Town to dole out $98K in community grant funds

12/03/2013 1:30 PM |

CYNDI MURRAY FILE PHOTO | A portion of the Suffolk County Community Block Grant funding was allocated to transforming this blighted Orient property into a Habitat for Humanity home.

Southold Town is divvying up approximately $98,000 in Suffolk County grant funding to support local housing and community development projects.

During the Southold Town board’s work session Tuesday, town special projects coordinator Phillip Beltz provided members with a breakdown of how the Community Development Block Grant money would be spent in 2014.

Recipients include several local organizations such as Community Action Southold Town, Maureen’s Haven and the North Fork Housing Alliance. There will also be money allocated for capital improvements at the town’s community centers, Mr. Beltz said.

Mr. Beltz said he would submit the Town’s recommendations on how to allocate the grant money to the county for final approval.

Capital Improvements

The Town is proposing allocating roughly $23,500 of the grant money toward creating easier access between the town recreation center and community center on Peconic Lane in Peconic.

The two neighboring buildings are often the site of community forums and activities, however insufficient parking at the community center and no sidewalks connecting the two neighboring buildings is an inconvenience for the public, Mr. Beltz said.

“What we are proposing is to connect both sites together as a campus,” Mr. Beltz said after the meeting. “[Under the proposal] there would be an extended sidewalk and to double the parking at the Community Center.”

There is also money set aside to paint the exterior of the community center in the proposal, Mr. Beltz said.

Housing needs

The Town has earmarked more than $50,000 toward meeting housing needs, said Mr. Beltz, who welcomes the prospect of bringing more affordable housing to Southold.

“We are in dire need of affordable housing,” he said before the meeting. “When I first started here the lack of perpetual affordability was one of the greatest oversights I noticed.”

Long time CDBG recipients, the North Fork Housing Alliance are slated to receive about $30,000 toward its goal of providing affordable housing in Southold Town, Mr. Beltz said. The money would go toward funding NFHA’s many services for lower-income families, including assistance with referrals, mortgage and foreclosures, housing rehabilitation projects, subsidized housing information, loan and grant applications, utility payments, and advocacy and counseling.

Another $10,000 is allocated to Suffolk County Habitat for Humanity’s plan to transform a but a blighted property on Greenway East in Orient into Southold Town’s first Habitat home, he said. The money would be used to facilitate the demolition and reconstruction of the home.

There is also $10,000 allocated to establish affordable housing on Fisher’s Island, Mr. Beltz said.

Community organizations

Both CAST and Maureen’s Haven are expected to receive a piece from the block grant, Mr. Beltz said.

A portion of the money for CAST would be used specifically to help fund the nonprofit’s new $30,000 Parent-Child Home Program. The national initiative launched on Long Island in 1965 focuses on children between 18 months and 2 years of age. Through the effort, CAST will send home-workers to the houses of participating families twice a week for two years, dropping off donated books and encouraging the parents to read to and play with their children.

Homeless Outreach Program Maureen’s Haven was also allocated $5,000 for its efforts providing shelter, support and other services to homeless adults on the East End of Long Island during winter months.

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