Future of federal funds uncertain as Auburn struggles to meet block grant spending requirements

Despite racing to fund several large community projects in 2017, the future of Auburn’s federal block grant allocation could be in jeopardy because the city failed to spend enough money to meet regulations set forth by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 2017, HUD determined that Auburn did not spend enough of its Community Development Block Grant funds after the department notified the city that it reevaluated its spending policies less than a month before the end of the city’s 2016-2017 CDBG program year. The city worked to spend the required amount for the 2017-2018 program year, Director of Planning and Economic Development Jennifer Haines said, but still came up short.

Auburn has been a HUD CDBG entitlement community since 1974. The city has always had a “great reputation” as an entitlement community, Haines said. The city typically receives a little over $800,000 in grants from the program, which are used to fund services and programs for low-to-moderate-income city residents.

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