DUNKIRK – The City of Dunkirk will be accepting applications from businesses and nonprofit organizations for funding available through the Community Development Block Grant program.

Nicole Waite, administrator for the block grant program, announced that applications will be taken until Dec. 6 and that two sessions to help applicants complete their paperwork are planned. The technical assistance meetings will be held at 11 a.m. Monday and 4 p.m. Nov. 21 in the Stearns Building, next to City Hall.

Applications are available at City Hall.

The block grant funds are through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. They are specifically targeted to improve the areas where people of low to moderate income live and to prevent or eliminate slums or blight.

Youth programs, senior citizen activities, home improvement, employment training and several other areas are accepted for grant applications. A lengthy list of acceptable and non-acceptable programming ideas is available on the city’s website or through the planning office.

The city plans to receive $450,000 in 2014 in block grant funds. Public service programs could receive $37,870 of the funds. A total of $252,000 of the whole funding amount must be used for programs that impact low- to moderate-income families.

The city plan for spending would call for $108,000 in funding to be used toward reducing slums and blight, and especially for demolishing abandoned homes in the city.

Several residents who attended the block grant meeting Tuesday suggested that funds be allocated toward programs that help low-income families own or maintain their own home. They also suggested funding for literacy programs and for beautification of the downtown area.

Awards for funding will be announced by the city’s planning and development staff Jan. 6.