MONTPELIER, Vt. – Gov. Phil Scott announced over $2.4 million in Community Development Block Grant awards to eight communities in seven Vermont counties. The Department of Housing and Community Development awards approximately $7 million annually in competitive grants to Vermont cities and towns.
“These grants support projects that strengthen local communities and make them better places to live and work, whether it’s launching new businesses, improving housing and downtowns, or preserving and creating jobs,” said Gov. Scott. “We are grateful to the congressional delegation for their continued dedication to securing these funds for Vermont, especially as we work together to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis.”
The grants are funded through the federal CDBG program, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Funding is targeted to address the needs of lower-income Vermonters and represents partnership between federal, state, and local government. The largest grant in this round was awarded to the town of Swanton to provide a deferred loan to Leader Evaporator Company to preserve up to 58 existing jobs at the 132-year-old business.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) have been steadfast in their support of the funding that makes this program possible, most recently securing an additional $6.2 million in CDBG funding to help the state respond to housing and business needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Town of Rockingham received a $242,745 subgrant to Windham and Windsor Housing Trust to support the renovation of the former Bellows Falls Garage, located in the Bellows Falls Designated Downtown. The project will create 26 new apartments, 20 of which will be affordable for households earning less than 80% of area median income.