Prince George's County Executive Lawrence J. Hogan this week proposed a $6.8 million Neighborhood Improvement Program for fiscal 1981 that includes nearly $2 million for housing rehabilitation in the county and $1 million for an economic development project near the future Addision Road Metrorail stop.
The balance of the remaining $3.8 million will be used to underwrite capital improvement projects and economic development programs in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods across the county. If the plan wins approval from the County Council, it will then go to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for final action.
The Neighborhood Improvement Program, which is in its sixth year, is funded through community block grant funds from HUD. Over the years, it has been used to stimulate the rehabilitation and development of blighted neighborhoods and to broaden the county's economic base.
Since passage of the county's tax-limiting charter amendment, TRIM, the Neighborhood Improvement Program has taken on new meaning. Because of the revenue limits placed on the county budget by TRIM, local officials are relying more and more on federal programs for community rehabilitation and economic development funds.
Through a combination grant and loan program, the county would spend nearly $2 million rehabilitating low- and moderate-income housing throughout the county. Among the communities that would receive money would be Deanwood Park, Brentwood, Mount Rainier, Cottage City, Greenbelt, Takoma Park, Fairmont Heights and Palmer Park.
Nearly $600,000 will be used for community development in poverty-stricken areas in rural southeastern Prince George's. A community renewal survey conducted by the county showed that the southeastern rural areas had 29 percent of the county's physically deteriorating housing, but only 5.7 percent of the county's population.
Under the executive's proposed plan, the county would spend the bulk of the $600,000 demolishing substandard housing, financing land and property acquisitions for affected tenants, and relocating tenants who are willing to move.
The proposed fiscal 1981 Neighborhood Improvement Program also calls for the expenditure of nearly $1 million on capital improvement and economic development projects in the Seat Pleasant-Capitol Heights-Addison Road Metro area.
The package also includes funding for a senior health clinic in College Park, rural transportation, a housing weatherization program and preperation of a comprehensive development plan for the county.