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Neighborhood projects get $3.8M boost

SoVaNow.com / August 28, 2019
Mecklenburg County and town governments were big winners in the most recent round of Community Development Block Grant awards announced Friday by Gov. Ralph Northam.

Of the more than $13.4 million awarded to 14 counties across Virginia, $3.8 million is designated for projects in Mecklenburg County.

The Town of Chase City received $1,374,406 for Phase II of its Endly Street Project. La Crosse gets $1,397,044 for Phase I of its Pine Street Neighborhood Improvement Project, and Mecklenburg County has been awarded $1 million for its Quail Hollow Road Housing Rehab Project.

Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said of the awards, “CDBG is a flexible tool we utilize to help address blight, improve housing, provide facilities for a variety of needed services, and increase access to water and sewer in communities throughout the Commonwealth.”

Deborah Gosney, executive director of the Southside Planning District Commission, which wrote the grant applications for the three projects, said the money for the Endly Street Community Development Project will be used to rehabilitate or construct 13 homes for low and moderate income families, demolish one vacant, non-residential structure and improve sewer and drainage in the neighborhood that sits on the northwest side of downtown Chase City.

This is the second award for Chase City’s Endly Street Project. Last year, the town received $1,187,294 in CDBG funding that went toward housing improvements for ten units. The money also was used for water and sewer line improvements and to set aside money to repair and upgrade the neighborhood basketball court.

Phase I of the Pine Street Neighborhood Project in La Crosse involves the rehabilitation or construction of nine homes, installation of new sewer and water lines and manholes and storm water improvements.

The Quail Hollow Housing Rehab Project, located near South Hill, will allow for 23 low and moderate family homes in that area to be rehabilitated or constructed.

Gosney said CDBG grants are available to localities where 51 percent of the people living on a street or in a targeted neighborhood are considered low or moderate income. To be considered low or moderate income, the household income must be no more than 80 percent of the area median income for similarly sized households

Eleven other counties and towns received Community Development Block Grants in this round of funding. They are the counties of Accomack, Alleghany, Grayson, Greensville, James City, Lee, Russell and Wise, and the towns of Appomattox, Parksley and South Boston.

Announcing the awards, Northam said, “The Community Development Block Grant program continues to be a vital resource for funding projects that help build strong regional economies throughout Virginia and address the most pressing needs in our communities.

“The localities receiving these grant awards are making important investments in infrastructure, housing rehabilitation, and downtown revitalization that will enable them to deliver essential services to their citizens and attract new residents, businesses, and visitors,” Northam said.

Since 1982, the federally funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Virginia receives approximately $18.1 million annually for this grant program. CDBG grants are awarded through a competitive process. Most projects benefit low- and moderate-income persons, and many projects are targeted for the prevention or elimination of dilapidated structures and blighted conditions.

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