Lansing requires more federal funds to advance annual action plan

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Jiazhi Chen

4th Ward Council Member Brian T. Jackson asked EDP how to make sure these funds were in the right places.

On April 10, the Department of Economic Development & Planning revealed to the Lansing City Council its plans for various programs during the year and hoped to receive financial support. 

Lansing is in the process of developing a five-year plan from 2022 to 2026 that is essentially acceding to community needs and assists the city in how it uses funds to help housing public services, economic development and homeless issues. 

“If we don’t submit the application for funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by the due date, then we are in a situation of not receiving any funds,” said Senior Planner Doris Witherspoon.

The annual action plan is a one-year plan from July 1, 2023 until June 30, 2024 that supports the goals, objectives and strategy of the five-year plan. The annual plan includes the community development block grant program, home program and the emergency solution grant program.

Witherspoon stated the EDP and Eaton County Continuum of Care are collaborating and coordinating for the annual action plan.

“I have been involved with the COC for about 20 years,” said Witherspoon. “I make sure that our plans coincide in the strategic plan with the COC that it also includes our plan as well.”

At-Large Council Member Patricia Spitzley asked both EDP representatives how to ensure the  grant dollars are supposed to be used in the right places.

“For every organization, we execute a contract so that we have a written contract and every year we do monitoring of our sub-recipients, and they provide us with their annual audit, financial statements and information on their board of directors,” said Kimmel. “We are also reviewing what they are billing us for to ensure that we have the proper documentation.”

Witherspoon presented a chart representing the amounts each category received in funding from 2015 till 2024.

Witherspoon mentioned the Human Relations and Community Services Department is responsible for managing the grant. At the same time, they will provide notices to those who are interested in utilizing these funds and review their applications of the funds.

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