HUD Projects in Johns Creek: Deemed INELIGIBLE
In an interesting turn of events since Cityhood, Fulton County has enacted strict policies regarding spending and has deemed Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) money the City of Johns Creek sought to spend on proposed projects are ineligible.
City staff spent many hours working on "ADA accessible fishing pier" for Shakerag park. The project included a wooden 30-foot-by-20-foot fishing dock and a 30-foot-by-40-foot wildlife observation deck at the lake.
Historically, HUD money grants are for "blighted" areas, not for mismanagement by the wealthiest City in Georgia. Fulton County saw the logic there, and "now requires income surveys to prove that those benefiting from a project are below the income thresholds".
City Staff is recommending the HUD money be spent on "housing rehabilitation program in which homeowners apply for projects (typically in the $1,000 - $15,000 range such as replacement of a roof or HVAC system)." After the income eligibility is verified, a grant is provided.
Mayor Bodker has been the biggest advocate for the Federal HUD dollars.
Councilwoman Stephanie Endres and Councilman Chris Coughlin both have campaigned against the City taking HUD dollars, in an effort to cut any strings attached or unknown compliance requirements.
There has been much controversy nationally over the HUD money and the strings attached, forcing urbanization and a regulatory nightmare for local governments. President Trump is considering canceling the program to save the federal government $6Billion annually, this would not be retroactive and impact the funds the City has already earmarked.
We previously wrote about HUD in our series, "Social Engineering and Federal Overreach Coming to Johns Creek?" Read them here:
What are your thoughts on the City seeking, advocating, and spending HUD money?
Source: City of Johns Creek
what a waste of money
No to HUD $$. We do not need density or more federal guidelines.
We need LESS government involvement. Government money equals government involvement. The fewer entities we are indebted to, the fewer entities we answer to. For everything you THINK you gain, you give up something. Is it worth it?
The HUD money should be used in blighted & impoverished areas--NOT our wealthy hamlet of JC. Who seriously thought we should take from the poor to enhance our already pompous city?
Too many strings attached that will negatively affect JC quality of life
Crazy, fro Johns Creek to even think of using HUD monies. We are a very affluent city and this should be used more effectively in other areas of Atlanta. Mayor Bodker needs to leave his post!!!!!!!!!!!!
I would have paid money to be in the room to watch JC officials discuss our need for HUD money with Fulton County's highly diverse staff members that oversee the distribution of these funds. I bet those discussions were very entertaining.
Just say no !
can't wait until we vote on a new group of leaders for our City !!
The council has tentatively decided to discontinue receiving these funds and returning all money that has not been spent dating back to 2014 through a discussion at the work session on May 8, 2017. There will be an official vote on May 22, 2017 council meeting. The discussion on Monday can be viewed at:
Go to 1:36 to view
Thank you to all who have followed this topic and let me know if there is anything else I can provide.
City Council Post 5
Thank you for sharing the link and it was GOOD to see a "common sense" result from the fog of the past few years. Johns Creek should never have been involved in this program from the start. I know the Mayor would like to move on from the obvious question of how did Johns Creek get involved from the beginning? Who brought up the recommendation? Since CH2M Hill is running "Community Development" could they be the recommendation source? Our head of Community Development who works for CH2M Hill has a large amount of experience in this area based one her resume. Could this be the source?
Reflection upon how we ever arrived to this point is basically "How can we make this better?" While this may be messy it is fundamental to have the City Administration (CH2M Hill) and the elected officials following the goals, values, morals of the citizens of Johns Creek. These Federal block grants are aimed at the likes of Bridgeport, CT a city that went bankrupt, New York City, Yonkers, N.Y., Philadelphia, PA to name a few examples. Many folks worked hard to leave these areas to live here. We know who, what and where these funds do qualify, Johns Creek isn't on that map. We need to find out who made the recommendation and why? If it is CH2M Hill, then why haven't we put Community Development & Public works out for competitive bids? Or maybe Warren Hutmacher needs to bring these departments in house to end the "conflict of interest." Thank your for sharing the light on this subject.
Thanks for sharing Stephanie and excellent questions Tom!
Tom - The link between the municipality and the federal government is really NOT perceived as detrimental and therefore seems to be a good way for governments to "enhance cash funding". Honestly I can't say it was CH2MHill or any one organization as it is widely accepted in the governmental world. Just my opinion based on my personal experiences at GMA training and talking with folks in other municipalities throughout the state of Georgia. Stephanie
Mayor Bodker has been a HUGE proponent for the HUD money for several years.
JCP Will look into its archive for that evidence.
Most residents were unfamiliar the City was receiving theses funds, until the JCP published about it.
It seems the Mayor has taken a different opinion, after pubic embarrassment and pressure.
The HUD money went to charitable organizations such as the Drake House, The Clothes Closet, Meals on Wheels, etc.
It's great to hear that some of our HUD money went to charitable organizations and projects to make several facilities more handicap friendly. However, I just don't think JC receiving HUD money is a good look for us given we're well know as an "affluent northern suburb of Atlanta" and we've been ranked in USA Today as one of the 50 best cities to live in.
I'm a believer that HUD funds are primarily designed to help disadvantaged communities that struggle with economic and social issues, in addition to providing support to build facilities for children and adults with physical and mental disabilities as well. I'm glad to hear that our City is planning to return our HUD money because there's numerous disadvantaged communities state-wide that need all the HUD money they can get.