Housing and Community Development
CARES Act Funding
The State of Connecticut Department of Housing
Draft Amendment to FY 19-20 Annual Action Plan
A 5 day public-examination and comment period will begin on Thursday, April 23, 2020 and end on April 29, 2020. The Department of Housing is seeking public comment and input on an Amendment to the 19-20 Annual Action Plan, specifically to address the receipt of funding to address needs resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic under the federal CARES Act. These funds currently include funding for Small Cities/Community Development Block Grant (SC/CDBG) program in the amount of $8,138,549, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) in the amount of $8,159,579, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) in the amount of $38,662. These funds will be used to prevent, prepare and respond to the coronavirus, and will be administered in accordance with the respective programmatic requirements, including the need to meet a national objective, where applicable.
The Department of Housing will conduct a VIRTUAL PUBLIC HEARING on April 28, 2020 beginning at 1:00 PM and ending when all attendees have had an opportunity to comment. Please be aware that this virtual public hearing will be recorded, and posted on the Department’s website after its completion. If you or your organization is interested in participating in the VIRTUAL PUBLIC HEARING, please send an e-mail to CT.HOUSING.PLANS@ct.gov with “Virtual Public Hearing – Amendment to FY 19-20 Annual Action Plan” in the “Subject” line. An E-mail links will be sent to all registered participants using the Microsoft TEAMS application. 
DOH will also accept electronic comment on the administration of these programs through April 29, 2020 at CT.HOUSING.PLANS@ct.gov . All comments received will be summarized with responses in the final version of the Amendment.

For copies of the Draft Amendment to FY 19-20 Annual Action Plan and related documents, please refer to the Department of Housing’s website, http://www.ct.gov/doh under POLICY & RESEARCH .

Executive Order CC
Additional Critical & Time Sensitive
Municipal Fiscal Actions
Executive Order CC adds to the actions that a municipality municipality’s legislative body and budget-making authority may take upon a majority vote of each such body to include:
  • the application for or acceptance of any grants, funding, or gifts
  • approval of collective bargaining agreements and legal settlements
  • the transfer of funds to or from capital or reserve accounts
  • the investment of funds pertaining to pensions, trusts, retirement programs or other postemployment benefit funds
  • any financial actions required by (a) a contract or agreement or (b) a court order or consent decree that require approval
Under the EO, such actions may be taken provided that such legislative body (or board of selectmen, where applicable) and budget-making authority have each approved such action and have made specific findings that such action is necessary to permit the orderly operation of the municipality and that there is a need to act immediately during the public health and civil preparedness emergency in order to avoid endangering public health and welfare, prevent significant financial loss, or that action is otherwise necessary for the protection of persons and property within the municipality.

EO CC also clarifies time periods regarding suspension and modification of non-judicial tax sales pursuant to Executive Order No. 7S, Section 11.

Regional Boards of Education
Budget Consultation
Last night, the Governor's FAQs were revised to provide the following:
Executive Order No. 7I, Section 14 establishes a parallel process for the adoption of budgets by regional boards of education. Regional boards of education shall consult with the budget making authority in each of its member towns and ensure it has received and given due consideration to their input. It is recommended that where still possible, Regional Boards of Education present the proposed budget to the chief executive officer and the legislative body of each of the municipalities in the regional school district to get feedback prior to final passage.

This provision will be further clarified to provide that in towns where the legislative body is the town meeting, it is recommended that the budget be presented to the board of selectmen and CEO. 

Also, here is a link to an interesting article in the Hartford Courant regarding the payment of school transportation costs. Towns are successfully negotiating lower bus contract costs as a result of school closures. 

The state Department of Education prepared guidance to assist municipalities in complying with the provisions of the federal CARES Act and Executive Order 7R. The guidance includes information regarding bus contracts and special education providers.

The Guidance document is available here .