Brookhaven will hold a public hearing to receive input for how to use a federal grant that aims to assist economically disadvantaged areas of the city.
The city expects to receive $350,000 annually over the next five years from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Development (HUD). The city is in the process of creating its CDBG Consolidated Plan, and is seeking public input on the “economic and affordable housing development needs of the community,” according to its website.
Brookhaven started compiling the public input process for the plan in September of 2020.
The plan breaks down Brookhaven’s “needs” into five categories: Housing needs, homeless needs, non-homeless special needs, economic development needs and community development needs. The main area of interest for improvements is the Buford Highway Corridor.
The plan also summarizes eight different projects the grant would fund, some with more detail than others. Each project includes a target area, funding estimate and description. The first project, called Administrative and Planning, would set aside $72,246.80 to pay for planning and management of all CDBG projects.
The second project, “Fair Housing Services,” would use $5,000 for “fair housing education and enforcement activities.” The program may benefit up to 50 families. The “Workforce and Entrepreneurial Development” project would offer programs to help underemployed and unemployed residents “gain necessary skills to enter the workforce or start businesses,” and would benefit up to 50 low- or moderate-income residents.
About $10,000 is set aside for the “Targeted Code Enforcement” project. Code enforcement around Buford Highway has been controversial in the past. In 2019, residents at the Reserve at Brookhaven apartments received fines for leaving items such as bicycles and toys on their patios. The owner of the complex blamed the city’s beautification efforts and the construction of the Peachtree Creek Greenway nearby.
The plan sets aside $5,000 for the “Neighborhood Safety” project, which would benefit up to 100 people. About $50,000 would be set aside for the “ADA Sidewalk Improvements” project.
The “Neighborhood Facilities Improvements” project would include improvements to parks, recreation centers or non-profit buildings. This project would receive $59,802 in funding and assist about 100 low or moderate income residents.
The “Residential Rehabilitation” project would set aside $115,000 to fund renovations and improvements for existing housing, and is expected to benefit up to 10 households.
Residents can read a draft of the plan before attending the hearing, which will be held during the April 13 City Council meeting, according to a city spokesperson. Written comments on the draft will be accepted until April 20 and can be emailed to CDBG@Brookhavenga.gov.
The final plan is expected to be presented to the City Council at its April 27 meeting. Final documents should be submitted to HUD by May 15.