Mayor Miro Weinberger and CEDO Announce Burlington's Celebration of National Community Development Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 22, 2014
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                 802.735.7962      

Mayor Miro Weinberger and CEDO Announce Burlington’s Celebration of National Community Development Week;
Spotlight Shines on Block Grant Program Success at Growing Jobs, Expanding Access to Health and Social Services, Providing Affordable Housing

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger and the Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) today announced Burlington’s celebration of National Community Development Week and encouraged local citizens, community agencies, local officials, and the public to join the celebration.  This special week, which runs from April 21-26, 2014 provides an opportunity to spotlight the numerous outstanding accomplishments over the past 40 years of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which has benefited thousands of Burlington residents by helping companies grow jobs, expanding access to health and social services, and providing affordable housing.    

“This funding improves the quality of life for our citizens and our neighborhoods and offers great flexibility and local control,” said Mayor Weinberger.  “The CDBG program is a partnership with the federal government that allows Burlington to undertake projects that otherwise would be impossible to fund in the current fiscal environment.”

The City of Burlington will have available just over $700,000 for upcoming CDBG projects to benefit Burlingtonians during the coming fiscal year.  The CDBG program was enacted into law as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.  CDBG’s main purpose is to provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing, a suitable living environment, and economic opportunities to low- and moderate-income people.  To this day, CDBG remains the principal source of federal funding for use in local communities to create flexible solutions to prevent physical, economic, and social deterioration in lower-income neighborhoods and communities throughout the nation.  In Burlington, local citizens serve on an Advisory Board that reviews, selects, and funds appropriate CDBG activities.  Local citizens choose local projects to benefit local residents.  Last year, more than 13,500 Burlington residents benefitted from CDBG activities.

“CDBG is making a difference every day in the lives of many of our vulnerable citizens,” said Marcy Krumbine, CEDO’s Assistant Director for Community Development.  “With CDBG funds, we are building a stronger Burlington.”

Over the years, the CDBG program has assisted projects that provide affordable housing, economic development and job creation, and service to our vulnerable residents.  Examples of successful Burlington projects include:

  • 1989 – Preserved the affordability of 336 apartments at Northgate in the New North End;
  • 2000 – Assisted with the merger of two non-profits into the creation of the Community Health Center of Burlington Dental Center;
  • 2002 – Assisted with the development and opening of City Market, the downtown food co-op;
  • 2004 - Provided 40 units of environmentally-friendly, mixed-income homes at Waterfront Housing on a former scrap yard in Burlington;
  • 2007 – Provided a loan for Dealer.com to expand and move into its new facility; and
  • 2012 – Assisted with the development of 36 units of affordable housing at Thayer Commons.

“Dealer.com was founded here in Burlington, and we take great pride in our Vermont roots,” said Mike Lane, a co-founder of Dealer.com.  “As we have grown into a billion dollar company, we have done so with the support of CEDO, including assistance with the CDBG grant.  We hope to inspire others here and all over about the power and possibilities of the partnerships between local business and government.”

Diana Greenough, Community Health Center of Burlington Dental Director, stated:  “What would we have done without this startup funding and continued support from CDGB?  Because of CDGB, we have a dental home for all community residents!  Thank you for helping us help so many in need of these vital services.”

“City Market greatly appreciates the CDBG financing during our start-up phase of opening a community owned cooperative grocery store,” said Pat Burns, General Manager of City Market.  “The opening of City Market, at a time when there was no downtown supermarket, enabled access to healthy food for the City’s elderly and low- and moderate-income residents.  City Market also employs over 200 individuals who all receive above market wages and benefits.”

CDBG continues to serve and improve the Burlington community.  Examples of upcoming activities that are being proposed include:

  • Serving 100 Burlington residents with technical assistance, business loans, and entrepreneurial training, resulting in the creation of new jobs and businesses.
  • Assisting with the renovation of three neighborhood facilities that will benefit 642 people:  Dismas House, Safe Harbor Clinic, and Living Well’s Ethan Allen Residence Expansion.
  • Providing free tax preparation and community integration services to help 1,285 low-income residents (including many with limited English proficiency) increase their self-sufficiency.
  • Weatherizing six units of affordable housing while providing construction training to 12 low-income high school students in Burlington.
  • Contributing to the development of the Bright Street Co-op, with 42 new units of housing.

The CDBG program is administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and locally by CEDO.  For additional information on the CDBG program, please contact Marcy Krumbine, CEDO’s Assistant Director for Community Development, at 802.865.7171 or mkrumbine@burlingtonvt.gov.

*Please find attached documents with more detailed explanations of the above-referenced CDBG success stories in Burlington as prepared for HUD in celebration of the 40th anniversary of CDBG:

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Press Release Date: 
04/22/2014
City Department: 
Mayor's Office