Urbana council approves federal funds for housing agencies

Urbana council approves federal funds for housing agencies

URBANA — Courage Connection, Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County and Navicore Solutions will each receive at least $150,000 in federal funding thanks to Monday's unanimous city council vote.

The funding is coming from the Urbana HOME Consortium, which obtains federal grant funds.

Courage Connection, an agency for domestic-violence victims and the homeless, as well as Navicore Solutions, a nonprofit that provides financial counseling, could receive additional funds of up to $27,671.50 each. Those would be obtained if eligible program-related soft costs are spent directly on administering programs, according to a council report.

Courage Connection will spend its money on creating a tenant-based rental-assistance program for low-income renters. Navicore will fund a down-payment-assistance program for qualified low-income buyers and Habitat of Humanity will construct and rehabilitate single-family homes.

In other business, Urbana Free Library Executive Director Celeste Choate presented her agency's annual report to the council Monday. She noted that the library didn't receive an expected $32,000 in the current city budget because of the state budget impasse and city financial difficulties. She said she's hoping to get that money in next year's budget, as well as the money the library would normally get next year.

In addition, Choate said the library is putting out bids for planning services to fix the porch that collapsed earlier this year, with the Urbana Free Library Foundation likely to pay for the construction.

In other business, Mayor Diane Marlin released a joint statement Monday with Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen expressing their desire to join the University of Illinois leaders who released a statement last week condemning the white-supremacy groups after a deadly rally Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, Va.

"We wish to strongly condemn the hateful violence, bigotry and racism associated with groups promoting the ideology of white supremacy, neo-Nazism, anti-Semitism and the KKK," the statement says. "Our community is greatly enriched through diversity brought by people from across the nation and around the world."

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