New Haven may see a decline in community development projects over the next 12 months, despite the recent grant of almost $30 million awarded to the state of Connecticut by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Henry Fernandez, New Haven’s economic development administrator, said that the grant was actually smaller than the one awarded to the state last year and that funding for building programs for new schools and homeless shelters could possibly decrease due to the latest census reports.
“New Haven has actually shrunk somewhat, so that affects [the programs] and makes for other cuts in the budget,” Fernandez said.
The grant was recently announced by the office of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. Money from the grant will go to programs such as the Community Development Block Grant Program, the Home Investment Partnership Program and Housing for Persons with AIDS.
“These funds will help cities and towns across our community advance local initiatives that address the need for safe, clean and affordable housing,” DeLauro said in a written statement. “In this time of unprecedented prosperity, we should make sure that all of Connecticut’s families have a roof over their heads.”
Ashley Westbrook, DeLauro’s spokeswoman, could not be reached for comment.
Fernandez said DeLauro generally puts forth a good effort to bring federal money into Connecticut.
“The congresswoman does a very good job fighting for maintaining the city’s level of funding,” Fernandez said.
But because this year’s grant of $28.3 million actually consists of less money than usual, some programs might be delayed or even cancelled, he said.
“This year and next year are going to be tough times financially for the city of New Haven,” Fernandez said. “Some projects will not get done.”
Fernandez added that, among others, smaller community projects and community development projects will be hardest hit. And bond fund projects, which are designed to spread expenditures over 20 years, will also see more cuts.
“There will be fewer houses built, and fewer repairs made to community buildings,” Fernandez said. “But the city of New Haven, as it always has in the past, will keep moving forward.”