Maplewood will receive $168,204 and South Orange will receive $115,852 in Community Development Block Grants, awarded by the federal government through Essex County. Millburn received $34,055 for “Barrier Free Access to Public Library.”
Maplewood’s award is for the “Woodland Road ADA Improvement Project Phase II”; South Orange’s award is for “Barrier Free Access to Village Police Department.”
Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. announced the awards for 13 Essex County municipalities and 33 non-profit community organizations — for a total of approximately $5.1 million — on Wednesday, February 21. The CDBG and ESG programs are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by the Essex County Division of Housing and Community Development.
“Programs supported through the CDBG and ESG programs are direct investments to provide services that enhance our quality of life and help stabilize our neighborhoods by modernizing our infrastructure and supporting programs that assist vulnerable populations,” DiVincenzo said. “These federal grants enable us to upgrade our sidewalks and roads, enhance handicap access, address mental health needs, support food pantries, and stimulate the overall development in our communities,” he added.
A total of $2,980,372 was awarded to 13 municipalities and County programs in the Essex County consortium. Grant funding will be used to repave roadways, improve handicapped accessibility at public buildings, and install new sidewalks. Grants ranged in size from $34,055 to Millburn to enhance barrier free access in the Millburn Public Library to $431,200 to West Orange for improvements to Meade Street and Columbia Street, handicap accessible upgrades to the Ginny Dunkel Pool, and support to the Main Street Counseling Center and Bethany Center for Champions. Essex County was provided with $941,814 for program oversight, monitoring and administration. Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington and Newark apply for CDBG funding independently and do not participate in the Essex County consortium. Essex Fells, Livingston, North Caldwell, Roseland and West Caldwell did not submit applications. (A chart of all the recipients is attached.)
A total of $1,728,701 was awarded directly to non-profit community organizations. Grant funding will support family counseling, youth mentoring programs, vehicle purchases, vocational training, housing and foreclosure education programs, facility renovations and senior support services. Grants ranged in size from $6,860 to Big Brothers & Big Sisters in Newark for a youth mentoring program to $48,020 to The North Ward Center’s Casa Israel Senior Center for senior programming. Essex County was provided with grants of $83,300 to purchase a new senior bus, $321,440 to reconstruct Scotland Road in Orange, $955,131 for a home improvement program and $91,140 for the Tenant Resource Center. (A chart of all the recipients is attached.)
A total of $416,165 was awarded to eight local social service agencies through the Emergency Solutions Grant program. Funding will be used to renovate shelter facilities, support housing programs and homeless prevention services, and support a drop in center. Grants range in size from $9,250 to Isaiah House in East Orange for shelter operations to $100,449 to the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity to support Y-Care Shelter Nights and rapid rehousing programs. Essex County was provided with a $31,212 grant to administer the program. (A chart of all the recipients is attached.)
“The beauty of the CDBG and ESG programs is their ability to fund a broad array of projects without affecting the budgets of the County, municipalities or organizations receiving the grants. This is a great example of a tax relief program that benefits all County citizens,” said Anibal Ramos, Director of the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment.
Municipalities and non-profit organizations must meet specific criteria established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to be eligible for grant funding. These funds have no impact on the County budget and cannot be used as revenue in the County’s operating budget.
The Essex County Division of Housing and Community Development, located at 20 Crestmont Road in Verona/Montclair, offers a variety of assistance programs designed to stimulate development in communities, stabilize residential neighborhoods and improve the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents. It administers the Community Development Block Grant Program, Home Improvement Program and the Emergency Solutions Grant program for the County and 18 Essex municipalities. Bloomfield, East Orange, Irvington and Newark have their own housing and development programs. For more information, call the Essex County Division of Housing and Community Development at 973-655-0200.