Mayor Proposes Investments in Housing and Neighborhood Playgrounds

New Bedford, MA – Mayor Jon Mitchell has proposed investments in housing and neighborhood playgrounds as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Office of Housing and Community Development Action Plan submission to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The plan sets forth activities that are funded through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, the Home Investment Partnership (HOME) Program, and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. This year’s Action Plan includes over $4 million in CDBG investments, allocated for capital renovations at Dennison Memorial Community Center and significant improvements to City parks and playgrounds, among other priorities.

Another $4.5 million in HOME and ESG funds are allocated for housing development, first-time homebuyer programs, rental assistance, shelter, and support for the unhoused.

The primary objective of the CDBG program is to develop viable communities through the provision of decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities. HOME funds are used to preserve and create affordable housing. The ESG program supports outreach and shelters for those unsheltered, as well as programs that prevent or rapidly re-house individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

The Action Plan serves several functions including:

  • Utilizing data and community input, prioritizing housing and community development needs, delineating a one-year strategy for addressing those needs, and establishing performance measured by which progress can be assessed in response to the City of New Bedford’s Consolidated Plan FY 2020 through FY 2024.
  • Describes recommendations for specific projects and services to address housing, community development, emergency shelter, and homeless needs which were identified through public meetings, needs assessments, coalition meetings, consultations with community groups (neighborhood associations, linguistic minority organizations, ect.), and proposals solicited through both public meetings and the Request for Proposals (RFP) process.
  • Outlines the activities funded through Federal Block Grants from CDBG, ESG, and HOME.

“These investments are targeted to help address our housing needs while upgrading the quality of life in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Mitchell. “We look forward to putting these funds into action.”

“Our team has worked hard to prepare a plan that epitomizes the purpose of the Community Development Block Grant, turning community input into support for vital community institutions providing excellent services to so many City residents,” said Josh Amaral, Director of the OHCD. “We are excited to partner with them to see these projects through to completion.”

No substantive changes have been made to the Fiscal Year 2023 Draft Action Plan, which was made available to the public for comment and review on April 19, 2023, through May 19, 2023.

The Draft Action Plan awaits approval of the New Bedford City Council.