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PRESS RELEASE- Downing Lauds $4.5 Million Investment in Community Infrastructure Throughout Western Massachusetts
July 25, 2008

Boston– State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) today announced 20 communities in and around his Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin Senate District will receive $4.54 million in federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to help fund a variety of improvement projects, boost business and economic development opportunities and upgrade social services. 


“This crucial financial assistance will allow small communities to restore their aging infrastructure, provide essential services to residents and invest in the resources that promote a high quality of life,” said Downing. “Residents will soon benefit from upgrades in support services, renovated housing, and safety improvements to roadways and sidewalks made possible through these awards.”


The Patrick Administration released the list of 55 communities statewide receiving a total of $26.7 million in CDBG funding this year.  Repair and improvements to infrastructure and housing rehabilitation for low- and middle-income families are the two largest spending categories. Some 256 private housing units will be rehabilitated using these grant funds, and almost all of them will be single family homes occupied by low or moderate income households.


Of the $26.7 million awarded, 15 communities along the Route 2 corridor from Gardner to North Adams will receive approximately $6.6 million while another 21 towns clustered throughout Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin and western Worcester County will receive nearly $7.6 million. 


The CDBG program is the Commonwealth’s largest available resource to provide municipalities with resources to implement community and economic development projects, and funds are distributed by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to cities and towns with populations of less than 50,000. 


The federal funds are targeted to support community revitalization, meet the housing and service needs of low- and moderate-income people and build and repair infrastructure vital to the health and safety of all residents. Eligible communities with populations greater than 50,000 receive CDBG funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The maximum grant for a single community is $800,000 or $1 million for a single community undertaking multiple, geographically targeted activities. Regional applications are accepted.


Local Community Development Block Grant Awards





CHESTERFIELD, Cummington, Goshen, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg, Worthington

Architectural Barrier Removal; Housing Rehabilitation (14 units); First Time Homebuyer Downpayment Assistance; Planning: Public Services





Design, Infrastructure Improvements



Infrastructure Improvements; Public Facilities


RUSSELL, Chester, Huntington, Middlefield

Housing Rehabilitation (6 units); Infrastructure Improvements; Public Social Services


ERVING, Bernardston, Colrain, Gill, Northfield, Rowe, Whately

Design; Housing Rehabilitation (17 units)



Note: For multi-community awards listed, towns in capital/bold letters are acting as lead agencies administering grants for the communities listed in non-bold/lower case.





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