July 17, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $3.5 Million in Recovery Act Funding Coming to Rochester Area to Create Affordable Housing, Provide Economic Opportunities and Jobs

Recovery Act Funding Will Support Community and Economic Development Nationwide

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $3,482,964 in Recovery Act funding to the Rochester area to stimulate community development and job growth. The grants awarded today represent over half of the Recovery Act-funded grants available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, which primarily benefit low- to moderate-income families. CDBG enables state and local governments to undertake a wide range of activities intended to create suitable living environments, provide affordable housing and create economic opportunities. 
 
“Providing Recovery Act funds to stimulate community development and job growth is a wise investment,” Schumer said. “Not only will these funds create needed jobs and provide a boost to the Rochester area’s suffering economy, it will greatly benefit middle class families. By investing our federal dollars in community development, we ensure the best in housing and economic opportunity across Rochester and the nation.”
 
“This economic downturn has been devastating for Rochester area communities,” said Senator Gillibrand. “My top focus is creating good-paying jobs right here in New York and revitalizing our economy. This investment into community development will provide our communities with the tools and resources needed to promote growth. I will continue working with Senator Schumer and the entire Congressional Delegation to make sure New York gets its fair share from the federal government.”
 
The grants awarded today represent over half of the Recovery Act-funded grants available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, which primarily benefit low- to moderate-income families. CDBG enables state and local governments to undertake a wide range of activities intended to create suitable living environments, provide affordable housing and create economic opportunities.  Under the Recovery Act, recipients give priority to prudent responsible that can award contracts through a bidding process within 120 days of the grant agreement. A total of $1 billion will be awarded nationwide by HUD in Recovery Act Community Development Block Grants.
 
Since 1974, CDBG has provided more than $127 billion to state and local governments to target their own community development priorities.  The rehabilitation of affordable housing and the construction and improvement of public facilities have traditionally been the largest uses of CDBG funds although the program is also an important catalyst for job growth and business opportunities.  Annual CDBG funds are distributed to communities according to statutory formulas based on population, poverty, pre-1940 housing stock, growth lag, and housing overcrowding.
 
The Rochester area will receive a total of $3,482,964. This funding breaks down as follows:
·                 Greece will receive $113,195
·                 Irondequoit will receive $268,696
·                 Monroe County will receive $515,914
·                 Rochester will receive $2,585,159
 
HUD is committed to implementing Recovery Act investments swiftly and effectively as they generate tens of thousands of jobs, modernize homes to make them energy efficient, and help the families and communities hardest hit by the economic crisis. The Recovery Act includes $13.61 billion for projects and programs administered by HUD, nearly 75%  of which was allocated to state and local recipients only eight days after President Obama signed the Act into law. The CDBG funding was among the 75% that was allocated during that time.  Now as grant recipients’ spending plans are approved, HUD is officially making funding available to spend.  The remaining 25% of HUD Recovery Act funds will be awarded through a competitive process in the coming weeks and months.