The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development yesterday notified D.C. officials that $6 million of federal community development funds allocated for the city have been released.
The city's $26 million total allocation for this year had been withheld by HUD because of the District of Columbia's problems in finding permanent housing for families desplaced by HUD-sponsored projects.
The District of Columbia will get the other $20 million only if it submits acceptable reports outlining its progress in finding housing for the families awaiting relocation, according to a letter to Mayor Walter Washington from area HUD manager Terry C. Chisholm.
In response to criticism of its relocation progress, the city housing department submitted a 64-page relocation plan for 300 displaced families on Oct. 31, in anticipation of receiving the initial $6 million within a few days. But HUD officials voiced doubts about the plan, and refused to release any funds until the city cleared up specific points.
The city submitted a revised plan last week, and HUD officials have accepted it, according to Chisholm's letter.
Lorenzo W. Jacobs Jr., director of the city's Department of Housing and Community Development, said yesterday he is "delinghted" with the release of the $6 million. He said the funds probably would be used to do such things as pay staff members and provide rehabilitation meney.
During the past few months, the District of Columbia had been operating its community development program with funds left over from previous years. According to recent HUD figures, the city has spent 63 percent of the funds available to it over the past three years.
The money is used for a variety of projects, including fixing streets and rehabilitating rundown homes in specially designated community development areas.
Jacobs pointed out that the most significant change in the revised plan is the changing of the deadline for relocating families from the end of September 1979 to April 30, 1980.
HUD officials had told the city that many of the projects where they intended to house desplaced families would not be completed by the date in the city's original plan.
The revised plan also noted that as Dec. 14, 34 of the 300 families already had been permanently relocated. Twenty of them moved to public housing, 11 moved to private housing, and three moved to HUD-subsidized units.
HUD told the city that before any displaced families who turn down housing referrals from the city can be eviceted, the city must get HUD approval. Jacobs noted that while city officials "strongly object" to such a position, they agree to obtain HUD approval before requesting eviction of the tenants.
Jacobs asked that HUD act on such eviction requests within a 48- to 72-hour period. Community groups also will be advised of pending evictions, he said.