Congressman Brian Higgins announced Western New York will receive over $19.939 million in federal emergency funding to help local communities respond to and recover from the COVID-19 outbreak. The funding was included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently approved by Congress to address urgent public health and economic crisis.
Higgins said, “These allocations allow for community-driven decision making on how federal resources can be best utilized to help our neighbors and neighborhoods during this public health emergency.”
Local municipalities will receive more than $13.76 million in COVID-19 emergency funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, eligible cities, towns and counties are awarded CDBG resources to support local community development needs, such as affordable housing, infrastructure investment, and job creation.
HUD provided guidance for eligible activities to support infectious disease response. Potential uses include:
•Public services, including testing, equipment, supplies, health care worker training, Meals on Wheels or other food access
•Small business assistance grants or loans for business expansion/job creation; support for manufacturers of medical supplies; short-term working capital assistance to help with job retention; assistance for microenterprises that provide medical, food delivery, cleaning or other services supporting home health and quarantine
•Building improvements to allow for clinics, improve/expand existing facilities, retrofit hotels or other buildings for patient care
Western New York communities will also receive over $6.1 million through the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program, which supports programs to assist the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless. Both, CDBG and ESG allocations are formula-based utilizing 2010 Census data.
For additional information and resources related to COVID-19, visit Higgins’ website at: https://higgins.house.gov/issues/coronavirus-disease.