The city of Denison is changing and refining where federal funds aimed provided for improvement to low-income areas can be used.


The city council approved a resolution Monday night that designated portions of the city as deteriorating for the purposes of the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development. Each year, HUD provides Denison and cities across the country funding projects and programs in economically-challenged areas.


Traditionally, the city has determined what areas these funds can be used in using census data to determine low- to moderate-income areas. However, HUD is asking for more specificity moving forward.


"What HUD is asking us to do now is instead of relying on those census tract figures, which is somewhat outdated as we are at the taill end of a census period, they are asking that we designate areas that are, in their terms, deteriorating so that we can more clearly articulate where we are spending the money."


Rex noted that the census data can become out of date, due to the decade between surveys. In that time, one portion of the city may no longer be considered low income, while another may now be.


The move to labeling some areas as deteriorating comes following an audit by HUD in May that found the city needed to label the areas it wish to utilize these funds in.


In defining this area, Rex said the city is utilizing data similar to the census tracts, but provided by HUD. Additionally areas that see significant code compliance issues were also considered.


Rex said the change does not significantly change the city’s area in which these funds can be used. However, he said it gives the city more flexibility in determining what areas are in need of this funding.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.