By: Diane Benjamin
One thing I haven’t posted yet is how much Community Block Grant money is loaned out. The list goes back to 1981, some of them are obviously un-collectible. Some of the people listed do not appear as owning a home in the County Assessor’s database or (in at least one case) the property address doesn’t exist.
CDBG funds come from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is just another thing the federal government was never created to do. Money is laundered through bureaucrats via your taxes and then they decide how much to dole out to cities. A Public Hearing is required to decide how to spend the money, both Bloomington and Normal recently held theirs. Those hearings don’t matter since both cities are going to spend the money how they want using to the HUD guidelines. Keep in mind this redistribution of whatever wealth remains when the bureaucrats are done is going on across the country. Compassion!
Link to Bloomington’s Public Hearing documentation: PDF page 154-169 http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=20492
How much they expect to receive is not included in the documentation!
Bloomington currently has a deferred CDBG balance outstanding of $1,860,914 for 141 loans. Payments are not being made. As stated above, some are not collectible, but unlike the private sector who wouldn’t carry receivables forever, they are still on the books as an asset.
Four loans totaling $88,478 were just made in October. For some unknown reason they were not included in the $1,860,914, so the real total is $1,949,392.
One other thing I don’t understand is the original balance on these loans was $2,119,211. At some point payments were being made on some of these loans, but payments stopped and they were put in “deferred”.
The City is showing an additional $75,514 outstanding that payments are being made on, they were made between 1993 and 2008. The original amount totaled $154,139, these 9 loans likely should have been paid back years ago.
One of the 141 loans is at 3%, one on the list doesn’t show an APR, all the rest are at 0%
Things I don’t know:
- If payments are received, where does the money go? General Fund or loaned back to other people?
- How much does administration of these loans costs Bloomington taxpayers, filing a lien costs at least $20.00. How much does tracking and recording payments cost? Who is in charge of past due loans? Who reviews the applications and meets with the homeowner? Is legal involved in creating documents?
- Who decides if applicants get grants or loans? Both are listed on Bills and Payroll
- Was an ordinance ever passed by the Council prohibiting loans and grants made from the General Fund? (your local tax money)
- Are these owners able to maintain the rest of their property? Home ownership requires money for repairs. Is this just a band-aid approach to keep people in their homes they likely can’t afford?
Keep in mind the City has an additional $217,823 outstanding from General Fund loans. Those loans go back to 2001. Without looking up every property, I have no idea how much of this money will ever be collected.
I did see one loan from 1987 for a measly $725. No payments have ever been made on this loan. The property owner pays over $6,000 in property taxes every year. Nobody ever asked for the $725? It is on the “deferred” CDBG list.
If excess amounts of your money wasn’t stolen by taxation, programs like this wouldn’t exist. The need would also decreases as people would keep more of what they earn. Personal responsibility isn’t required when money is available that shouldn’t be. Add this to the list of things the feds shouldn’t be doing along with funding empty buses and calling it compassion.