Poughkeepsie… Grants totaling more than $2.6 million will be awarded through Dutchess County’s 2008 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and the HOME Investment Partnership awards to fund an array of projects throughout Dutchess County.
Dutchess County secured $1,576,782 in CDBG monies in addition to $1,048,273 in HOME funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to assist municipalities, non-profit agencies, and developers with projects to benefit low-to-moderate income county residents. The 2008 totals represent a decrease in Federal funding from 2007 levels.
Funding is administered by the County’s Department of Planning and Development. “Each year we have more eligible projects than available funds,” said Dutchess County Commissioner of Planning and Development Roger Akeley, “but over the years, a well distributed pattern of worthy projects have been funded in towns and villages throughout the County.”
Annual awards are made following a comprehensive review and public process. One of the tools used to guide the use of the CDBG and HOME funds is the County’s 2008-2012 Consolidated Plan. “In order to make the best use of available funds, selected projects had to be consistent with our Consolidated Plan, as well as with Directions and the Greenway initiative,” said Commissioner Akeley.
The 2008-2012 Consolidated Plan sets four priorities to address countywide needs: affordable housing; economic development; public facilities and infrastructure improvements; and public services. The strategic section of the Consolidated Plan states multi-jurisdictional projects and those with an affordable housing component would be considered a high priority. Examples of such projects that received 2008 funding include:
• The Town of Pawling will receive $150,000 to renovate three existing residential structures located within the municipally-owned Lakeside Park. Priority for the housing will be given to Town of Pawling municipal and school district employees, as well as members of the volunteer fire and ambulance corps.
• The Town of North East and Village of Millerton will receive $200,000 for a Water District Improvement that will create a loop to improve water quality and system reliability, increase water quantity, and provide additional fire protection.
Some of the 2008 allocation will be used to finish up projects which were started using 2007 CDBG funding. Such projects include:
• The Village of Tivoli will receive $150,000 to continue a previously funded project to repair water main infrastructure along Montgomery Street and Washburn Avenue.
• The Village of Fishkill has been awarded $132,998 for Elm Street Stormwater Management to design and construct a new stormwater collection system to mitigate current flooding conditions.
• The Town of LaGrange will receive $100,000 to complete handicapped park improvements at Freedom Park.
The remainder of Dutchess County’s 2008 CDBG municipal funding will be awarded to:
• The Town of Red Hook will receive $150,000 to complete Town Center Sidewalk Improvements. New sidewalks will encourage pedestrian traffic from the Village south and allow people to negotiate their way to and from the local area businesses. Additional green space between the new walkways and Route 9 will provide locations to plant street trees to serve as traffic calming devices and offer a protective barrier for pedestrians.
• The City of Beacon will use $189,214 in infrastructure improvement funds for improvements to streets, sidewalks and drainage in certain low to moderate income neighborhoods within the city.
Several non-profit agencies throughout Dutchess County will also be assisted with CDBG funds. Over $189,000 has been allocated to prioritize human service programs including youth activities, literacy skills development and family services.
• Hudson River Housing (HRH) will receive $42,400 for emergency, transitional and permanent housing for low income and homeless families and individuals as well as for River Haven to provide emergency shelter for youth ages 10 through 17, and a transitional housing program for older homeless youth.
• Mid-Hudson Addiction Recovery Center will receive $21,200 for emergency housing for individuals with chemical dependency.
• Beacon Community Center will receive $21,200 for creative arts summer programming for youth and for communication and language proficiency programming.
• Martin Luther King Cultural Center will receive $21,200 for job readiness skills training.
• The Northeast Community Council will receive $21,200 for youth enrichment programming that includes job readiness training and partnerships between local businesses and schools for job mentoring.
• Dutchess County Association for Senior Citizens will receive $21,200 to provide senior volunteer opportunities through its Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) and Volunteers in Transition (VIT).
• Literacy Connections will receive $21,200 for adult and family literacy programs.
• The Child Abuse Prevention Center will receive $19,614 to serve children who are victims of abuse.
“We are pleased our community development grants are available to support these community organizations as they provide a wide variety of health and human services to assist our youth, seniors and families in need across Dutchess County,” said County Executive Steinhaus.
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Dutchess County has also received $1,039,712 through the federally funded 2008 HOME Investment Partnership Program and $8,561 from the American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI). The purpose of the HOME program is to provide subsidies to assist with the development of affordable housing projects throughout the County. The ADDI Program provides down payment and closing costs assistance to low and moderate income first time homebuyers.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “We are pleased to support such a variety of projects. The need for moderately priced housing cuts through all communities, all ages and all housing types. These projects, which help seniors, homeowners, first time homebuyers and low and moderate income renters, are an important component of our strategy to create more moderately priced housing throughout Dutchess County.”
• In the Village of Wappingers Falls, Community Services Program will receive $30,000 for roof replacement at an existing moderate income rental development located at 7 Mill Street. Dutchess County participated in the original funding for this project in 1984, which contains 6 moderate income apartments. HOME funds will help the developer maintain the project’s long term affordability; construction will begin in May.
• In Poughkeepsie, the Cooperage, will receive $259,056. The Cooperage is a 25 unit rental complex located on North Cherry Street. Six apartments in this development will be affordable to households at 60% of the county median. Rents for the HOME assisted two-bedroom apartments will range from $860-$1,060 including all utilities. This project is being developed by the North Cherry Street Associates LLC; construction should begin in spring 2008.
• Hudson River Housing will receive $207,488 towards the construction of 6 homes on vacant lots in Poughkeepsie’s northside. Each property will be sold to a moderate-income household making less than 80% of the county median income. This project will also receive a $51,959 set-aside from the City of Poughkeepsie’s HOME allocation to help the homebuyers with downpayment and closing costs. Construction on this project should begin in the spring of 2008.
• Rebuilding Together will receive $40,000 to assist with the rehabilitation of up to 15 owner-occupied properties in northern Dutchess County. This program, which the County has funded since 1998, involves the rehabilitation of homes, occupied by low income homeowners, by volunteers one day each April. This year, Rebuilding Day will be April 26, 2008.
Dutchess County government continues its commitment to the revitalization of the City of Poughkeepsie with more than $319,000 in funds for programs and projects to be administered by the City including:
• The Main Street Rehabilitation Program will receive $167,281 for the creation of rental units on Main Street.
• The City-Owned Property Rehabilitation Program will receive $100,000 to provide assistance to income eligible households who purchase and rehabilitate tax delinquent, city-owned properties.
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“Our community development program and our housing funds support a wide range of needs in many of our localities. These projects make a noticeable, positive impact in a town, village or city and our residents,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus