Mayor’s Office

City of Burlington Celebrates National Community Development Week, March 28 - April 2, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 30, 2016
Contact: Marcy Esbjerg
                Assistant Director for Community Development, CEDO
                mesbjerg@burlingtonvt.gov

City of Burlington Celebrates National Community Development Week, March 28 – April 2, 2016

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today recognized National Community Development Week in the City of Burlington, March 28 – April 2, 2016, supporting the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program. Spearheaded by the National Community Development Association (NCDA), National Community Development Week serves as an opportunity for the City of Burlington to celebrate its profound successes in providing housing, economic resources, and community services to thousands of Burlingtonians under federal grant funding.

“Community Development Week offers us a fitting opportunity to focus on some of the great projects and initiatives that have been successful in the City. We are appreciative to have strong partnerships with non-profits in our City to help provide better services for Burlingtonians,” said Mayor Weinberger. “While the City has helped to provide funding for these projects, they would not be possible without the dedicated people who work in these important organizations.”

Events for this year’s National Community Development Week include:

  • Tuesday 3/29, 11:45 am – Mayor Weinberger and several City Hall staff members will have lunch with area seniors at the Heineberg Senior Center and recognize CDBG funded projects.
  • Tuesday 3/29, 1:00 pm – Celebrate the ground-breaking of an affordable housing project utilizing the City of Burlington’s HOME funds at the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS), 95 North Avenue.
  • Thursday 3/31, 10:45 am – Welcome spring with a Make Way for Ducklings Parade and community lunch, celebrating the CDBG funded Fresh Food project with Vermont Works for Women and the City’s AmeriCorps project in the VNA Family Room, 20 Allen Street.
  • Thursday 3/31, 4:45 pm – Rock N’Rolls Pack N’Sack volunteer event at the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, 228 North Winooski Avenue. Volunteers will help to pack bags of food to be delivered to home-bound community members, sort food donations, and prep food for the Good Food Truck program.

The CDBG program assists local governments – rural, suburban, and urban alike – in providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities to all community members. Burlington has leveraged CDBG funds to develop infrastructure, provide housing and health services, and spur economic opportunities to our City’s diverse community members, including youth, elderly, people experiencing homelessness, and entrepreneurs:

Serving At-Risk and Underserved Community Members
In Burlington in 2014, 1,300 homeless persons benefited from shelter assistance and services under CDBG funds. In addition to housing and services, CDBG-funded agencies supplied dental services to 250 homeless persons and distributed 350 dental hygiene kits across the City that same year and provided meals for 92 low income children in child care centers.

Supporting Critical Infrastructure and Housing Assistance
CDBG funds have been critical in advancing infrastructure and housing assistance initiatives; home sharing, home-based senior services, and other housing retention assistance helped over 400 Burlington residents remain housed and living independently and ensured 12 co-operative rental units received critical repairs in 2014.

Promoting Entrepreneurship and Robust Economic Development
CDBG funds propel economic opportunity. In 2014, the City’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) provided technical assistance to 49 current or potential entrepreneurs; Mercy Connections facilitated entrepreneurial training to 25 women interested in starting businesses. These initiatives resulted in a combined nine new businesses and eight business expansions within Burlington in 2014.                                                                   

This year marks the 42nd anniversary of the national CDBG program. Now in its 25th year, the HOME program provides grants to over 600 local jurisdictions to create safe, sanitary, and affordable housing in communities nationwide. Both programs are administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

CDBG has been cut by $1 billion since Fiscal Year 2010, yet the need for comprehensive community development initiatives in Burlington continues to grow. We applaud the work of Vermont’s federal delegation, Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Congressman Peter Welch, in supporting CDBG and its critical role in addressing current and emerging community development needs. We encourage citizens to contact our legislators and thank them for their continued support of CDBG and HOME funding:

Senator Patrick Leahy                       Senator Bernie Sanders                           Congressman Peter Welch
199 Main St., 4th Floor                      1 Church St., Suite 300                             128 Lakeside Ave., Suite 235
Burlington, VT 05401                         Burlington, VT 05401                                Burlington, VT 05401
802.863.2525                                      802.862.0697                                              802.652.2450

                                                                            

 

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Press Release Date: 
03/30/2016
City Department: 
Mayor's Office