PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 22, 2016
Contact: Marian Sullivan, Communications Director (413) 886-5166, email@example.com
HUD Awards City of Springfield $17 Million for Resilience Projects
Springfield- Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Officials will be in Springfield today to announce that the City of Springfield has been selected as a winner of the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC) and will receive $17,056,880 in CDBG-NDR funding for innovative projects that will increase resilience in the City.
The NDRC was developed through a partnership between HUD and the Rockefeller Foundation in response to requests from state and local leaders seeking to build resilience and better prepare their communities for the impacts of climate change. The competition was modeled after the Rebuild by Design Competition that occurred after Hurricane Sandy. The competition took place in two phases, with 67 eligible applicants initially invited to participate in Phase I. There were 40 finalists that advanced to Phase II, and were asked to submit specific projects that would advance the resilience of their states and communities. HUD then selected 13 states and local communities to actually award funding. Of those awarded funding eight were states, four municipalities and one county.
The National Disaster Resilience Competition was designed to promote risk assessment, stakeholder engagement, and resilience planning in communities where the risks of disaster are projected to increase substantially due to climate change.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno stated, “We are very grateful and thankful to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for this major funding, but more importantly, their recognition on how the City of Springfield, not only handled the devastating 2011 tornado, but also how we’ve rebuilt and continue to strive to be even better prepared. I am also very proud of our internal city team. We competed against large cities, regional areas, and states across the country.”
“Today’s announcement is another reminder that the recovery continues, and even a natural disaster cannot break the spirit of the people of Springfield. Our resilience over the past five years has been remarkable, and our ability to work together has made the rebuilding process easier. When the tornadoes touched down in western Massachusetts in June 2011, I pledged to seek as much disaster relief necessary to repair our city and its neighborhoods. Working relentlessly with Mayor Sarno, we now have secured nearly $100 million in funding for the rebuilding effort. The tornado brought our community unprecedented adversity, but today’s good news proves that we continue to persevere,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal.
“This National Disaster Resilience grant will make a big difference for Springfield as it works to strengthen resiliency in the face of natural disaster, revitalize neighborhoods, and build opportunities for working families,” Senator Elizabeth Warren said. “I’m glad the federal government is supporting the city’s efforts, and I give a lot of credit to Mayor Sarno for his work to get this grant.”
The City of Springfield will use these funds to carry-out the following HUD selected projects:
· Clean and Redundant Energy: Restoration of hydropower and installation of a combined heat and power plant to provide non-grid energy sources to critical facilities in the event of power loss during a disaster.
· Safe and Healthy Rental Homes: Rehabilitation program for owners of 1-4 unit homes to restore affordable housing stock damaged by the 2011 tornado.
· Business and Job Opportunities: Creation of the Springfield Innovation Center and provision of job training to foster a community of entrepreneurs, jumpstart re-investment and redevelopment in the City’s core, and equip low-income residents with the skills they need to work on NDRC-funded projects.
· Community Engagement – Creation of the Citizen Tree Steward Program and the Community Based Citizen Science Initiative to involve the community in water quality and water conservation activities. The City will also partner with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission to complete the remaining phases of the City’s climate change plan.
The following organizations partnered with the City of Springfield in Phase I or Phase II applications:
· Baystate Medical Center
· Develop Springfield
· Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
· Partners for a Healthier Community
· Regreen Springfield
· Regional Employment Board
· Tech Foundry
· Northeast Climate Change Center and University of Massachusetts
MassMutual and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs agreed to commit a combined $2.4 million to the City’s resilience projects.
Consultants GCR, Inc., out of New Orleans, LA and GZA provided technical assistance to the City of Springfield throughout the competition.
For further information please contact Rhonda Siciliano at HUD at (617) 994-8355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.