Frederick commissioners eye cuts to housing and elderly programs

Subtitle: Loss of services could leave seniors, the poor and jobless without help, supporters say
Source: Gazette
Author: Sherry Greenfield
Article Type:
Date Published: 10/11/2011

Christie Christian credits the Frederick County Department of Housing and Community Development with helping her and her three children from losing their home. Christian of Frederick said the department has been helping her pay her rent because she’s unable to work. “I’m on Social Security disability and my husband died,” Christian said. “We were always a two-income family, but I can no longer work. Without [the department] I couldn’t make it. They help with my rent because I can’t find a full-time job.” Christian said when friends question her circumstances she tells them “I’m low income, I’m raising a family, and I need help.” The mother of three told her story to Frederick County commissioners Thursday because she is worried that they will cut funding to the department. Commissioners are looking to cut programs that rely on federal and state grant money that is matched or exceeded by county tax dollars. They started talking last month about reducing the funding to all programs funded by federal and state grants in which the county provides a share of the money. The Frederick County Child Advocacy Center and the Frederick County Development Center’s Infants & Toddlers Program were discussed Sept. 26. Frederick County Transit Services and the Office of Children and Families were discussed Oct. 6, and Family Partnership, Frederick County Circuit Court and the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office were discussed Tuesday. Frederick County Workforce Services, Housing and Community Development and the Frederick County Department of Aging were discussed Thursday. The department of Housing and Community Development will receive $5.8 million in federal and state grants in fiscal 2012, and an additional $335,200 from the county. The county is not required to provide any money to keep the grants, according to staff reports.