Rep. Jim Costa announced today that Kern County and the cities of Bakersfield and Delano will receive $11.4 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for community development and assistance to the homeless. The funds were made available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) program and the HOME program. In March, Costa joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to urge that the U.S. House Appropriations Committee maintain funding for CDBG in 2013.
"Investing in our communities is a down payment on the future success of our Valley," said Costa. "When the bottom fell out of the housing market, we saw far too many foreclosure signs spring up on our city streets and too many of our neighbors lose their homes. Programs such as these help our cash-strapped cities and counties revitalize these neighborhoods while putting our people back to work."
More than $8.1 million of these funds were released from the CDBG program, which enables state and local governments to undertake a wide range of activities intended to create suitable living environments, provide affordable housing and create economic opportunities. The program primarily benefits low- to moderate-income families in more than 1,200 American cities.
The Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) program provided more than $800,000 in funding, which can be used for a range of programs aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness. State, local, and private entities are eligible for funding through this program.
The remaining $2.4 million of funding was released from the HOME program, which provides grants to states and localities to fund a wide range of activities to build, buy and/or rehabilitate affordable housing for rent or homeownership or provide direct rental assistance to low-income people.