Governor Deval Patrick today announced that 54 cities and towns from across the Commonwealth will receive $27.5 million in federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to support housing rehabilitation, public service projects and local infrastructure. Governor Patrick made the announcement in Great Barrington, where over $800,000 will be used for housing rehabilitation and an infrastructure design project in the Housatonic Village.
"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.
"These Community Development Block Grant awards will provide our cities and towns with federal funding to help families and small businesses, and to revitalize our neighborhoods," said Senator Elizabeth Warren. "CDBG funding is an important way the federal government can be a strong partner for our local communities across the Commonwealth. I will continue to do everything I can in Washington to preserve and strengthen this critical program."
"For 40 years, the CDBG program has been an invaluable tool for local and state governments as they undertake the transformative projects necessary to strengthen and revitalize local communities," said Congressman Jim McGovern. "In my district, CDBG funding has supported local neighborhood projects, housing developments, and parks, while also creating and retaining jobs."
"Community Development Block Grants are some of the most valuable tools cities have to promote economic development, modernize 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, joining a coalition of my colleagues in urging Congressional 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. These funds will help provide affordable and secure housing to families in the Third District, and can create construction jobs that boost the local economy and help put people back to work, making them an excellent investment in our communities."
The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and funds are distributed by Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (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 Grant program has been instrumental in promoting growth in cities and towns by creating and supporting jobs and improving the health and safety of our residents," said Senate President Therese Murray. "These funds will go a long way in assisting the Town of Bourne in my District as well as municipalities all across the Commonwealth. I want to thank the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Housing and Community Development for their ongoing commitment to revitalizing our neighborhoods."
Massachusetts has made over 350 grants totaling $265 million during the Patrick Administration. For every $1 of CDBG funds, an estimated $3.55 is leveraged in non-CDBG funding.
"The Community Development Block Grants are critical for improving the quality of life for low and moderate income resident across the state," said DHCD Undersecretary Aaron Gornstein. "Not only will this funding revitalize communities by spurring housing renovations and economic development, but it will also create jobs throughout Massachusetts."