Reed and Whitehouse Announce Nearly $2.4 Million for Community Development and Affordable Housing in Rhode Island
East Providence and Woonsocket receive funding for new, affordable housing and homeless assistance projects
WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to revitalize local neighborhoods and increase affordable housing throughout the state, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse today announced that Rhode Island will receive a total of $2,365,802 in federal aid from several programs, including $1,928,805 from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, $330,974 from the Home Investment Partnership (HOME) program, and $106,023 from the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program. Each program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“By expanding access to affordable housing for Rhode Islanders, we are able to build stronger and more stable communities and boost our economy. When these federal funds are leveraged with local resources, residents of Woonsocket and East Providence will be able to access affordable housing and continue to strengthen both communities,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD), which appropriates these funds, and a senior member of the Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over CDBG, HOME, and ESG. “I’m proud to help deliver these funds and I look forward to working with our cities and towns to help them address the pressing need for accessible housing, enhance their neighborhoods, and build Rhode Island’s economy.”
“Federal help to expand access to affordable housing and take on other priorities in these communities is a boost for Woonsocket and East Providence, and for Rhode Island's economy as a whole. I'm proud to fight for this funding alongside Senator Reed, who works tirelessly to protect and strengthen these grant programs on the Appropriations Committee," said Whitehouse.
The Senators also noted that under President Trump’s FY 2018 budget request, CDBG and HOME are completely eliminated, and funding for ESG funds are below FY 2017 levels. However, through his partnership with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), the Chairman of the THUD subcommittee, Senator Reed worked to protect funding for the programs in the FY 2018 Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies bill.
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 improving streetscapes and sidewalks and supporting small businesses, to removing blight and assisting with infrastructure projects. East Providence and Woonsocket will split over $1.9 million in this round of CDBG funding, with Woonsocket receiving $1,237,295 and East Providence receiving $691,510.
HOME is the largest federal block grant to state and local governments designed exclusively to expand the supply of quality, affordable housing for working families. Woonsocket will receive $330,974 in this round of HOME funds.
ESG provides annual grants to state and local governments, as well as private entities, to upgrade and expand emergency housing and services for people experiencing homelessness. In this round of funding, Woonsocket will receive $106,023 in ESG funds.
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