Lowell Celebrates National Community Development Week
The City of Lowell will join communities across the country to celebrate National Community Development Week from April 9 through April 13. This annual celebration is designed to focus attention on the outstanding accomplishments of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) Programs.
Enacted into law in 1974, the CDBG program is the principal federal program providing grants to States, cities and countries to devise neighborhood approaches that will improve the physical, economic and social conditions in communities. It is administered nationally by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. The HOME program provides grants to States, cities and countries to create safe, sanitary and affordable housing conditions in communities nationwide.
Lowell has relied on these essential programs to provide core funding for numerous public and non-profit activities as well as key funding sources for most the City’s major economic development initiatives including the JAM and Acre Urban Renewal Plans and the redevelopment of the Hamilton Canal District. Last year alone, CDBG funds assisted more than 10,000 youth, elderly and special needs residents with supportive services; supported improvements to six public facilities and the planting of 150 trees; and assisted 25 businesses. In the same year, HOME funds supported 37 first time homebuyers with downpayment assistance as well as the creation of 24 new affordable housing units.
Both the CDBG and HOME programs have faced significant cuts in the past two years; CDBG with a 26% cut and HOME with a 48% cut. With the economic downturn, these programs are needed more than ever to help our most vulnerable residents and improve the overall condition of our neighborhoods. National CD Week is an ideal opportunity to showcase the importance of both programs for the City of Lowell and its community partners.
Throughout the week the City along with its non-profit partner organizations will host tours and open houses of projects supported through these federal programs. A formal kick-off to the week will be held at 3:30 on Monday April 9th at the new pedestrian bridge into the Appleton Mills on Jackson Street. A complete list of events is available here. All events are free and open to the public.