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Mayor Alex Morse Announces the use of Community Development Block Grant Program to Support Community Efforts

Posted on March 27, 2020

Press Release

Mayor Alex Morse Announces the use of Community Development Block Grant Program to Support Community Efforts



To meet the increased community needs during the COVID-19 Emergency, Mayor Alex Morse and the Holyoke Office for Community Development are working with Holyoke’s Public Service agencies to redeploy Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in ways that will provide immediate relief to residents. Womenshelter/CompañerasProvidence Ministries and WestMass Eldercare, all of whom attend to the basic needs of food access and/or shelter, will each receive a 15% increase to their existing CDBG contracts, the maximum allowable increase by the Federal Government. Upon learning of the granted increase, Sarah Aasheim, Director of Community Programs for WestMass Eldercare, responded “WMEC so appreciates this extra CDBG funding – it is so needed at this time to support our Meals on Wheels service expansion in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.”


“In times of need,” noted Mayor Morse. “Holyokers have always worked together to find solutions for the greater good. I am proud that our public service agencies are coordinating together to protect the overall health of the community.”


In addition to the increased funds for life-sustaining services, Morse has announced a COVID-19 Loan Modification Policy for landlords who are currently participating in the Rental Neighborhood Improvement Program (RNIP), which offers low-interest loans to rental property owners to provide safe, sanitary, decent housing for low and moderate-income households. This voluntary six-month loan payment forbearance will impact approximately twenty-five rental properties. The new policy will reduce operating expenses for property-owners, allowing them to continue to meet the housing and service needs of their tenants even with anticipated income decreases. RNIP is also funded with CDBG funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.


For additional information, please contact the City of Holyoke Office for Community Development at 413-322-5610 or or the RNIP Administrator, OneHolyoke CDC at 413-533-7101.

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