The City of Austin is seeking public comment regarding it recommendations to use approximately $7.2 million in U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding for programs to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus under the ”Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.”

Community members are encouraged to access and review the proposal here: Draft Funding Recommendations for U.S. HUD Coronavirus Response.  The Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department (NHCD) has created a HUD Funding webpage with more detailed information.

In addition to those recommendations, the City also seeks public input on amendments to its current Citizen Participation Plan, which guides the steps undertaken to encourage community members to participate in the development of the City’s federal spending recommendations.

Funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
On March 27, 2020, the federal CARES Act, was signed into law, which authorized funding to be deployed by HUD through three programs: Community Development Block Grant-coronavirus response (CDBG-CV), Emergency Solutions Grant-coronavirus response (ESG-CV), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS-coronavirus response (HOPWA-CV).

To set priorities and develop recommendations for the use of CARES Act funding, the City recently sought public input on the community’s needs and service gaps.  Public input was received through a public hearing before Austin City Council on April 23, as well as online via the SpeakUp Austin website, by email, calls to NHCD and the City’s 2-1-1 phone lines, and postal mail.  In addition, feedback was also received from the City of Austin’s Recovery Panel, which includes staff from multiple departments who are involved in recovery efforts.

Comment on Draft Funding Recommendations and Amended Citizen Participation Plan
Community members are invited to review and comment on the Draft Funding Recommendations for U.S. HUD Coronavirus Response until May 11, 2020.  Given the urgency in addressing the coronavirus, the City has submitted waivers to expedite assistance to those impacted by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

As part of the process to accept the HUD funding from the CARES Act, HUD recommended that cities update their Citizen Participation Plans (CPP) to add a section regarding Disaster Response and Recovery Funds. The proposed amendments to the CPP can be found here.

Opportunities to provide feedback on the draft Housing and Urban Development Spending Plan and amendments to the City’s Citizen Participation Plan are described below.

SpeakUp Austin
The draft Spending Plan and amendments to the Citizen Participation Plan are available for review and comment on the SpeakUp Austin website from Monday May 4, 2020 through Monday, May 11, 2020.

Public Hearing Before the Community Development Commission (CDC)
The public is invited to provide input during the special videoconferencing meeting of the Community Development Commission (CDC) meeting that will be scheduled the week of May 11, 2020. The meeting date and time and instructions for providing public comment during the virtual public hearing can be found on the Community Development Commission website. Community members must sign up to provide public comment by noon the day before the meeting.

Submit by Postal Mail:
Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department
Attn: HUD Coronavirus Spending Plan and CPP Amendments
P.O. Box 1088
Austin, Texas 78767

Submit by Email:
[email protected]
Subject Heading: HUD Coronavirus Spending Plan and CPP Amendments