Long Beach is asking for residents’ input on how to spend approximately $8.8 million in federal funding that the city received to go toward programs and housing for disadvantaged and under-resourced areas of the city.

The city is hosting two meetings this month to get feedback from residents before a draft plan for how the money will be used is released next month, according to Rick de la Torre, a spokesperson for Development Services.

Long Beach is expected to receive $8,791,961 for the fiscal year that starts in October through the federal government’s Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Emergency Solutions Grants Program.

Those funds can be used for things like creating affordable housing, homeless services and other programs to benefit low-income residents and underserved communities, De la Torre said in an email.

The city is hosting a virtual meeting April 8 at 10 a.m. where residents can tell the city what programs should be prioritized. An in-person hearing is scheduled for April 19 during the Long Beach Community Investment Company’s meeting at 4 p.m. inside the Beach Conference Room at City Hall, which can also be attended virtually.

Whatever residents propose will have to align with federal restrictions on the funds as well as the city’s five-year Consolidated Plan, which outlines how the city intends to invest in these communities.

The plan runs through 2027 and includes goals for creating and preserving affordable housing, preventing homelessness, improving public infrastructure and improving business corridors in underserved communities.

A review of past successes included in this year’s plan showed that the city used funds to help provide 251 households with security and utility deposits, help 284 homes get rehabilitation loans and rebates, plant trees in underserved communities and pay for afterschool and weekend programs for youth in the area, among other things.

The timeframe in which the city has to spend the fund varies and could be as long as five years, de la Torre said. The city expects to publish a draft action plan on how the money will be spent on May 19 on the Development Services website.

Information on how to register for either meeting can be found here.

Residents call for more funding for neighborhood services during first budget listening session

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.