$400,000 Grant Funding from Small Cities Program Will Improve Local Beach Access for People with Disabilities

TRENTON, NJ – Furthering the Christie Administration’s commitment to improving our communities and assisting at-risk populations and low-income families, Acting Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III joined Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano, Jr. and other local officials to break ground on an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant pedestrian/bike ramp from Beach Avenue to the Boardwalk at Cresse Avenue. The project is being funded with the assistance of the Small Cities Community Block Grant (CDBG) from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) in the amount of $400,000.

 “Our primary objective is to develop these viable communities by improving their overall quality of life, their housing situations and their economic opportunities,” stated Acting Commissioner Constable. “The Small Cities grants are an innovative way to give incentives to local communities to focus on housing rehabilitations, urban renewal and other public services. It is the best way for us to give maximum benefits to some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Last month, the DCA awarded over $7 million in Small Cities CDBG grants to municipalities in New Jersey. The 25 grants will benefit 17 municipalities, 3 counties and nearly 30,000 people across the state including senior citizens and people with disabilities.

The funds used in this project are part of a collaborative effort with Wildwood Crest, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Wildwoods Boardwalk Special Improvement District. The funds will enable the City to fully comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources administers the Small Cities CDBG grants, which are designated to benefit people of low and moderate income or to address recent local needs for which no other source of funding is available. Funding for the Small Cities Program is provided by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Community Development Block Grant Program. The DCA receives, distributes and administers the grant funds for the State of New Jersey.

Small Cities develop their own programs and funding priorities. The projected use of funds must be developed to give maximum feasible priority to activities that benefit low- and moderate- income persons or aid in the prevention or elimination of slums or blight.

The projected use of funds may also include activities that the applicant certifies are designed to meet other urgent community development needs because existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community where other financial resources are not available to meet such needs. At least 70 percent of each grant made available to a local government unit must benefit low- and moderate-income persons.

For more information on the Small Cities CDBG program, go to http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/cdbg.html on the DCA website.