By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – Community Development Director Jeff Baum said he and Mayor Rick Sollars will present a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding package at the Dec. 15 city council meeting.
“We did receive $325,000 of additional CARES Act funding, and we will be putting together a residential rental relief program,” Baum said. “We are working through the kinks of that, and all the guidelines, and trying to see how we can help as many residents as possible.”
Baum said it is meant to be something that will “keep them afloat,” which will be brought before the city council for approval at its Dec. 15 meeting.
“With mortgages and the CARES Act, as long as it is a government-insured mortgage, they have to offer relief,” he said. “But, say you went to a credit union for your mortgage, those are not government-backed, so, there will be a little bit of mortgage relief, and that is where we are trying to work out all the guidelines.”
Baum said they also plan to bring another relief package for Fish & Loaves Community Food Pantry to the City Council Dec. 15 for its approval.
“HUD did uncap the public service cap, so we are going to bring that forward at the next meeting,” he said.
Sollars expanded on Baum’s explanation by emphasizing that the program will basically provide rental assistance, some mortgage assistance and some land contract assistance.
“That is what we are trying to bring forward for you to consider,” he said. “The federally insured mortgages do have some internal relief already built in, and we are trying to extend it.”
Sollars said they are considering up to $1,500 of mortgage assistance, which he said would let them help about 175 families.
“If you look at the number of renters in the city of Taylor, including apartments, it is probably north of 2,000,” he said. “So, that is still only a small drop in the bucket, but we are trying to make the best of what we have.”
Sollars said they are still encouraging people to apply for the small business grants, for which a $60,000 balance remains.
“As of right now, we have a small balance remaining, and zero applications in the hopper,” he said. “So, for the small businesses that are struggling, please submit your applications, and we will try to process them as quickly as possible.”
He said applicants should go to cityoftaylor.com and go to the community development section, which has the application link.
Councilwoman Angela Winton said there also are some grants available for small businesses through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Sollars concurred, and noted that Wayne County also has some small business grants available.
“I don’t know if because it does require a certain amount of information to be submitted, if people are just reluctant to share that information, but, again, internally, everything here is kept confidential,” he said. “It is shared with (the city council) upon request, but it does not go out anywhere else, so the documents are not shared anywhere, and there is no reason for them to be concerned, so please, submit the application.”
Sollars said he wants to make sure the city exhausts its entire grant amount, to help as many residents as possible.
“Hopefully, it will give people some hope of relief, especially this time of year,” he said.