Federal funding, community support grants and private donations administered by the City of Allen helped provide safe and stable housing to nearly 200 families last year.
Allen’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program offers home repairs, rent and utility assistance and other community support to Allen residents who meet income guidelines. All funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
To qualify for the funding, city leaders must approve and review 5-year strategic plans along with annual performance evaluations. In 2017-2018, Allen’s CDBG program funded:
- 7 full rehab projects, including sewer replacements and foundation repairs
- 14 urgent repairs, including HVAC repairs
- Rent and utility assistance for 119 Allen households
- One-on-one consultations with 31 individuals on affordable housing, home ownership, fair-housing laws and lead-based paint
New this year, Allen helped administer $10,000 in property improvement funds donated by Happy State Bank. These funds helped cover the cost of four fence replacements and a new garage door for qualifying families. Allen also launched a new partnership with Home Depot Foundation to assist veterans and other residents with minor home repairs.
“[One] gentleman had experienced several bad falls in his house, and the only ways EMTs could get to him was to break down his door,” said Erin Jones, senior planner with the City of Allen. “It had gotten to the point where it wouldn’t lock and was a safety issue. The Home Depot Foundation came out and replaced his entire door.”
The City continued working with local volunteers in Live.Love.Allen. This program helps homeowners address code enforcement complaints, such as dead trees or overgrown grass, when they lack the funding or physical ability to complete the work themselves. In 2017-2018, Live.Love.Allen. completed 13 projects for Allen families.
“We’re seeing more projects where we need to take a holistic approach,” said Jones. “CDGB funds alone are not doing this. Property improvement funds alone are not doing this. So we’re getting creative to partner with volunteers and others to make needed repairs at a fraction of the cost.”
In addition, the City provided $50,000 in Community Support Grants to three organizations helping citizens in Allen: Family Promise of Collin County, CASA and Meals on Wheels.