Governor Deval Patrick today announced that 38 cities and towns across the Commonwealth will receive $31 million in federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to support housing rehabilitation, public service projects and local infrastructure.
"When we invest in infrastructure projects in our communities, we put people to work and leave a better Commonwealth for the next generation," said Governor Patrick. "We thank the Obama Administration and our Congressional delegation for their continued commitment to investing in our future."
The CDBG program is the Commonwealth's largest available resource for neighborhood revitalization projects and helps meet the housing and public service needs of low- and moderate-income communities while building and repairing infrastructure vital to the health and safety of all residents. The infrastructure projects help communities create and maintain jobs while providing important improvements to the lives of residents in each city and town. Historically, 40 percent of CDBG funds distributed have been used for these job-creating projects.
The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and funds are distributed by DHCD to cities and towns in Massachusetts with populations of less than 50,000. Eligible communities with populations greater than 50,000 receive program funding directly from HUD. Communities may apply for CDBG funding for activities including: housing rehabilitation projects, infrastructure repair or replacement, construction or rehabilitation of public facilities, neighborhood improvement projects, economic development loans and other business assistance programs, social service upgrades, downtown improvement projects and architectural barrier removal and planning. The maximum grant for a single community is $900,000. Regional applications are accepted.
"The Community Development Block Grants are critical for improving the quality of our municipalities," said Undersecretary for the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Aaron Gornstein. "Not only will this funding revitalize communities by spurring economic development, but it will also create jobs throughout Massachusetts.
"Community Development Block Grants provide vital support for cities and towns across the Commonwealth," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "These grants will help working families and small businesses, and encourage economic development. I'm committed to fighting in Washington to preserve and strengthen this critical program, and will continue to support efforts to revitalize communities throughout Massachusetts."
"We will strengthen lives and families as we strengthen neighborhoods throughout the Commonwealth with these CDBG grants," said Senator Edward Markey. "This important funding will create and support jobs rebuilding homes and businesses and will help our local governments revitalize their communities."
"The over $5 million in CDBG grants the 9th district is receiving will be a huge help to our communities and hard-working families," said Congressman Bill Keating. "These funds will be put towards the rehabilitation of housing in six towns, as well as childcare assistance programs and social service programs such as local food pantries and domestic violence assistance. These grants are a perfect example of how federal funds can directly impact and improve the lives of our citizens. I applaud Governor Patrick for his swift and thoughtful distribution of the federal funds received by the Commonwealth."
"CDBG grants give local governments the ability to make smart, strategic investments in programs they know will work for their communities," said Congressman Joseph Kennedy. "From rebuilding homes to creating new educational opportunities for children and shoring up local infrastructure: this money will support critical growth and revitalization efforts in the 4th District and across the Commonwealth."
"CDBG funding is absolutely essential to help our local communities prosper and grow," said Congressman James McGovern. "We must continue to fight efforts in Washington to slash funding for this program. I commend the Patrick Administration for their commitment to this effort and look forward to seeing these resources in action in the 2nd District."
"As a former Mayor, I know how important CDBG funding is for cities and towns across Massachusetts," said Congressman Richard Neal. "The program is an effective tool that allows communities to invest in their future. Without this federal assistance, many public projects that help improve the quality of life for the residents of our state would never be initiated. I am certain that this $31 million will encourage additional economic development and help create jobs."
"Thanks to these federal investments, cities and towns like Salisbury can continue to address key housing and transportation priorities," said Congressman John Tierney. "CDBG funding supports precisely the kind of efforts that strengthen and improve our local communities and create jobs. We must continue to make these kinds of investments."
"Community Development Block Grants are some of the most valuable tools cities have to promote economic development, address infrastructure, and respond flexibly to local challenges," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "Since coming to Congress, I have strongly supported funding the CDBG program at the level necessary to meet community needs, recently joining my colleagues in urging House support for the program. CDBG is one of the federal government's most cost effective programs, enabling communities in my district, in Massachusetts and across America to leverage their resources to quickly respond to emerging needs."
"The Community Development Block Grants program is a terrific partnership between federal and state government to support the revitalization of our communities and create local jobs", said State Senator James Welch. "I am excited that West Springfield is among the grantees and look forward to seeing these improvements."
"This funding will help to complete many important projects that we would otherwise not have been able to accomplish," said Representative Michael Finn. "I'm grateful for Congressman Neal and Governor Patrick for working with me to help secure this funding for the residents of West Springfield."