Tuesday, November 22, 2022

North Country receives $4.6 million in federal housing and infrastructure grants

On November 15, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that more than $33 million in Community Development Block Grant funding has been awarded to dozens of municipalities for local infrastructure improvement and housing rehabilitation projects. The grants are designed to help communities provide decent affordable housing and safe living environments primarily for low- and moderate-income residents.


“By supporting improvements to build affordable housing, enhance public water facilities and strengthen local infrastructure, this funding will lay the groundwork for stronger, more resilient neighborhoods across New York,” Governor Hochul said. “These critical investments in our public infrastructure will help provide safe, stable housing and affordable amenities to New Yorkers while allowing businesses to grow and thrive, and I thank the New York Congressional Delegation for securing this vital funding for our state.”


The Community Development Block Grant program is a federally funded program administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal that helps counties, cities, towns and villages with projects that improve communities and benefit residents across the state.


Community Development Block Grant Housing grants can be used for housing rehabilitation of owner-occupied or renter-occupied homes, down payment assistance for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers, and private water/wastewater system assistance for low- and moderate-income homeowners. For 2022, Homes and Community Renewal awarded $10.4 million for 24 housing rehabilitation, manufactured housing, and well and septic projects. A total of 301 households are projected to benefit from the proposed improvements.


Community Development Block Grant Public Infrastructure and Community Planning grants can be used for improvements to public water, public sewer, stormwater sewer and flood drainage improvements. For 2022, Homes and Community Renewal awarded over $23 million for 21 public water, public sewer, and public facility projects, and another $445,000 towards nine community planning projects.


Award highlights include:


  • The Town of Constantia in Oswego County struggles with an aging and inadequate onsite septic system located near Oneida Lake. The New York State Community Development Block Grant award of $1.25 million will help fund improvements to the Constantia-Bernhards Bay Sewer District, which will include a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plant.
  • Livingston County will use $550,000 in New York State Community Development Block Grant funds for the replacement of up to four existing manufactured homes located on private, deeded lots in some of the most rural locations within the county. This project will ensure residents have decent, safe and sanitary living conditions.
  • The Villages of Herkimer and Frankfort will each use $1.25 million in Community Development Block Grant funding assistance as part of a regional venture to improve drinking water quality in communities throughout Herkimer County. The funds will be used to address issues in each community’s drinking water infrastructure, including the replacement of lead service lines and deteriorated water transmission main, the installation of new hydrants and gate valves, redevelopment of existing wells, and improvements to pump stations.
  • The City of Oneonta in Otsego County will use more than $200,000 in New York State Community Development Block Grant funds to replace 30 water service laterals for low- to moderate-income households, including 22 single-family owner-occupied properties and eight one-to-four-unit income properties with 20 units on a scattered-site basis.


North Country ($4.6 million awarded)

  • The town of Chesterfield in Essex County will use $250,000 to provide Housing Rehabilitation assistance to five low- to moderate-income homeowners within the town.
  • Essex County will use $450,000 to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to approximately six low- and moderate-income owner-occupied homes located on scattered sites across the county.
  • The town of Henderson in Jefferson County will use $1.25 million for improvements to Sewer District No. 1.
  • The town of Hermon in St. Lawrence County will use $1.25 million for improvements to the Town Water District No.1.
  • The town of Jay in Essex County will use $298,000 for ADA access improvement at the Town Community Center.
  • The town of Lewis in Essex County will use $383,000 to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to approximately six low- to moderate-income homeowners
  • The town of Moira in Franklin County will utilize $500,000 to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to nine low- to moderate-income homeowners.
  • The town of Schuyler Falls in Clinton County will use $250,000 to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to five low- to moderate-income homeowners.


Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Through our $33 million in Community Development Block Grant awards, we can help transform communities across New York by funding projects prioritized by our partners at the local level. Importantly, these much-needed improvements will directly benefit low- and moderate-income New Yorkers and boost ongoing revitalization and resiliency efforts across the state.”


Senator Chuck Schumer said, “I am proud to deliver this $33 million in federal funding to make long-overdue, economy-boosting investments in housing and infrastructure from the Capital Region to Western New York. When I negotiated the COVID relief legislation, I secured increased support for the CDBG program because it delivers real results to Upstate New York creating good-paying jobs, delivering essential services, and supporting our most vulnerable populations. This federal funding will help accelerate our economic recovery and lay the foundation for a brighter future for all New Yorkers.”


Representative Adriano Espaillat said, “I commend Governor Hochul on this latest batch of community development block grants that I helped to secure to improve essential infrastructure across New York. All New Yorkers have a right to decent affordable housing and clean water, and the community development block grant program has proven to be a critical resource in improving the lives of working-class New Yorkers through building stronger, more resilient communities.”


State Senator Brian Kavanagh said, “I have been proud to join Governor Kathy Hochul and my colleagues in the legislature in enacting a State budget to make huge investments in housing New Yorkers and providing critical infrastructure, including effective allocation of federal funds, and I applaud the Governor and Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas for getting this critical assistance out to New Yorkers across the state. These grants will go a long way toward helping low and moderate-income residents maintain homeownership and make necessary repairs and safety upgrades to their homes. The infrastructure improvements will result in safer and more desirable living conditions. I congratulate the municipalities and public water facilities that are the recipients of these awards and thank them for their ongoing commitment to creating and preserving affordable housing opportunities.”


For more information on the New York State Community Development Block Grant program, visit Home and Community Renewal’s website.


Photo at top courtesy of the Governor’s Press Office.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

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