Supervisors today heard new information about San Benito County’s eligibility to receive a grant – of an unknown amount – from the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.

Housing Programs Coordinator C.J. Valenzuela outlined the disbursement of funds from the act, set to allocate $3.9 billion, of which California will receive $529 million. With the county being a non-entitlement jurisdiction, it must apply for the $145 million that has not been allotted already.

Valenzuela also announced that the jurisdictions that will automatically receive money from this act can apply for more funds, making it more difficult for counties such as San Benito to get a community development block grant.

“I hope that these funds are distributed fairly,” said Supervisor Don Marcus.

One major question raised at the meeting was how the county would spend the money. Supervisor Jaime De La Cruz wondered whether the money will go to help existing families save houses from foreclosure or if it will be used to help bring in new families.

After the topic was closed to the public, Supervisor Pat Loe, who presented the item to the board, cleared up where she would like to see the money go. Rather than using it for financing or repossessing houses, Loe would like to have it used to help renters and residents in emergency situations.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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