The city of Auburn will not see any change in its 2018-2019 Community Development Block Grant funding from the federal government, despite struggling to comply with recently revised regulations attached to the grant money.
Mayor Michael Quill announced Monday that the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has decided not to reduce the city's grant due to "circumstances beyond the city's reasonable control" that prevented officials from meeting HUD's timeliness tests for spending down past funds.
In 2017 and 2018, the city was deemed "untimely" by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, meaning the city did not spend enough of its grant money in those years. According to HUD regulations, any community that fails to meet the timeliness standards for two years in a row is in jeopardy of losing their grant funds.
In March, Quill and members of the Office of Planning and Economic Development traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with HUD officials and discuss the circumstances that prevented them from spending the appropriate amounts of money, as well as steps taken by the city to meet the deadlines.
"This is great news for Auburn and the many projects and programs that these important CDBG funds impact," Quill said in a statement. "I would like to recognize the diligent efforts of our City staff that work on our CDBG program."
Quill also expressed his thanks to the city's federal elected officials, U.S. Rep. John Katko and Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, for their assistance in reaching out to HUD on the city's behalf.
"Our Federal delegation worked together because they know how important these federal funds are to our community and we thank them for making sure CDBG remains a priority in the Federal budget,” Quill said.
Director of Planning and Economic Development Jenny Haines added, "We are thrilled to hear this news from HUD, which will allow the City to continue moving forward multiple projects planned to benefit the residents of the City of Auburn. We are grateful to our partners in HUD Buffalo and HUD Washington, whose passion for CDBG matches ours, and we look forward to more good work together now and in years to come."