San Bernardino Seal

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun
Posted: 10/12/14, 5:43 PM PDT |

SAN BERNARDINO >> The head of the nonprofit Time for Change Foundation is crying “dirty politics” after her nonprofit finished first in the bidding for funds the city said was available, only to have the City Council then change direction.

Executive Director Kim Carter plans to decry the process at 9:30 today outside City Hall.

That’s one week after the City Council’s 4-2 vote to table city staff’s recommendation to enter into negotiations with Time for Change to expand an affordable housing project called Phoenix Village, using nearly $700,000 of the $2 million in HOME funds the city has available from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department.

“If you set up a race, you can’t take away the prize after someone won the race,” said Carter, who is a member of The Sun’s reader advisory board. “One more time this is the backdoor politics that bankrupted the city. What message does this send to businesses?”

The point is about more than her, Carter said. But if she fails to get the funding from the city, then her nonprofit — which helps homeless women and their children — risks also losing money that other sources have committed. That would send her “back to Square 1” on a project she estimates would create 50 jobs and help the neighborhood.

Time for Change could still get the money, which HUD allows cities to use on affordable housing assistance.

But Councilman Fred Shorett, who made the motion to table, said it’s time for the city to take a step back and develop a plan to make sure it’s distributing money efficiently.

“It sounds like a great plan, and it looks like a great way to redevelop that block,” Shorett said. “But before I give you $700,000, I want to know how that dovetails with any other development in that area. We want a strategic plan for any development; we don’t want it to be fragmented.”

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