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Chapel Hill accepting applications for Community Development Block Grant program

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Affordable housing located in the Chapel Hill area is pictured on Nov. 24, 2022.

The Town of Chapel Hill is now taking applications for the 2024-25 Community Development Block Grant program.

The national program intends to develop communities by providing housing and economic opportunities for community members earning low and moderate incomes. Congress established the grant system in 1974 to give funds each year to state and local governments, which distribute the funds to local organizations.

Megan Culp, the community development programs manager for the Town said any 501(c)(3) organization that serves low- to moderate-income households earning under 80 percent of the median income is eligible to apply for the grant.

She said  the Town ensures CDBG funding goes to supporting households that earn 80 percent of the area's median income and below, which is around $80,000 for a family of four.

Applications are available online at the Town's website and must be printed, scanned and submitted electronically by noon on Jan. 12. Potential applicants can meet with Culp to discuss funding ideas and ask questions in a pre-application meeting.

The Community Home Trust, which received a CDBG several times in recent yearsis a local organization in Chapel Hill that sells homes at an affordable rate for moderate- to low-income residents.

“Without this grant, it'd be very difficult for us to do our work," Lori Woolworth, financial director of Community Home Trust, said. "The CDBG grant has provided a lot of homes for our buyers, and they've made these homes affordable."

Woolworth said the grant allows Community Home Trust to support affordable housing in Chapel Hill by providing financial support for the organization to purchase, rehab and sell homes for an affordable price. Community Home Trust also used funds to bring in new inventory, including through the Town's Northside Neighborhood Initiative, she said.

In addition to affordable housing, Culp said around 15 percent of the grant budget may be used to support community programs. One recipient, Chapel Hill's Summer Youth Employment Program, creates employment development and training opportunities for low-income youth.

“We receive our direct funding — it's usually about $415,000 a year," Culp said.  "So in the grand scheme of things, in terms of our Town budget, it's not a huge part of the budget. But because we can be creative and how we use these funds, we have the opportunity to fund a lot of smaller or ongoing projects that the Town can't support otherwise."

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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