Fall funding opportunities are available through the Community Development Block Grant Program, which is designed to provide assistance to local governments in improving economic opportunities and meeting community revitalization needs, particularly for persons of low and moderate income.
Funding is available in two categories: The Community Enrichment Program and the Neighborhood Revitalization Program. Application information is available on the S.C. Department of Commerce website. The deadline is Aug. 14.
The Community Enrichment Program is designed to fund facilities, services and other activities that strengthen existing communities and support a high quality of life in the following state priority areas:
- Increasing economic competitiveness. This category includes brownfield projects or demolition of obsolete buildings, downtown streetscape infrastructure where there is significant business activity and prior investments, planning for regional infrastructure or brownfield cleanup and redevelopment, public facility modifications to ensure accessibility for disabled persons, or for energy efficiency improvements to eligible facilities.
- Education and workforce development. This includes library facilities or computer equipment with broadband capability to enhance skills training and education, publicly owned facilities that offer extended educational opportunities for adult literacy or to serve at-risk low- to moderate-income children or youth, or transportation-oriented public facilities or services in low to moderate income workforce populations.
- Safe and healthy communities. This category can assist with public-safety facilities and services in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods; demolition of vacant, dilapidated structures to address and support crime prevention efforts in targeted neighborhoods; fire substations or trucks serving low- to moderate-income residential areas that provide significant improvement in service for in-town locations or near business centers, and health clinic facilities or equipment in underserved areas.
The Neighborhood Revitalization Program is designed to assist in the development of sustainable communities through revitalization of in-town residential neighborhoods. Projects must incorporate comprehensive strategies for linking commercial revitalization successes with improvements to neighborhoods that are generally adjacent to downtown or business centers. Such neighborhoods should be within walking distance to downtown or business centers, typically no more than half-mile from the downtown or business center.
A local neighborhood revitalization plan is a prerequisite to the receipt of funding for project implementation, and the plan must be submitted to the Department of Commerce with the application for funding. Implementation of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization must involve multiple activities, including a public safety component. Activities may include infrastructure; public facilities; limited housing improvements; demolition and clearance of vacant and dilapidated properties; or public services, such as a crime watch program, drug or gang education, or awareness or prevention programs.