Pioneer Valley Planning Commission Member Communities Rack Up Impressive Success Rate in 2018 Community Development Block Grant Awards Announcement

31 Jul 2018
Representatives from the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission’s (PVPC) Community Development section where all smiles in the State House Thursday for good reason, as they had driven East alongside local officials that morning to accept Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awards for 10 of the 11 communities the regional planning agency had partnered with for the 2018 round.
Totaling $7,531,187 in projects, PVPC’s member communities will reap the benefits of nearly 35% of the statewide CDBG competitive grant awards this year.
“While larger communities in the Valley rightly get their CDBG allocations automatically, we remain incredibly proud to be able to partner with our smaller towns - many lacking their own local planning staff - to pursue the competitive grant funding they’ll surely be putting to good use in the coming year,” said PVPC Community Development Senior Planner Ted Harvey. “Whether the money is going towards making public spaces or housing more accessible to people with disabilities, or funding adult education, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission has maintained a strong track record of securing these competitive grant awards for our member communities in the past, and this year’s CDGB allocation is our most successful yet.”
Member communities from Middlefield to Holland will put these dollars to good use, advancing efforts to meet their housing, infrastructure, and human service needs.
In addition to many critical brick-and-mortar projects, this year’s awards will also fund the continuation of two domestic violence prevention task forces managed by PVPC Domestic Violence Prevention Program Manager Monica Moran, with one in Warren, Ware and Hardwick,  and another in Russell , Huntington, Middlefield and Chester  
Among the Pioneer Valley communities who secured important funding this week was the City of Easthampton who will be able to invest $798,000 into infrastructure improvements to the Admiral Street neighborhood.
“We are so incredibly pleased and grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for awarding our community $798,000 to make important infrastructure improvements to the Admiral Street neighborhood,” said Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle. “We are fortunate here in the Valley to have such a strong regional partner in the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission who worked hand-in-hand with my team to ensure these critical dollars were secured in a very competitive statewide grant round.”
While other Pioneer Valley communities were also granted funds this week, they were part of a slightly different funding category known as Mini-Entitlement awards. PVPC was directly involved with securing the below grants:
Agawam will receive $799,750 for housing rehabilitation assistance to 17 units, an aging in place repairs program for 30 units and a planning project for accessibility improvements to town hall.
East Longmeadow  will receive $798,882 for housing rehabilitation assistance to 15 units, housing authority modernization, planning for town hall accessibility and to provide support for a food pantry. 
Easthampton  will receive $798,000 for infrastructure improvements to Admiral Street neighborhood. 
Hardwick will receive $800,000 for ADA improvements to town hall. 
Huntington  will receive $408,025 for infrastructure improvements to Aldrich Avenue and to provide design for ADA improvements to town hall.  
Russell, Huntington, Middlefield and Chester will receive $1,090,860 for infrastructure improvements to Pomeroy Terrace, planning for infrastructure improvements and to support a food pantry, elder services, adult education and domestic violence prevention. 
Spencer will receive $555,000 for rehabilitation assistance to 14 units and design for infrastructure improvements. 
Wales, Brimfield and Holland  will receive $806,250 to provide housing rehabilitation assistance to 24 units, planning for a senior housing study and to support a food pantry. 
Ware  will receive $725,000 for spring street infrastructure improvements and domestic violence prevention services. 
Warren, Ware and Hardwick  will receive $749,420 for housing rehabilitation services to 17 units and to support social services for domestic violence prevention, adult education and community health. 
The CDBG competitive grant program is designed to help small cities and towns meet a broad range of community development needs. Assistance is provided to qualifying cities and towns for housing, community, and economic development projects that assist low and moderate-income residents, or revitalize areas of blight. 
CDBG funds are allocated annually to the Commonwealth through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and administered by the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission is the state-designated regional planning agency for the 43 cities and towns of Hampden and Hampshire counties with a focus on community and economic development, transportation, land use and the environmental planning, as well as data and policy services.