The Towns of Abington and Whitman have announced they will receive $780,216 to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to 18 housing units (nine in each town) and to support the Saint Vincent DePaul food pantry in each community.
The towns also received CDBG funding in 2012 to support these activities. Pre-grant activities still need to be completed before funding is available to the public. The towns are hopeful the new round of programs will be up and running by mid-October. The funds will be used to correct code violations at eligible properties.
The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) recently announced the 54 cities and towns that will receive $27.5 million in federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to support housing rehabilitation, public service projects and local infrastructure. 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 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.
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.
Community Opportunities Group, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in community development and planning services, assisted the towns in preparing the application and held several public meetings in during the application process.
Under the previous grant award, the Abington-Whitman program completed 22 projects (11 in each town) at an average cost of $23,000. The projects ranged from a small emergency hot water heater replacement to full handicapped accessibility retrofits. The assistance is provided in the form of a deferred payment loan that expires after 15 years if there is no change in ownership with a per unit cap on assistance of $35,000.
For more information, please contact the Abington Office of Community Development, located at the Abington Council on Aging, at 781-982-2145 ext. 6.