For Immediate Release - August 13, 2009

GOVERNOR PATRICK ANNOUNCES $40.4 MILLION IN STATEWIDE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

Funding will provide job and housing opportunities, increase social services throughout state

BOSTON - Thursday, August 13, 2009 - As part of his Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today announced that 75 communities will receive $40.4 million in federal Community Development Block Grants to fund infrastructure upgrade projects, boost social services and increase housing, business and economic development opportunities throughout the state. More than $31 million will come from annual CDBG program funding, and the remaining $9 million comes to Massachusetts through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

"Supporting these projects means an improvement in the quality of life for residents in cities and towns all across the Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick. "By leveraging state and federal recovery funds, we can continue to move our economy forward, put more individuals back to work, and fund more projects now and in the future."

The CDBG program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and funds are distributed by the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to cities and towns in Massachusetts with populations of less than 50,000.

Funds are awarded competitively and are targeted to support community revitalization, meet the housing and social service needs of low- and moderate-income people and build and repair infrastructure vital to the health and safety of all residents. Eligible communities with populations greater than 50,000 receive funding directly from HUD. The maximum grant for a single community is $750,000 or $900,000 for a single community undertaking multiple, geographically targeted activities. Regional applications are also accepted.

Sixty-five Massachusetts cities and towns will receive regular CDBG program funding from DHCD. With the addition of recovery funds, nine of those communities, and an additional 10 towns, will also receive support for projects that were not successful in getting funded in FY 2008.

"This investment is a lifeline for communities across Massachusetts that have been drowning under busted budgets and the housing crunch. It will help thousands of low- to moderate-income families get back on their feet," said Senator John Kerry. "It means jobs, housing, and infrastructure help where it's needed most."

"Cities and towns are on the front lines of this economic downturn," said Congressman Mike Capuano. "It is critically important that the stimulus bill has provided this additional funding to continue to put people to work and give municipalities more resources."

"I'm particularly pleased that Clinton and Somerset will be receiving federal stimulus funding under the CDBG program," Congressman James McGovern said. "These funds are an important part of getting our economy moving again."

"These community development block grants will provide welcome relief for communities whose budgets are stretched thin and whose residents need opportunities to get back to work and get back on their feet. I am extremely pleased that Everett, Revere and Woburn were all successful in securing this vital funding," said Congressman Edward J. Markey.

"Community Development Block Grants fund a variety of critical development projects in our cities and towns such as affordable housing, public infrastructure improvements, and job creation programs," said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. "Investing in the continued growth and vitality of our communities helps create safer neighborhoods, provides greater access to jobs, and helps produce the municipal services such as water and sewer service we all depend on."

"Over the years, cities and towns in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod have come to rely on Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to boost access to affordable housing, spur economic development and to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community," said Congressman William Delahunt. "These additional monies from the stimulus package will enable the outstanding work of the region's cities and towns to continue."

"I am pleased that these federal funds with allow the city of Amesbury to complete the work in the Aubin Nason Neighborhood. It will enhance Amesbury's ongoing neighborhood transformation and spur future investment in the region," said Congressman John F. Tierney.

"Competition for these very popular and flexible grants is great, but because resources are limited, we are sometimes unable to fund every worthwhile project," said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Tina Brooks. "We are delighted that many good projects, including a number of public housing capital improvement proposals, that weren't accepted in 2008 can now move forward thanks to the use of these federal recovery funds."

Housing, economic and community development investments are critical components of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan, which combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future and support clean energy, broadband and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and
  • Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.

To learn more, go to www.mass.gov/recovery. To review complete awards list, click .

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