During National Community Development Week this week, Orem is trying to acquaint residents with federal funding opportunities that are available through Community Development Block Grants.
Konrad Hildebrandt, Orem's Community Development Block Grant administrator, said the city has been utilizing the funding source since 1975."Every city with a population more than 50,000 is eligible to receive federal grant money," Hildebrandt said.
The objective of the grants is to develop urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities.
Much of the national emphasis is for improved housing, and Orem participates in that through its Housing Rehabilitation Program, Hildebrandt said. This year the block grants will contribute $80,000 toward this program.
"Over the years, we have been able to help more than 60 families with housing rehabilitation," he said.
Hildebrandt said the city can take pride that the block grant funds have been used for many different proj-ects and public service entities.
"We have really tried make our parks and buildings `handicapable,' " he said. The city has also used the funds to provide for programs and projects that benefit all age groups, from early childhood intervention programs to a senior citizens center.
He said Orem and Salt Lake City are the only Utah cities participating in National Community Development Week, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Orem is participating in part to recognize the people that have worked on the projects, but Hildebrandt said there are other reasons.
"We want to show that people are being benefited," he said. Also, the city would like to encourage other groups, especially minority groups, to apply for funding.
Those wishing to apply must fill out a simple registration form, Hildebrandt said. Then, during the fall, groups will make presentations to a committee that will then decide who receives funding.
The 1991-92 grant allotment of $670,000 provided funding for 13 projects. Only three of those that applied were not given any money.
Those interested in applying or who have questions can contact Hildebrandt at the Orem City Center, 224-7115.