SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council Monday voted to approve federal grant allocations that include $5 million for construction of a long-awaited community center at Bay Terraces Park in Southeast San Diego.

The Bay Terraces Filipino-American Seniors Association, in particular, has advocated for the center since the early 1990s. The 3,500-square foot facility will include meeting rooms, restrooms, kitchen, a staff office and storage space.

"They asked for a place where families can gather -- a place where seniors play cards, dance and exercise. And for additional amenities to enhance the city park," council President Myrtle Cole said. "Today, the senior center is one step closer to becoming a reality."

Community center funding is included in projected U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant allocations the council approved Monday for the coming fiscal year. Allocations are estimated, pending federal HUD appropriations.

HUD money funds city initiatives and is also awarded to dozens of local nonprofit organizations that apply for annual funding.

The city is expected to receive nearly $11 million from HUD's Community Development Block Grant program, intended to improve living environments and support economic opportunity in urban communities. The city's Community Development Block Grant program budget will also include $37.5 million from an unrelated 2010 Community Development Block Grant Repayment Agreement.

The Bay Terraces Community Center is considered a city capital improvement project; funding will come from the Community Development Block Grant.

Apart from the Community Development Block Grant, the city expects nearly approximately $4 million from a HUD program that funds development and rehabilitation of affordable housing. The program also funds direct financial assistance to low-income tenants.

The city estimates $3.2 million will come from a HUD program that provides housing opportunity to people with HIV or AIDS and their families.

Finally, nearly $1 million is expected of HUD for homeless services.

More than $1.3 million in Community Development Block Grant money will also be reserved for homelessness initiatives, including interim housing and an adult day center.