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Share ideas on housing needs

Denton is seeking feedback on how the city uses federal housing money to provide for community needs, and residents have several ways to comment.

Public hearings are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, 1300 Wilson St., and at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at the Denia Recreation Center, 1001 Parvin St.

Those who can’t attend either meeting are encouraged to submit suggestions or comments in writing, according to Barbara Ross, Denton’s community development director.

The Community Development Division is located on the second floor of City Hall East, 601 E. Hickory St., Suite B, Denton TX 76205. You can reach the office by phone at 940-349-7726.

Those who prefer to e-mail their comments can do so at

We encourage residents to take advantage of either or both of the scheduled public hearings. Residents are invited to share their own ideas about community housing needs, from sheltering the homeless to helping seniors stay in their homes, officials said.

The meetings will also include information about the city’s current programs and how the city has used federal housing money in the past.

For example, the funding has been used in prior years to help low-income homeowners make minor repairs to their houses. That kind of help can be a lifesaver for a senior citizen whose air conditioning goes out during a hot Texas summer.

City staff members will also share information about what kinds of projects and programs fit the federal funding guidelines should the community want to make a change. For example, a community shelter for people who are homeless would qualify, Ross said.

City officials are planning for a 2013-14 federal allocation of about $1.1 million in both the HOME Investments Partnership program and the Community Development Block Grant, Ross told us.

The city is providing Spanish translation for both meetings. Written comments can be submitted in English or Spanish and will be included as part of the minutes of the meeting, Ross said.

We hope all Denton residents will accept the city’s invitation to share their ideas on this important topic.

That’s the best way we know to ensure that available funding is used where it’s needed most.