A plan for over $2 million in federal funding to improve the community and provide housing assistance was greenlit by Plano City Council.

The 2023-24 action plan for dispersing the $2.08 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development was subject to a public hearing during the July 24 meeting. The federal funds will be available Oct. 1, Housing Community Services Manager Shanette Eaden said.

In a nutshell

Plano has received HUD funds for Community Development Block Grants since 1985 and HOME Investment Partnerships Program dollars since 2003, Eaden said. This year, the city is set to receive nearly $1.48 million in Community Development Block Grants and $605,040 in HOME funds, she added.

Community development grants are targeted at funding housing and social services with the HOME grant dollars exclusively targeting housing. At least 70% of the community grants must impact low- to moderate-income residents, while all HOME funds target low- to moderate-income households, per documents provided to council.

To meet HUD objectives, Eaden said the city uses the funding to assist with a home rehabilitation program, provide first-time homebuyer education and assistance, aid the homeless, and contribute to emergency shelters that assist those in need.

Additionally, the city is looking to expand its impact by partnering with an organization that provides job training and transportation programs for low- to moderate-income residents. Eaden said such organizations can reach out to Plano's Neighborhood Services Department.

What they’re saying

“We need to do a concerted effort for outreach, and that is something that the staff wrote into the action plan,” Director of Neighborhood Services Lori Schwarz said. “It’s a concern for us because we don’t see those folks coming forward. What we might have to do is go to the metroplex to look for some of these nonprofits and see if they would come to Plano to serve Plano residents.”

Sorting out details

Eaden said the maximum 15%, $236,948, of community block grant funding has been allocated for public services, which include health care, welfare services and more.

According to a memo given to council, several programs have been outlined as federal funding recipients through the city.
  • Plano Grant Administration
  • Plano Housing Rehabilitation
  • Plano First Time Homebuyer
  • Plano Homelessness Prevention Program
  • Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation
  • Samaritan Inn
  • City House
  • The Family Place
  • My Possibilities
  • Habitat for Humanity of Collin County
A further 15% in HOME grants will be held aside for future allocation to a community housing development organization.

Along with the federally funded grants, the city distributes city-funded Buffington Community Service Grants through Plano Neighborhood Services. Eaden said the grants are funded using a formula of allocating $2 per capita with council to consider the award of $585,800 during the Aug. 17 meeting.