I’ve said this before, but hopefully a new audience will lead to something…at least to voting the right way in November and beyond.
Remember when the City kept saying they didn’t have money for buyouts? The State DID have the funds, but no one here made it a priority to use HUD’s CDBG funds toward our buyout need!
Just a bit of history:
1) HUD’s initial allocation (of CDBG funds) under the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008 granted the State of Iowa $85,000,000. This came from Federal Register /Vol. 73, No.177 / September 11, 2008 Notice (HUD’s Docket No. FR-5250-N-01). These funds were used for Iowa’s State Action Plan #1.
2) The 1st allocation of the Second 2008 Allocation granted the State of Iowa $125,297,142. This came from Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 29 / February 13, 2009 Notice (HUD’s Docket No. FR-5256-01). These funds were used for Iowa’s State Action Plan #2.
3) The 2nd allocation to the Second 2008 Act Allocation granted the State of Iowa $516,7713,868. This came from Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 156 / August 14, 2009 Notice (HUDs Docket No. FR-5337-N-01). These funds were also used for Iowa’s State Action Plan #2.
The State Action Plans state the purpose of how the CDBG funds will be allocated and the amount toward each purpose. These decisions are based upon the input of local leaders, elected or not, and the Rebuild Iowa (RIO) local staff (for Cedar Rapids, this was Ann Poe) and RIO’s Advisory Commission (RIAC). RIO’s various task forces would submit reports to RIAC for recommendations. These are the folks who state what the needs are and where the money should be allocated.
Local “representatives” – just WHO are they representing?
The RIO Housing Task Force included from Cedar Rapids, Jim Ernst and State Senator Rob Hogg.
The RIO Housing Resource Group included (among others) from Cedar Rapids, Drew Skogman of Skogman Homes and Katie Harms of OPN Architects.
The RIO Housing Task Force Report To the Rebuild Iowa Advisory Commission, dated August 2008 includes feedback from various areas around the State requesting buyouts. However, I can not find a single comment for buyouts for Cedar Rapids!
The State did not allocate any substantial funds towards CDBG (non-FEMA) buyouts until Amendment #4 of the 2nd allocation of the Second 2008 Act! Until then, they only allocated $10 million to this need in an earlier version of Action Plan #2. (There were NO funds allocated for CDBG buyouts nor landlords in Action Plan #1, while they allocated over $22 million to developers!)
Hmm… aren’t these local “leaders” SUPPOSED to be representing US? No wonder we had to wait so long for buyout funds.