MBJ: Shelby County to hold community meetings for HUD grant

“Shelby County government is in the midst of a national competition and it wants the public’s help.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will allocate $1 billion in grant funding to state and local governments in areas that were Presidentially Declared Major Disasters between 2011 and 2013.

There were 67 applicants that competed in Phase I of the National Disaster Resilience Competition; that number was whittled down to 40 for Phase II.

Now, as Shelby County prepares its Phase II application, it will host a series of public hearings in October to give residents a chance to provide feedback and review a draft of the application, which included proposals on ways to minimize flood damage like that experienced in 2011.

Some of the items outlined in the application include: creating or redesigning park spaces to create natural areas to collect storm water, connecting neighborhoods with trails and complete streets, and increasing access to fresh, local foods.

“The public draft of the phase II application will be published Thursday,” said John Zeanah from the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Sustainability. “During these three public hearings, we look forward to sharing the concepts developed for resilience and community benefits with residents in order to get their input to help shape the final application.”

Phase I was the “framing phase” and Phase II is the “implementation phase.” Grants will be awarded in January with funding expected to range from $1 million to $500 million. Phase II applications must be submitted by Oct. 27.

“The notice of funding indicates HUD is expecting to make 40 awards — there are 40 finalists — but applicants must achieve a minimum score to receive funding,” Zeanah said.

The Shelby County Resilience Council, which was appointed by Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell in July 2015 to “foster and implement resilience in Shelby County and the Mid-South region,” will host the three public meetings. The group is made up of members of the Department of Public Works, Office of Sustainability, Department of Housing, Department of Engineering and Office of Preparedness.

Public Meetings:

Oct. 1: 6 p.m. – Harvell Civic Center, 8077 Wilkinsville Road, Millington

Oct. 8: 5:30 p.m. – Golden Gate Cathedral, 3240 James Road,Memphis

Oct. 12: 5:30 p.m. – Whitehaven Library, 4120 Millbranch Road, Memphis”

MBJ: Shelby County to hold community meetings for HUD grant

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