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Towns, counties receive federal funds

Federal funding through the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program approved by Congress for 2018 was awarded to several towns in New Jersey’s Fourth Congressional District, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) announced in a May 8 press release.

“The Community Development Block Grant is a flexible grant that allows towns to develop housing and community improvement projects that best fits their needs and goals,” Smith said. “I am a longtime supporter of the CDBG program, which can be a shot in the arm for local projects.”

Each year, CDBG funds are distributed to state and local governments according to their population, poverty and other housing variables, according to the press release.

The federal funding comes mainly through two programs: the CDBG program provides annual grants to states and local units of government to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons; the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) helps to expand the supply of decent, affordable housing to low- and very low-income families by providing grants to states and local governments to fund housing programs that meet local needs and priorities, according to the press release.

Some local governments also received the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program which provides funding to engage homeless individuals and families. The ESG program aims to improve the number, quality and operations of emergency shelters for homeless individuals and families, quickly re-house homeless individuals and families, and prevent families/individuals from becoming homeless, according to the press release.

In Smith’s district, Howell received $168,261 in CDBG funds; Monmouth County received $2,450,174 in CDBG funding, plus $1,493,634 in HOME funding and $199,439 in ESG funding; Jackson received $179,041 in CDBG funds; and Ocean County received $1,139,236 in CDBG funding and $1,380,873 in HOME funding.

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