Reed Delivers $26.8 Million for RI Economic Development & Housing Initiatives
WASHINGTON, DC -- In an effort to help strengthen local neighborhoods and support economic development and affordable housing programs throughout the state, U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced that Rhode Island will receive $26,859,588 in new federal aid from several federal housing and community development programs.
Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, secured the funds in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations law (P.L. No: 116-260). Rhode Island’s allocations include: $16,905,525 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds; $6,297,869 from the Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) program; $1,432,250 from the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program; $1,275,480 from the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) program; and $948,464 through the Recovery Housing Program (RHP).
The federal investments are administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which Senator Reed oversees as both an authorizer on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and as an appropriator on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD).
“This is a smart investment in ensuring more Rhode Islanders have a decent place to live and building healthy, vibrant communities. This new federal funding will help cities and towns move forward with capital improvement projects that can spur economic development. I’m pleased to deliver federal funds to help improve public infrastructure and upgrade community assets. From increasing affordable housing opportunities, to upgrading roads and sidewalks, to enhancing clean water infrastructure, to updating parks, these funds will help revitalize neighborhoods, strengthen communities, and enhance economic development,” said Senator Reed, who, in addition to securing regular CDBG funds, also delivered an additional $22.1 million for Rhode Island last year in CDBG-CV funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Senator Reed also noted that under President Trump’s final proposed budget for fiscal year 2021, CDBG and HOME would have been completely eliminated. However, Senator Reed worked on a bipartisan basis to successfully protect and increase funding for these programs.
CDBG provides local communities 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 to increase housing, supportive service, and job opportunities. Eligible communities may also apply to the state, which annually allocates the federal CDBG funds through a competitive process. CDBG funds may also be used to address a variety of needs from revitalizing distressed areas by removing blight and assisting with infrastructure projects.
Several Rhode Island cities will split over $16.9 million from this round of CDBG funding, including:
- Cranston: $1,128,262
- East Providence: $744,703
- Pawtucket: $1,853,675
- Providence: $5,333,716
- Warwick: $981,379
- Woonsocket: $1,272,092
RI ‘nonentitlement’ funds for communities across the state: $5,591,698
HOME is a major federal block grant program providing funding to state and local governments to expand and preserve the supply of quality, affordable housing for working families. Providence will receive $1,636,289 in HOME funds, while Pawtucket will receive $572,978, Woonsocket will receive $451,537, and a pot of funds for communities across the state will total $3,637,065.
ESG provides annual grants to state and local governments, as well as private entities, to upgrade and expand emergency homeless shelters. In this round of funding, Providence will receive $450,803 in ESG funds, Pawtucket will receive $157,430, Woonsocket will receive $113,936, and RI funds for communities across the state will total $710,081.
Providence will also receive $1,275,480 in HOPWA funds, which help communities and nonprofit organizations offer housing assistance and related supportive services to low-income individuals who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
To help more effectively combat the opioid crisis and ensure people with substance abuse disorders can access safe housing, Rhode Island will also receive $948,464 in Recovery Housing Program (RHP) funds. Senator Reed backed this program as part of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act. This federal funding will help Rhode Island provide stable, temporary housing to individuals in recovery from a substance use disorder. According to the Rhode Island Department of Health, the state recorded at least 359 accidental overdose deaths in 2020, and is still awaiting toxicology reports and final statistics from October, November, and December.
On a national level, in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations law, Senator Reed helped provide $3.475 billion for the CDBG program; $1.35 billion for the HOME program; $3 billion for homeless assistance programs to build on and improve HUD’s delivery of housing and supportive services for people currently experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including $290 million for ESG, $82 million for targeted resources for youth experiencing homelessness, and $52 million for new rapid rehousing projects, which will serve survivors fleeing domestic violence.