Guide details distribution of nearly $10 million for neighborhood improvements and services

The Oakland County Community & Home Improvement Division recently released its 2016 guide, detailing how nearly $10 million in federal funds will be spent revitalizing neighborhoods, fixing up homes and providing residents with other vital programs and community services.

The 12-page guide gives an overview of the division and lists the services and programs available to residents such as free housing counseling from certified housing professionals, emergency housing support, home improvement assistance and programming for disadvantaged youth, the disabled and senior citizens.

"I applaud the fine work carried out by the staff of our Community & Home Improvement division," County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said.

"From helping fund a food program for seniors to making needed improvements in a community park, these programs and services touch residents of all ages throughout the county in so many ways."

The guide provides a list of the proposed community development block grant allocations to participating communities in Oakland County. The 2016 proposed allocations, which must be approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, include:

- $581,526 for demolition and clearing of blighted homes in Pontiac.

- $28,532 to make Gibson House & Park in Wixom ADA compliant.

- $24,835 for improvements to the Edna Burton Senior Center in Brandon Township.

- $24,293 to install an ADA compliant playground safety surface at Rochester Municipal Park.

- $22,500 for tree planting in Troy.

Other programs include free counseling on preventing foreclosure and tenants' rights. Low-income households can get interest-free loans to help pay for needed house repairs. Communities benefit through increased accessibility to public facilities as well as services for senior citizens, abused spouses and disadvantaged youth.

Community & Home Improvement, a division of the Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs, has helped residents with their housing needs and supported community development projects for more than 40 years. Hundreds of citizens, agencies and local officials are involved in setting priorities for activities that benefit low-income persons through the development of five-year consolidated plans.

"The fine work carried out by Community & Home Improvement is one the many ways Oakland County ensures it remains a great place to live, work, play and prosper," Patterson said.

Copies of the guide are available online at https://www.oakgov.com/news/Documents/chi_annualrpt.pdf or by calling the Community & Home Improvement Division at 248-858-0493.

Published: Thu, May 19, 2016

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