City Takes Steps For Funding Opportunities
BY JIM PREDMORE
The Holtville City Council took action on three different elements that will open doors for additional grant funding for the City. The first was the adoption of the Housing Element Update for 2014-2021 which was over due by three years due to staff and funding restraints.
Since 1969, California has required that all local governments including cities and counties to adequately plan to meet the housing needs of everyone in the community. California’s local governments meet this requirement by adopting housing plans as part of their “general plan”, also required by the state. General plans serve as the local government’s “blueprint” for how the city and or county will grow and develop and include seven elements: land use, transportation, conservation, noise, open space, safety, and housing. The law mandating that housing be included as an element of each jurisdiction’s general plan is known as “housing-element law.”
California’s housing-element law acknowledges that, in order for the private market to adequately address the housing needs and demand of Californians, local governments must adopt plans and regulatory systems that provide opportunities for housing development. As a result, housing policy in California rests largely on the effective implementation of local general plans and, in particular, local housing elements.
Updating a jurisdiction’s housing element, while important to meeting one of the most basic needs of Californians, can be daunting, and a lot is at stake. Individuals and families are directly affected by each jurisdiction’s ability to plan for the housing needs of those who will live, work, and play in every community.
Those who build homes and apartments and help families become homeowners often rely on funding from state and federal housing programs administered by HCD and other state departments and agencies. In some cases, funding from state/federal housing programs can only be accessed if the jurisdiction has a compliant housing element. In other cases, a compliant housing element is not a requirement in order to apply for funding; however, those applying for funding will receive extra points on their application if they do have a compliant housing element, thereby increasing their chances in the competitive application process.
The City of Holtville is now in compliance with the Housing Element and will soon be adopting a new General Plan with will have needed changes to promote more housing development in the City of Holtville and will open doors for needed funding for developers.
The City also made some adjustments to the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) which will make the City eligible to apply for Notice of Funding Grants that could help the City and Local Businesses with the funding of projects.