Cherokee County is entering the final year of a five-year-plan geared towards alleviating housing difficulties for low to medium income families in the area.
Starting in 2009, the county received Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in order to improve the quality of life of poorer county residents.
In order to receive the funds, the county submitted a comprehensive five-year-plan and an annual action plan, which outlines the tasks the county sees fit to complete in each year of the plan.
In the past four years, Cherokee County has received $3.5 million in funds as part of this program, and has used the money to build the work activities building at the Cherokee Day Training Center, improvements to the Senior Center on Univeter Road, and build sidewalks and a home for MUST Ministries in Woodstock.
2013's projects, like projects in previous years, adhere to the federally-mandated National Objective of Benefit to Low to Moderate Income persons.
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The county has asked for $813,777 to complete its 2013 projects, including $250,000 for parking improvements in downtown Canton and $86,000 to acquire property for Cherokee's Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA).
The City of Ball Ground would receive $100,000 to replace water lines and install curbs and gutters, and Bethesda Community Clinic would get $20,000 for its free and low-cost clinic services.
Due to Congress not yet approving funding for CDBG, the county can only receive 90% of the funding it was given in 2012.
Another federal program the county takes advantage of is the HUD Home Investment Partnership (HOME). $193,116 of HOME money will be used in 2013 to repair homes of senior citizens in Cherokee County and to acquire land for affordable housing. The county has already taken advantage of $1.5 million of HOME funds to repair 42 seniors' homes.
This federal program requires a 25% fund match by the county, which is provided by Cherokee's Habitat for Humanity.