Communities to get block grant funding

Nov. 15—The city of Oneonta and some other area governments will receive grants for infrastructure improvements.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday announced more than $33 million in Community Development Block Grant funding has been awarded to dozens of municipalities for local infrastructure improvement and housing rehabilitation projects. The grants are designed to help communities provide "decent affordable housing and safe living environments primarily for low- and moderate-income residents," according to a media release from Hochul's office.

"By supporting improvements to build affordable housing, enhance public water facilities and strengthen local infrastructure, this funding will lay the groundwork for stronger, more resilient neighborhoods across New York," Hochul said in the release. "These critical investments in our public infrastructure will help provide safe, stable housing and affordable amenities to New Yorkers while allowing businesses to grow and thrive, and I thank the New York Congressional Delegation for securing this vital funding for our state."

The Community Development Block Grant program is a federally funded program administered by New York State Homes and Community Renewal that helps counties, cities, towns and villages with projects that improve communities and benefit residents across the state.

The city of Oneonta will use more than $200,000 in block grant funds to replace 30 water service laterals for low- to moderate-income households, including 22 single-family owner-occupied properties and eight one-to-four-unit income properties with 20 units on a scattered-site basis, the release said.

Also in Otsego County, the town of Edmeston will use $1.25 million for improvements to the hamlet of Edmeston's water district; the village of Otego will use $1.25 million for improvements to its drinking water system; and Otsego County will use $300,000 to assist Springbrook ARC with security upgrades at the ARC residential school campus in the town of Milford, according to the release.

Chenango County will use $500,000 to provide housing rehabilitation to 14 low- to moderate-income single-family households.

According to the release, Community Development Block Grant Housing grants can be used for housing rehabilitation of owner-occupied or renter-occupied homes, down payment assistance for low- and moderate-income first-time homebuyers, and private water/wastewater system assistance for low- and moderate-income homeowners. For 2022, Homes and Community Renewal awarded $10.4 million for 24 housing rehabilitation, manufactured housing, and well and septic projects.

Community Development Block Grant Public Infrastructure and Community Planning grants can be used for improvements to public water, public sewer, stormwater sewer and flood drainage improvements. For 2022, Homes and Community Renewal awarded more than $23 million for 21 public water, public sewer, and public facility projects, and another $445,000 towards nine community planning projects.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said, "I am proud to deliver this $33 million in federal funding to make long-overdue, economy-boosting investments in housing and infrastructure from the Capital Region to Western New York. When I negotiated the COVID relief legislation, I secured increased support for the CDBG program because it delivers real results to Upstate New York creating good-paying jobs, delivering essential services, and supporting our most vulnerable populations. This federal funding will help accelerate our economic recovery and lay the foundation for a brighter future for all New Yorkers."