PROVIDENCE, RI – In an effort to help communities combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Rhode Island, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Jim Langevin and David Cicilline today announced a new infusion of $7,585,135 through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. This third tranche of awards brings the state’s total CDBG funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to date to $22,145,569.
The following communities will receive CDBG funding in this round:
East Providence: $329,978
Statewide (non-entitlement): $3,586,534
This additional CDBG funding announced today may be used to support a variety of infectious disease response programs and economic priorities that help combat the impacts of COVID-19, such as small-business grants and loans, job creation and retention, emergency rental assistance, homelessness prevention, and nutrition assistance.
“People and communities are struggling and CDBG funds help communities address areas of greatest need as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This additional federal funding will help provide direct investment to combat COVID-19, provide essential services, and promote economic recovery. I will continue working to deliver federal funds to meet the needs of our communities,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), who served on a bipartisan working group that crafted the CARES Act and led efforts to include $5 billion for CDBG in the law.
“I’m pleased that Rhode Island has received a significant amount of flexible CDBG funding from the CARES Act,” said Senator Whitehouse. “These funds can do a lot of good very quickly by boosting economic development programs and essential services at the local level.”
“Rhode Island communities are struggling because of the fallout of COVID-19, and I know that aid through the CDBG program will make a difference for those hit the hardest,” said Langevin. “Our focus remains on keeping people safe and healthy and on securing resources to help our state get through this uncertain time. We know families across the state are struggling with difficult decisions, and the federal government must continue to step up to provide more support.”
“This pandemic has impacted countless families, non-profits, and small businesses,” Cicilline said. “These CDBG funds will help families put food on their table and a roof over their heads, they help keep the lights on and doors open to small businesses and non-profits across our state. Without them, too many doors would be shut and families be destitute. Our delegation will not stop fighting for more funds for Rhode Island’s families, non-profits, and small businesses.”
Under the law, state and local governments may use CDBG funds to provide assistance to eligible citizens, small businesses, and nonprofits to help weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. To allow for greater flexibility to provide essential services at the local level, Senator Reed also helped remove the traditional statutory cap that limits CDBG expenditures on public services to no more than 15 percent of a state or local government’s allocation, as well as statutory barriers that would have made it impossible for the state to provide and coordinate assistance across all Rhode Island communities.
CDBG is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).