Applications for Amherst’s block grant funding available 

Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 08, 2020

AMHERST — Applications for using Community Development Block Grant money to support social service agencies along with housing and public infrastructure projects are available on the town’s website.

Senior Planner Nathaniel Malloy said last week that the town, as a mini-entitlement community designated by the Department of Housing and Community Development, is anticipating receiving $825,000 to support initiatives that benefit low- and moderate-income residents.

Of the grant total, 20% can go to up to five social services. After 10% to 15% of the grant is used for general administration, the remainder goes to projects.

Proposals, due by Dec. 18, are available on the CDBG Advisory Committee’s webpage at amherstma.gov/1122/CDBG-Advisory-Committee.

Malloy said the town is operating under the assumption that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Amherst will receive the full amount. But if that changes, the advisory committee and town officials would discuss how that impacts any review and recommendation of proposals.

The CDBG Advisory Committee will begin reviewing applications in January.

This year, the money is helping to pay to build a multi-use path along Mill Lane that will get pedestrians and bicyclists to Groff Park from the apartment complexes on East Hadley Road, and rehabilitation of the Amherst Housing Authority’s Watson Farms apartments.

For social services, the food pantry at the Amherst Survival Center and English classes by the Center for New Americans are among social services funded through the town’s block grant.