Niki Tsongas announces Lawrence to receive more than $3.5 million in first allocation of recovery funding

Haverhill to receive $282,000; Methuen $79,000 

Posted: March 05, 2009


 Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announced today that the City of Lawrence will receive approximately $3,500,000 as funding begins to be released from the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The funding will help create jobs locally through the construction and restoration of public housing facilities and will address a variety of other housing related needs in the city, including homelessness prevention. The cities of Haverhill and Methuen will receive $282,000 and $79,000 respectively in Community Development Block Grant funds.

 “The significant awards that are being made to our communities will help to create construction jobs while simultaneously improving living conditions for our residents,” said Fifth District Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. “The construction jobs that will be created will in turn support additional local job creation. The impact of each dollar spent will multiply as those workers demand goods and services in our area.”

 “It’s important to remember that we did not get into this financial crisis in one day and we will not get out of it overnight. But the investments in our communities that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes are steps in the right direction and the resulting job creation will help lay the foundation for our long term recovery. I will continue to work with the Governor’s office and various federal agencies to ensure that additional job creating funds are distributed to the Greater Lawrence area and our district,” Tsongas concluded.

 “I am extremely pleased that Lawrence will be seeing an increase in our Community Development Block Grant program this year as a result of the Federal Stimulus plan that was recently approved”, commented Mayor Michael Sullivan. “CDBG funding is so vitally important to ensuring that we have the necessary resources to continue to fund the many, many programs and worthwhile endeavors that shape the City of Lawrence. I am extremely thankful to Congresswoman Tsongas, as well as Senators Kennedy and Kerry who fight so hard for us in Washington every day,” concluded Mayor Sullivan.

 Said Mayor James J. Fiorentini of Haverhill, “These needed funds will allow us to put people to work immediately, and we are working on plans to do this in the heart of our City, the CDBG district, by June 1.”

A complete breakdown of the funding awarded to Lawrence, Haverhill, and Methuen is below:

 The Public Housing Capital Fund – $2,404,671 for Lawrence; $78,867 for Methuen; – These formula grants provide funds for construction and improvement projects for public housing in Lawrence and Methuen. It will help repair and in some cases replace housing units. Such examples are new roofs, new siding, new windows, and weatherization to make homes more energy efficient.

 Community Development Block Grants – $464,372 for Lawrence; $282,868 for Haverhill – The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program funds will be used and distributed by the city for a wide range of activities intended to create suitable living environments, provide decent affordable housing and create economic opportunities, primarily for persons of low and moderate income. Under the Recovery Act, recipients shall give priority to projects that can award contracts based on bids within 120 days of the grant agreement.

 Community Development Block Grants (CDBG’s) play a critical role in maintaining the vibrancy and health of cities in the Merrimack Valley, by helping to spur economic development, add green space, and create affordable housing.

 Homelessness Prevention Fund Formula – $710,503 for Lawrence – These formula grants will provide financial and other assistance to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless and will get people housed quickly. This fund targets those who would be homeless without these funds and can be used for rental assistance, housing relocation and stabilization services such as mediation, security / utility deposits and payments, and moving cost assistance.