able to help about 250 households with rent and utility assistance.
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