Government

South Orange, Maplewood Each Get $100 Grand-Plus CDBG Grants

Five million dollars in Community Development Block Grants and other grants were handed out to non-profits and municipalities in Essex County on February 8, and Maplewood and South Orange were there to get their share.

South Orange picked up a check for $118,216 for the “ADA Entrance to Recreation Building” (The Baird).

Maplewood received $171,637 for the “Woodland Road Elevator Project” (The Woodland).

Among the non-profits receiving grants were EIES of New Jersey in South Orange, which received $7,900 for “Radio Reader Program,” and Opportunity Project Inc. in Millburn, which received $15,800 for “Pre-Vocational Training and Work Adjustment.”

The following information is from a press release from the Office of Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo:

The grants were distributed to a total of 13 Essex County municipalities and 36 non-profit community organizations through the Community Development Block Grant program and the Emergency Solutions Grant program. 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 $5,037,376 was allocated by the Federal Government to Essex County through the CDBG and ESG programs. During the program, it was announced that $4,694,220 was being awarded today while another $343,156 would be awarded later in the year.

A total of $3,140,315 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, purchase a senior bus, and install new sidewalks. Grants ranged in size from $30,000 to West Caldwell to make handicap accessible upgrades to the community center to $440,000 to West Orange for improvements to Chestnut Street, Samuel Street and Ridge Avenue and support to the Main Street Counseling Center and Bethany Center for Champions. Essex County was provided with $924,529 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. Caldwell, Essex Fells, Livingston and North Caldwell did not submit applications. (A chart of all the recipients is attached.)

A total of $1,139,175 was awarded directly to non-profit community organizations. Grant funding will support after school, nursing, youth mentoring, vocational training, and housing and foreclosure education programs; facility renovations and senior support services. Grants ranged in size from $7,000 to Big Brothers & Big Sisters in Newark for a youth mentoring program to $65,825 to St. James Social Services Corporation in Newark for building renovations. Essex County was provided with a $585,000 grant for a home improvement program and $93,000 for the Tenant Resource Center. (A chart of all the recipients is attached.)

A total of $414,730 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 $20,000 to Isaiah House in East Orange for shelter operations and the Salvation Army in Newark for homeless prevention programs to $87,900 to the YMCA of Newark and Vicinity to support Y-Care Shelter Nights. Essex County was provided with a $31,104 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.

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