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New Bedford’s Mayor Mitchell announces community development funding in draft action plan

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Proposed Projects Include Renovations to Boys & Girls Club, West Beach Bathhouse.

Mayor Jon Mitchell announced nearly $6 million in proposed funding allocations detailed in the City’s draft FY 2022 Housing & Community Development Action Plan, which is open for public comment.

Proposed allocations include $480,000 for building renovations at the Greater New Bedford Boys & Girls Club and $850,000 in improvements to the West Beach Bathhouse, including handicap accessibility. Additional proposals in the plan include nearly $1.9 million for home investment partnerships, such as the Rental Housing and Neighborhoods First programs.

The draft Action Plan is subject to New Bedford City Council approval and proposes allocations of funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provided to support local housing and community development needs. Funds also include existing and anticipated income from City programs, and are allocated through three channels: Community Block Development Grants (CDBG); the HOME Investment Partnership program (HOME); and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG).

“These programs are vital to our neighborhoods, families, and residents who otherwise need housing support,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “The proposed allocations will strengthen key programs and facilities across the City, and are the product of a thoughtful public input process.”

The draft plan states that: “The primary objective of the CDBG program is to develop viable communities through the provision of decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities. HOME funds are dedicated to preserving and creating affordable housing. ESG supports outreach and shelters for homeless persons, as well as programs that prevent or rapidly re-house individuals and families experiencing homelessness.”

This year’s proposed allocations total $3.8 million in CDBG funding, $1.9 million in HOME funding, and $290,000 in ESG funding.

The City’s Office of Housing and Community Development has held an extensive outreach and local input process in recent months, including two public forums held in January via Zoom, followed by a public comment period in February and March. That process led to the current draft plan, which is scheduled to appear before New Bedford City Council for review at upcoming meetings.

“We look forward to taking up this draft plan at City Council later this month,” City Council President Ian Abreu said. “This Action Plan has direct impacts on all of our neighborhoods and quality of life, and we hope to hear from as many constituents as possible during this comment period.”

“Community Development funding is critical for supporting our neighborhoods and families,” City Councilor Ryan Pereira said. “I’m excited to participate in this public process and listen to the people of New Bedford.”

The current public comment period is open through May 20.

View the draft plan on the Housing and Community Development website, here: https://www.newbedford-ma.gov/housing-community-development

Written comments are encouraged and can be submitted via email to: OHCD@newbedford-ma.gov, or by mail to: Office of Housing and Community Development, 608 Pleasant St., New Bedford MA, 02740.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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