Community Development Program
CMRPC’s Community Development team provides assistance to member communities to access and manage Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. Sourced from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the CDBG program is administered for CMRPC communities aside from Worcester through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC) as a competitive annual program.
CDBG projects must primarily benefit low and moderate income populations or prevent or mitigate substantially degraded conditions in the built environment. Eligible activities can include upgrades to public works infrastructure (water, sewer, sidewalks, etc.), certain public facilities improvements, planning and design studies, improvements to parks, removal of barriers to access for disabled persons, rehabilitation of housing, and support for public social service providers. Communities may apply for funds individually or jointly. Towns’ chances for success in the Massachusetts CDBG program are weighted based on the percentage of residents who meet low and moderate income criteria. No matching funds are required.
Since 2017, CMRPC’s Community Development team has worked with nearly a dozen communities to obtain twenty competitive grants totaling more than $15 million. Depending on existing commitments and staff availability, CMRPC can aid towns with community development needs assessments, project eligibility and selection decisions, public outreach and grant applications. After grant awards, CMRPC can administer grants and manage projects in partnership with local staff and officials.
CMRPC staff have decades of expertise regarding the CDBG program, collaborate with us, and see how we can help.
Leicester: Town Hall Architectural Barrier Removal Project
Leicester’s historic Town Hall lacked disabled-accessible routes of travel between its three levels as well as within its lower level, home to its public meeting rooms. CDBG funds were used in conjunction with locally-funded electrical upgrades to install an interior elevator, an accessible restroom, a new entranceway and an internal ramp.
North Brookfield: West Side Neighborhood Infrastructure Plan
This plan provides a comprehensive assessment of existing sanitary sewer and stormwater systems, infrastructure, and roadway and sidewalk condition within the target area. It provides recommendations and prioritizes improvements to the drainage and sewer systems, visible water system components, roadway, curbing and sidewalks, accessible pedestrian access, and vehicle and pedestrian protective measures for the 11 streets within the project limits. North Brookfield is implementing prioritized improvements in a phased approach beginning with Mount Pleasant Street, which will be constructed in 2024.
Warren: School Street Neighborhood Improvements
Warren’s School Street neighborhood is one of the oldest residential sections in Warren and is located within the village center just north of Main Street. A planning study completed a public works analysis ten years ago, which confirmed the eight streets that comprise the neighborhood, all had insufficient and deteriorating infrastructure. As a result, the town committed to phased initiatives to rectify the deteriorating conditions using available grant funds and local financial resources. With CMRPC assistance, Warren recently received two successive Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) towards the rehabilitation of School Street. The FY21 CDBG provided funds for new potable water lines and a large retaining wall necessary for safety purposes. FY22/23 is providing funds to improve stormwater drainage systems, as well as rehabilitate the road and sidewalk surfaces. Combined with other local and grant resources, such as Massachusetts One Stop for Growth – Rural Development Fund, Warren will complete all needed neighborhood improvements within the next two years.