Conway launches new CDBG CARES act programs

The City of Conway was recently awarded $269,734 in Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG-CV) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis through the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), Public Law 116-136, which was signed by President Trump on Mar. 27, 2020, to respond to the growing effects of this public health crisis.

As a result of this Covid-19 pandemic, many individuals and families have experienced financial distress due to increased unemployment rates. A unanimous vote by the City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 8, appropriated $100,000 to rental and utility assistance to provide some financial relief for those families and individuals who have been subject to eviction due to job loss or lack of financial resources. This rental and utility assistance program will be conducted via the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).

The funding will target low-to-moderate income individuals and families who are facing eviction due to financial distress caused by the Covid-19 public health crisis. Funding will also be available for utility assistance. If an individual is approved for funding, they could be eligible for assistance up to 3 consecutive months, depending on their financial situation. Applications for funding will open on Friday, Sept. 11, and the funding will be available until the $100,000 is completely exhausted.

The remaining funding of $169,734 was appropriated for small business emergency grants to provide some financial relief for small, local businesses that have experienced the financial distress of the pandemic and have struggled to keep their doors open. The Small Business Emergency Grant Program will also be managed via the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).

The assistance will target small, locally owned businesses, with 51 percent of the employees being low-to-moderate income. When a business applies, income eligibility can be determined by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2020 income limits chart listed on the application. Applications will open on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, and close Friday, Oct. 9, at 12 p.m. Applications for both the rental and utility assistance and the Small Business Emergency Grant Program can be found at www.conwayarkansas.gov/communitydevelopment.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Office of Community Development at cdbg@conwayarkansas.gov.