Canton Repository

August 28, 2004

Three cities, Stark to get millions in housing aid

By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service

WASHINGTON — Stark County and three of its cities are receiving almost $9 million in annual federal housing and community development aid, a federal agency revealed Friday.

The largest sum goes to Canton, which receives $4.4 million, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said. Stark County will get $2.8 million, while Massillon gets $889,000 and Alliance receives $835,000.

The majority of the funding is in the form of community development block grants, which can be spent on housing and to expand economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income people.

Canton will receive $3.5 million in the development block grants, and Stark gets $1.7 million. All of the money that Massillon and Alliance are receiving is in block grants.

This year’s grant to Stark is up from the $1.6 million the county received last year, said an aide to Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Bethlehem Township. Previous year figures for other grants were unavailable late Friday.

Canton and Stark County are receiving several other forms of aid.

Stark County gets $981,723 in HOME grants, which are used to build, buy or rehabilitate affordable housing or provide rental assistance to low-income people. Canton will receive a $775,150 HOME grant.

Stark County also is receiving $116,069 through a new program called the American Dream Downpayment Initiative. The program helps people with low incomes to make the down payment on a first home.

Rep. Bob Ney, R-St. Clairsville, chairman of a housing subcommittee in the Congress, was a key backer of the legislation that created the program.

Canton was the only city in the county to receive an emergency shelter grant of $130,260. The program is used primarily to convert buildings to homeless shelters.