U.S. Rep. Trahan Lauds Annual Federal Grants Awarded to Haverhill, Lawrence and Other Cities

U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan administers the oath of office to Haverhill Mayor Melinda E. Barrett during inaugural ceremonies in Haverhill City Hall. (WHAV News photograph.)

Congresswoman Lori Trahan yesterday called out and celebrated federal Community Development Block Grant and other money distributed to Haverhill and area communities.

Within her district, Trahan celebrated Haverhill receiving $947,975; Lowell, $3.1 million; Lawrence, $2.5 million; and Fitchburg, $1.3 million which may be used for affordable housing, community development, and homeless assistance programs. Trahan, who recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the block grant program during a visit to WHAV, gave an overview of how the money is used.

“So, it is a vehicle for federal funds to make their way directly to cities and towns. They don’t go through the state, so they can use those funds on local initiatives, local projects. They can help nonprofits with capacity building. It’s true that a city and town is closest to where the gaps are,” she said during a live appearance on WHAV’s “Win for Breakfast” program.

As WHAV reported first last month, Haverhill’s Community Affairs Advisory Board heard pitches from local nonprofits to spend about $150,000 of the money for public services. Amounts will be granted for food access, new clothes, rental assistance, job training, school support, home utilities, shelter, financial literacy training and substance abuse counseling. Money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In a joint statement with Trahan, Haverhill Mayor Melinda E. Barrett pointed to the Public Service Grants program, noting specifically the Housing Rehabilitation and Code Correction program, First Time Homebuyers program and public improvements in target areas.

“This money is transformative for low-moderate income persons and neighborhoods in the city,” she said.

Trahan said, “Communities like Lowell, Lawrence, Fitchburg and Haverhill are doing remarkable work to create more affordable housing, boost their economies and support those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This federal investment is a testament to those efforts, and our gateway cities will be able to use these funds to expand the impact of their programs.”

Acting HUD Secretary Adrianne Todman added, “A coordinated whole-of-community approach is crucial to build strong and resilient communities, invest in decent housing, create healthy environments, expand economic opportunities accessible to low-income households and support aspiring homebuyers and those experiencing homelessness.”

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