Local governments work to improve low-income areas

Local governments work to improve low-income areas

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Three local governments will continue working together through 2016 and likely years to come, to improve life for low-income areas across Horry County.

The county, the City of Myrtle Beach and the City of Conway get between $1.5 million and $2 million every year. Every penny goes toward improving living conditions for people in low-income areas of each community.

Horry County is an entitlement organization, and so it qualifies for the Community Development Block Grant. This means the county gets federal money to make improvements to poverty stricken areas. The cities of Conway and Myrtle Beach vote every three years to be sub-grantees, so they get a piece of the pie.

Each government faces different issues and uses the money for those needs that fall within the grant stipulations.

According to the county's action plan, the county focuses its money in Race Path, Bucksport, Freemont and a handful of other neighborhoods. Much of the money goes to rehabilitating homes.

Myrtle Beach's neighborhoods focus on Yaupon, Downtown, and  Canal Street to name a few. Improvement needs range from street lighting, job training, crime prevention and resources for homeless shelters.

In Conway the focus is more on infrastructure improvements like sidewalks and streetscaping and clearing or demolishing blighted, overgrown lots and buildings.

"There is a lot of need in the county," explained Horry County Spokesperson Lisa Bourcier. "We have several pockets of low-to-moderate income areas within the cities and the county that we're able to use this money to help rehab those homes, we're able to do some infrastructure needs within those communities, an we're also able to do some type of work when it comes to counseling."

You can see a breakdown of funds and goals here: http://www.horrycounty.org/portals/0/docs/cdbg/ConPlan-2013-2018.pdf

At Tuesday's Myrtle Beach City Council Meeting, members are expected to vote to continue the partnership with the county.

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