BERLIN, Md. (August 14, 2014) – Today U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Lt. Governor Brown were joined by state and local officials from across Maryland in downtown Berlin to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The Lt. Governor also announced $5.1 million in FY2015 awards to 12 Maryland counties and municipalities through CDBG’s States and Small Cities Program.
“The Community Development Block Grant program has transformed lives and rejuvenated neighborhoods across Maryland and nationwide,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. “I have been proud to support federal investments in the core infrastructure of our communities through CDBG and will fight to sustain these important resources.”
“With this year’s $5.1 million Community Development Block Grant investment, we’re continuing our support for Maryland’s counties and towns, creating jobs, supporting small businesses, and expanding housing opportunities,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “The Community Development Block Grant program has been helping us build stronger neighborhoods in Maryland for 40 years. As we look to the future, we will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to support our communities and build a modern infrastructure that will help our economy grow and thrive.”
The federal CDBG program was enacted into law by Congress as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. Administered by HUD, the primary objective of the CDBG program is to develop viable communities, provide decent housing and a suitable living environment, and to expand economic development opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. The program remains a vital source of revenue to assist counties, cities, and towns in devising flexible solutions to prevent physical, economic, and social deterioration in lower-income neighborhoods and communities and to maintain public infrastructure throughout the nation. Since its creation, Maryland has received over $2.2 billion from the CDBG program, supporting virtually every community in the state.
“Since its creation, CDBG has had tremendous impact in Maryland and in communities across our entire nation,” said Carol Payne, Director, Baltimore Field Office of HUD. “Maryland has been a great partner with HUD and CDBG for 40 years, and we will continue to work together to ensure the program remains viable and supports Maryland’s great communities and residents.”
The CDBG Program is comprised of two parts. The Entitlement Program is managed by HUD and provides federal funds directly to larger, metropolitan counties and cities. The States and Small Cities Program provides federal funds to the states who then distribute funds to “non-entitlement” counties, small cities and towns. Administered by the DHCD in cooperation with DBED, Maryland’s CDBG States and Small Cities Program has awarded $61 million in funding since 2007 to communities throughout the state like the Town of Berlin. A Main Street Maryland community, Berlin will receive an FY2015 CDBG award of $800,000 for stormwater improvements to eliminate flooding in the Hudson Branch area.
“The Town of Berlin is delighted to be hosting the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Maryland’s Community Development Block Grant Program,” said Mayor Williams. “These grants have played a crucial role in over 30 years of Berlin’s downtown revitalization efforts, which recently culminated in a nationwide internet vote naming Berlin, Maryland, ‘America’s Coolest Small Town’ for 2014. We are proud of our long and productive relationship with the CDBG program.”
The CDBG program has consistently proven to be a versatile tool in supporting a wide variety of development goals in Maryland. The FY2015 awards will assist diverse projects including bridge and road repair in the Town of Lonaconing (Allegany County), rehabilitation of an aging water tower in the Town of Elkton (Cecil County), construction of a multipurpose community center in Dorchester County, and down payment assistance for homebuyers in Charles County. The program recently provided $8.6 million to help Somerset County residents recover from the devastating effects of Super Storm Sandy. See attached for a full list of recipients.
“My first job out of graduate school was at the Philadelphia Area Office of HUD where we were responsible for implementing the recently passed CDBG program,” said DHCD Secretary Raymond A. Skinner. “Over its 40-year life, I have watched this wonderful, flexible program evolve to become a critical catalyst to help build better neighborhoods, positively change communities, and improve the lives of Maryland residents, and I hope CDBG enjoys another 40 years of success.”
The $61 million in CDBG funding awarded during the O’Malley-Brown Administration has had a significant economic impact in Maryland, leveraging $325 million in investment from public and private sources in the 16 counties and 50 towns and cities that received awards. Since 2007, the program has funded the construction of 463 affordable housing units and the rehabilitation of 390 homes, as well as assisted seven businesses resulting in the creation and/or retention of 486 jobs.
“Though the CDBG program, the Department of Business and Economic Development has been able to help companies expand, support community improvements and assist counties and towns in planning for their future, and add jobs,” said DBED Secretary Dominick Murray. “This program is one of our most effective economic development tools, enabling us to leverage millions in private sector financing to grow companies and communities across our state.”
The CDBG program is one of many community revitalization programs that support the state’s Smart, Green and Growing Initiative and its goal to strengthen the economy, protect the environment, and improve the quality of life for residents to support a more sustainable future for Maryland. Learn more about Maryland’s sustainable policies, practices and programs at http://green.maryland.gov and follow us @GreenMaryland.