A Chapel Hill housing project for the homeless was denied federal funding last month and now might be forced to close its doors.
The Inter-Faith Council plans to ask federal lawmakers to reallocate money for Project Homestart, a program some say was shortchanged.
The loss of funds will cut 75 percent of Project Homestart's budget and force it to shut down on March 31, leaving 15 families and their 31 children homeless.
"It's strange to us," said IFC Executive Director Chris Moran. "It's very disconcerting."
Project Homestart was denied renewal of a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development -- a grant it has received since 1998.
Project Homestart provides transitional housing for homeless families and tries to place them in permanent housing within two years. The program also teaches families skills they need in order to avoid becoming homeless again.
Moran said that this year, a group of social service activists, the Orange County Continuum of Care, was advised to give more priority to programs providing permanent housing instead of Project Homestart.
The COC ranked Club Nova, a housing project for the mentally ill in Carrboro that will purchase affordable housing in the area, higher than Project Homestart. Therefore, when federal funds were distributed, there was not enough money for Project Homestart.
Club Nova received $103,296 to construct new apartments and $525,000 for the purchase of affordable housing for low-income residents. Orange County also received $103,000 for a project aiding the homeless that is not in competition with Project Homestart for funds.