For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Tim Stroshane, Housing, (510) 981-5422

PUBLIC ENCOURAGED TO COMMENT ON CITY’S PLANS TO FIGHT POVERTY AND PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Berkeley, California (Thursday, March 22, 2007) - How should we should fight poverty and provide housing in Berkeley? A month-long public comment period is leading up to a public hearing at which the City Council will decide how to spend federal and local funds to fight poverty and homelessness.

The Berkeley City Council is being asked to approve an $8.5 million budget to fight poverty and homelessness here in Berkeley, of which $3.7 million is federal funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Emergency Shelter Grant Programs, and $4.8 million balance is locally generated General Fund money.

Together, the funds go toward community services and activities in the areas of the arts, childcare, community media, disability programs, employment training, health, homeless services, housing development and rehabilitation, legal and advocacy services, recreation, seniors, and youth.

The City Council must plan how to spend the grants, and send its plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

WHO:     The City Council and the public
WHAT:   Public hearing to consider the allocation of federal and local funds
WHEN:   Tuesday, April 24, 2008
                 7 p.m.
WHERE: City Council Chambers
                 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

The hearing will be in Council Chambers and is expected to be very full. Please come prepared to wait and limit your comments, or send comments of any length directly to the City Council.

Because of the widespread interest in these grants and in the City’s action plan in general, we encourage the public to comment on the plan before the hearing. The public comment period runs from March 22 to April 25, the day after the hearing.

Residents can read the Draft Annual Action Plan online at:

http://www.cityofberkeley.info/housing/communityaction2yr/ConsolidatedPlan.html

The official public notices (in English, Spanish and Chinese) can be found at:

 http://www.cityofberkeley.info/housing/Default.htm.

The annual plan is also available for public review:

Berkeley Public Library
2090 Kittredge Street

Reference Desk on the 2nd Floor

Berkeley Housing Department Reference Desk
Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Building, 2nd Floor

2180 Milvia Street (Between Center Street and Allston Way)

Written comments on the Draft Annual Action Plan should be directed to:

Tim Stroshane, Senior Planner, Berkeley Housing Department (address above), via email at mailto:tstroshane@ci.berkeley.ca.us, or by phone at 510/981-5422.

Written comments about agency proposals or the proposed budget allocations should be addressed to Kristen Lee, Community Services Specialist (address above), via email at mailto:kslee@ci.berkeley.ca.us, or by phone at 510/981-5427.

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