Affordable Housing Grants for Small Cities

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Small Cities grant program targets the creation of affordable housing, infrastructure and improvement projects. We report on three cities in Connecticut who received a portion of the $11.85M provided to that state

What Happened?

The cities of Torrington, Roxbury and Salisbury will join the ranks of 23 other Connecticut municipalities to receive a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Small Cities grant to help pay for development and revitalization projects. Across the state, $11.85 million in federal grants will be used to create affordable housing, infrastructure to support economic activity and improvement projects to enhance the communities.

The Goal

Cities in Connecticut have supported various programs to make housing more affordable for residents while also preserving the integrity of existing structures. Through assistance from the federal government, many of these programs can be maintained or expanded to have a greater impact on the lives of residents and the revitalization of community infrastructure.

Making Plans

The city of Torrington was granted $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support an existing housing rehabilitation program. The city will leverage the funds to repair housing units and provide financial assistance to struggling households.

Likewise, Roxbury will use its $400,000 grant to support a multi-jurisdictional housing rehabilitation revolving loan program with nearby Bridgewater. About 14 housing units will benefit from the program, as the city helps families afford adequate housing or make much needed repairs.

Salisbury received $600,000 for a multi-jurisdictional regional housing rehabilitation revolving loan program in conjunction with Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan and Sharon. Low and moderate income households that meet specific criteria will be eligible for financial assistance through the program to address code violations or retrofit structures for increased energy efficiency.

Across the state, federal funding will be utilized to sustain existing housing programs, make necessary repairs, increase public safety and improve access to affordable housing options.

Grant Breakdown

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program is designed to support local government initiatives to improve infrastructure and housing opportunities across the country. As the longest running HUD program originating in 1974, the grant program offers a variety of funding opportunities to support municipality revitalization and economic development:

  • Entitlement Communities: Distribution of annual grants to larger cities and urban counties to support housing developments and aid struggling households
  • State Administered CDBG: Small Cities program that provides local governments with financial assistance for community development activities
  • Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program: Financial assistance is offered to communities that apply through the section 108 loan guarantee program that requires collaboration between federal and state governments
  • Disaster Recovery Assistance: Flexible grants available to localities in the aftermath of a Presidentially declared disaster, with emphasis on low-income communities
  • Neighborhood Stabilization Program: Federal assistance for communities drastically impacted by foreclosures and delinquencies in an effort to stabilize housing markets

The HUD’s CDBG program must designate at least 70 percent of its funds to communities and programs for low and moderate income households. The financial assistance must be used to aid struggling homeowners, eliminate blight, address community development needs or work to alleviate an immediate threat that requires urgent attention and action.

Housing Innovation

Gov1 has tracked the many ways communities are leveraging federal funds to enhance housing efforts, and what programs are most successful in revitalizing infrastructure and economic activity.

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