2014 CDBG funds approved by Opelika City Council, program continues to help city flourish

2014 CDBG funds approved by Opelika City Council, program continues to help city flourish

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Opelika native, Patricia Jackson, has been living in the same home for close to 50 years.

When you walk through the front door, you would never guess the house is over a half century old, but just four months ago it was a different story.

"My floors were caving in, they came in a fixed the floors in my house and the ceiling on one side, so they did a lot of work," explains Jackson.

Jackson received help by applying for the City's Community Development Block Grant Program.

"The City has been an entitlement city through HUD since 2000. CDBG, the Community Development Block Grant and those funds we receive from HUD to assist low to moderate income families within the city limits of Opelika," explains Lisa Harrelson, City Of Opelika Planning Administrator.

During the Opelika City Council meeting, held July 15, the 2014 CDBG budget was approved and will now be sent to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In addition housing services, over the years Opelika has provided more than a million dollars in funding to public service activities, facility improvements, and rehabilitation projects like the fa├žades of Opelika Main Street through the CDBG program.

"I don't know what we would do without these funds," says Harrelson.

The council approved the budget $207,000, which is less than the 2013 budget of $225,000.

The area affected most this year is the East Alabama Food Bank's Community Market.

"That hurts when you take that much money away and someone has to get cut. We have to decide which program gets cut of which allocation of funds gets reduced and that is the difficult part," explains Harrelson.

However, with these funds, Harrelson has helped dozens of Opelika residents be able to live in a safe and stable environment and she encourages those who are looking for assistance to apply.

"I hope anyone else needing help would go to Lisa, because she did an excellent job and she is very kind and worked diligently with me," says Jackson.

If you believe you qualify for the CDBG program, you can contact Lisa Harrelson at (334) 705-5155.

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