Reed Announces $8.6M for Community Development & Neighborhood Revitalization Throughout RI
WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to help revitalize local neighborhoods and support affordable housing and economic development programs throughout the state, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced that Rhode Island will receive over $8,586,000 in federal aid this week through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Home Investment Partnership (HOME) program, and the Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) program. This federal funding contributes to Rhode Island’s total allocation of more than $21 million for these programs for fiscal year 2015.
The Rhode Island State Program will receive $4,915,519 in CDBG funds; $3,002,167 in HOME funds; and $668,699 in ESG funds. Eligible communities may apply to the state, which annually allocates the federal CDBG funds through a competitive process. CDBG funds may be used to address a variety of needs from revitalizing distressed areas by improving streetscapes and sidewalks and supporting small businesses, to removing blight and assisting with infrastructure projects.
“CDBG helps communities make locally driven economic development and other infrastructure improvements that are unique to their needs. By leveraging these federal funds with local resources, cities and towns can help businesses spur economic development and create jobs. HOME is the most flexible federal housing production program that allows Rhode Island to develop affordable housing opportunities for low-income families. ESG serves as a first response to help many homeless families in our communities and ensures they get access to emergency shelter services – a critical program in our efforts to prevent and end homelessness throughout the state,” said Reed, a senior member of the Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over CDBG, HOME, and ESG, and the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), which appropriates funds for the programs. “I am proud to support these targeted investments for Rhode Island and will continue working to deliver CDBG, HOME, and ESG funds for communities across the state.”
The CDBG program provides local municipalities with a flexible source of federal funding to address a wide range of neighborhood development needs. The funds may be used for capital-improvement projects or distributed to non-profit organizations that benefit the community. Earlier this year, several cities were awarded CDBG funds, including: Cranston ($1 million), East Providence ($662,000), Pawtucket ($1.8 million), Providence ($4.9 million), Warwick ($866,000), and Woonsocket ($1.15 million).
The HOME program is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to expand the supply of quality, affordable housing to working families. In 2015, Providence received $976,000 through this program while Pawtucket received about $413,000 and Woonsocket was allocated $286,000.
The ESG program provides annual grants to state and local governments as well as private entities to upgrade and expand emergency homeless shelters. Providence ($448,000), Pawtucket ($167,000) and Woonsocket ($102,000) all received ESG funds this year.
All three programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Earlier this year, Senator Reed led the effort to restore funding for HOME and CDBG, which were dramatically cut in the Senate Committee reported Appropriations bill. His amendment would have increased funding for HOME from $66 million to the President’s budget request of $1.06 billion, and it would have increased funding for CDBG by $100 million -- from $2.9 billion to $3 billion. These low levels of funding were due to the arbitrary budget cuts under sequestration, which Senator Reed fought to repeal. As a result of his efforts, Congress enacted a new budget agreement - the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 – allowing additional resources to be provided for these critical programs. The Fiscal Year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act being introduced this week provides $950 million for HOME, an increase of $50 million from fiscal year 2015; and $3 billion for CDBG, an increase of $100 million from the Senate Committee reported bill.