The Community Development Services Department administers federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: The Community Development Block Grant and Home Investment Partnerships Program. Statutory programs goals include decent housing, suitable living environment and expanded economic opportunities. Through these national goals, the Community Development Department provides programs addressing local housing and non-housing needs primarily for special needs populations (e.g. the elderly, disabled, homeless, and low- and moderate-income people). The department also collaborates with both private and public entities to leverage resources and serve additional families.
Current allocations for the 2020-2021 program year include:
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
CDBG CARES original amount $494,864 received 4th quarter 19/20 yr.
Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES),
Home Investment Partnership (HOME)
State CARES Texas Emergency Rental Assistance
Highlights of accomplishments
The Community Development Services Department provided direct services through its ongoing housing programs to improve the conditions of owner-occupied homes through the following actions. The department:
- Completed 65 minor repairs (minor health/safety issues via a grant of up to $5,000) and three demolition/reconstructions (eliminating substandard housing by demolishing the existing home and replacing it with a complete new structure).
- Provided three families with opportunities to buy a home in Bryan with a deferred loan for down payment assistance (up to $14,000).
- Provided emergency rent and utilities assistance to 16 families experiencing COVID-related needs under a newly-developed Tenant-Based Rental Assistance pProgram using HOME funds.
- Received an additional state of Texas CDBG CARES grant, the Texas Emergency Rent Assistance Program, to address COVID-related rent needs. These funds were sub-awarded to a local nonprofit, which served more than 200 unduplicated clients for the contract period.
- Made housing outreach efforts to volunteer groups such as U.M. ARMY to provide increased housing assistance to families in need through landscaping, painting and ramps.
In non-housing related activities, the department:
- Used the Community Development Block Grant to fund three nonprofits that provide health and social services related to assisting with child poverty issues, children aging out of foster care and youth mentoring.
- Provided CDBG CARES funding for COVID-19-related needs to three additional agencies for emergency rent, utilities and food assistance. An estimated total of 1,001 unduplicated clients were served by all funded nonprofit agencies.
- Issued economic development grants to help reduce COVID-19-related impacts on Bryan small businesses. The grants were made in the amount between $10,000 and $30,000 to more than 19 Bryan small businesses with primarily low- and moderate-income employees. These funds created or retained at least 171 low- and moderate-income full-time equivalent jobs.
- Coordinated the Bank On Brazos Valley (BOBV) program, which facilitated an art/video contest for students of all ages in Bryan ISD. This program provided students creative ways to show the importance of understanding money and how to use it. BOBV provided two webinars (for social distancing because of COVID-19) to youth and related groups on the importance of a positive banking relationship.
The Community Development Department accomplished the following in FY 2021:
- Coordinated 65 minor home repair projects to enable eligible homeowners to eliminate or mitigate health and safety issues.
- Enabled three Habitat for Humanity homes by using grant funds to connect sewer infrastructure.
- Provided grant funds to one Community Housing Development Organization new single-family rental cottage for low-income elderly residents, which is nearing completion.
- Reconstructed three dilapidated owner-occupied homes, and started reconstruction on two additional dilapidated homes for low-income homeowners. One reconstruction was a manufactured home replacement under the Bryan Home Foundation Initiative general fund program.
- Began demolition on one dilapidated home for low-income property owners.
- Provided homebuyer information, counseling and down payment assistance to three first-time homebuyers.
- Provided direct assistance to 16 households through the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance emergency rent/utilities assistance program. Many more were referred to other agencies providing these services in the community.
- Partnered with volunteer groups (i.e., U.M. ARMY, Rebuilding Together B/CS, Texas Ramp Project and various Texas A&M student groups) for additional housing assistance such as landscaping, painting and wheelchair ramps for several projects.
- Coordinated church forums to continue partnerships for minor repairs and continued coordinated planning efforts for a Christ Mission Center to house volunteers throughout the year (Limited activity due to COVID-19).
- Serviced 40 loans on past housing projects, resulting in approximately $118,800 in program income funding to be used on additional future department housing projects.
- Prepared the 2021 Annual Action Plan and received city council approval. This is the second Annual plan of the 2020-2024 5-Year Consolidated Plan period.
- Coordinated the Joint Relief Funding Review process for the 2020-2021 year.
- Monitored grant contracts with health and social service agencies, assisting clients by providing direct services for financial stability and case management; emergency financial direct aid; health-related needs; case management for homeless people; and advocates of minors who are wards of the state.
- Coordinated the Bank on Brazos Valley program that focuses on youth and family financial literacy. Members of the Bank on Brazos Valley group outreach was limited due to the pandemic social distancing needs. The program provided two webinars directed toward youth during the year.
- Worked with Bryan ISD to provide an art and video contest regarding the importance of utilizing money, establishing a budget and understanding the function of money. The contest was aimed at all grade levels, with awards in the following categories: K-4th , 5th and 6th, 7th and 8th, and 9th -12th grades.
- Implemented a waiver approval process for the HOME program to reduce federal requirements to more efficiently assist people affected by COVID-19.
- Used CDBG CARES funding to assist 3 additional nonprofit agencies to address COVID-19 high priority needs. This funding is estimated to assist more than 500 people through the contract period. Added additional funding to two original grants from CDBG CV-3 funding
- Used $430,000 in CDBG CARES funding to assist 19 Bryan businesses through a new Emergency Economic Development Grant program to create and/or retain approximately 171 low to moderate-income jobs.