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How Meridian plans to spend over half a million dollars in federal funding

Posted at 4:52 PM, Jul 01, 2024

MERIDIAN, Idaho — The city says they're working to ensure stable housing and a better quality of life for residents with the money from HUD, through their Community Development Block Grant Program.

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(Below is a transcript from the broadcast story)

Federal funding aims to ensure stable housing and a better quality of life for residents in Meridian.

Every year, the city creates an action plan for projects to be funded.

New for 2024, the funding will focus on improving walkability in areas west of downtown.

“It’s basically better walkability in areas identified by HUD,” said Crystal Campbell - Community Development Program Coordinator, Meridian.

HUD, or the Housing and Urban Development agency, is funding the city's Community Development Block Grant.

“It’s something that is in the federal budget annually, and there's always talks of cutting these programs. And so if the public doesn't speak out and say that they support it, then there's a chance of us not receiving the funding in the future,” said Campbell.

Some projects the grant funded in recent years include updated and accessible restrooms at the Meridian Library, the NeighborWorks Boise home repair program, and scholarships for children at Meridian’s Boys and Girls Club.

Club directors tell me that the funding helps offer scholarships to local children. They say a majority of kids enrolled at their club receive some kind of financial assistance.

“Each year we fund Jesse Tree for emergency rental assistance. We also did transportation for seniors with the Meridian Senior Center, and currently we are funding Faces of Hope,” said Campbell.

A common misconception is that this grant goes towards constructing affordable housing or consistently pay rent for low income households.

“The approach that Meridian has taken is that we are trying to pay for things that will help people be able to put more money towards their housing. So, childcare, emergency rental assistance, and our homeowner repairs," said Campbell.