HUD & Larimer
I had to respond to Roberta Lebedda's “robbing Peter to pay Paul” letter “HUD at cross-purposes” criticizing the Choice Neighborhood Grant to Larimer as if it was taken from the Continuum of Care funds assisting the homeless. She also suggested the Choice grant was mainly about creating parks.
This is like criticizing a doctor saving a person from a heart attack by saying the doctor isn't saving another patient from cancer. Homelessness is a critical issue, but so is repairing declining housing and neighborhoods.
Most of the Choice funds will be spent replacing rundown public housing in Larimer with housing for low- and moderate-income families ($21 million of the $30 million.) That can prevent more homelessness. To be eligible for Choice funds, a community has to write a plan to transform a neighborhood (including providing services to children and families) and commit local funds to replace facilities like sewers.
The Continuum of Care funds aren't being reduced to build park benches. In reality, Congress is moving from directly assisting individuals (such as reducing food stamp funds). HUD and other agencies will be directed to reduce funding for Continuum of Care-type programs.
The writer, a Pittsburgh native and Peabody High School graduate who earned her master's degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Pittsburgh, is a principal planner for Seminole County government in Florida.