May 1, 2018
The City’s Community Development Block Grant Citizens Advisory Committee will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday, May 1st, at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall Conference Room A to receive comments on the City’s FY 2019 Annual Action Plan and Budget for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) spending priorities.
In the coming fiscal year beginning July 1st, the City is expected to receive approximately $513,000 in CDBG funds from U.S. Housing and Urban Development. The City’s CDBG Citizens Advisory Committee is responsible for gathering public input and developing the FY 2019 CDBG budget. The primary beneficiaries of projects funded through the CDBG budget are Portsmouth residents who earn low or moderate incomes, however, the entire City benefits from the positive impacts of CDBG-funded projects and programs.
The Draft Annual Plan for FY 2019 designates funding for next year in several areas including accessibility improvements, improvements at facilities serving people earning eligible incomes, multi-family housing, and low-mod area site improvements as well as public service grants for public service agencies. Recently, CDBG funding has been used for the design and engineering associated with the planned reuse of the Paul A. Doble Army Reserve Center in a new Senior and Community Center on Cottage Street. In addition, funds have been awarded for accessibility improvements at the South Meeting House and for building upgrades at the Portsmouth Housing Authority’s Margeson Apartments. In the current fiscal year, eleven public service agencies meeting critical and high priority needs in Portsmouth are receiving funding through the program.
Recent past year’s funding have also been used in CDBG-eligible neighborhoods focused in Gosling Meadows and the Greenleaf Recreation Center/Wamesit Place on Greenleaf Avenue. The goals of these improvements was to upgrade neighborhood facilities, provide safe and usable sidewalks and improve aesthetics. Major improvements included a bicycle and pedestrian improvement along Gosling Road, which also included a new bus shelter (pictured). The project fulfilled part of the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan aimed to increase pedestrian and bicycle safety as well as improve access to transit along and across Gosling Road.
Enacted into law in 1974, CDBG is the principal federal program providing grants to states, cities, and towns to devise approaches that improve physical, economic and social conditions in communities. It is administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and locally by the Portsmouth Community Development Department under the guidance of the CDBG Citizens Advisory Committee.
To find out more about Portsmouth’s CDBG-funded housing, handicapped accessibility and neighborhood improvement programs, please call Community Development Coordinator, Elise Annunziata at 610-7281 or visit the City’s website at http://www.cityofportsmouth.com/community