DeKalb’s housing rehab program is seriously underperforming

Last night, City of DeKalb held a public hearing and approved an annual budget for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). CDBD is a federal program administered by HUD that helps ensure viable communities, particularly in the area of decent and affordable housing for low- to moderate-income residents.

The general public did not participate in the public hearing. We rarely do. The CDBG budget is treated as routine and unremarkable, even when it’s not.

And this year it’s definitely not. Continue reading DeKalb’s housing rehab program is seriously underperforming

Flooded House Acquisition Criteria Need Another Look

From the Stormwater Task Force Minutes, October 23, 2008, which were finally received and filed by City Council July 13, 2009 (see pp. 49-51).

Jeff Birtell suggested a comprehensive review of all flood damaged properties be considered by the City in a complete neighborhood buyout approach. The Committee wanted to prioritize to City Council a shorter list affordable for buyouts with expected limited dollars.

After [Sue Guio’s] presentation and a lengthy discussion by committee, it was recommended that Council’s decision should be based on the life safety hazard issues when deciding what properties to purchase for buyouts. It was further recommended that the following properties be considered for buyouts based on having the highest benefit to cost ratio determined by FEMA; 814 Taylor, 829, 901, 909 Colby Court and 807 Dawn Court. However, Fairmont properties with high benefit cost ratios were suggested to be deferred at this time until future funding becomes available. These 5 priority properties for buyout consideration have serious life safety issues from river flooding and documented FEMA claims for lower living area damage.

A motion was made by Chairman Conboy to recommend Council consider these life safety issue properties as a priority for buyout with CDBG funds. Dawn Mirman seconded the motion. Motion carried by all except Dave Pauling and Elizabeth Hagen Moeller whom [sic] abstained due to both their properties lying within the buyout area.

Are there a lot of Birtells in DeKalb? Because according to the voter registration rolls from last fall, at least five Birtells lived at 909 Colby Court. Also coincidentally, a Jeff Birtell appears in some Council meeting minutes as an I&T tech for the City of DeKalb. Continue reading Flooded House Acquisition Criteria Need Another Look