Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that the City of Lewiston, in partnership with Community Concepts, will be awarded $1.3 million through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants Program. Last September, Senator Collins sent a letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson in support of the grant application submitted by the city and Community Concepts. Lewiston will be the first city in Maine to receive this grant.
“The City of Lewiston’s downtown affordable housing stock was largely built in the beginning of the 20th century, and much of it has significantly deteriorated and is in need of repairs or replacement,” said Senator Collins. “This funding will help Lewiston promote the health and safety of low-income families living in public housing, while also contributing to meaningful economic growth in the city’s downtown area. I am delighted that HUD will make this investment that will benefit residents and accelerate the ongoing revitalization of Lewiston.”
Forty-eight percent of residents in Lewiston’s downtown district live below the poverty line, and the childhood lead poisoning rate is three times that of the entire state. This funding will allow Lewiston and its community partners to not only plan the renovation of the downtown district, but also to take initial steps to transform the neighborhood and boost the local economy.
Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants support the development of comprehensive neighborhood revitalization plans that focus on directing resources to address three core goals: housing, people and neighborhoods. To achieve these core goals, communities must develop and implement a comprehensive neighborhood revitalization strategy, or Transformation Plan. The Transformation Plan will become the guiding document for the revitalization of the public and/or assisted housing units while simultaneously directing the transformation of the surrounding neighborhood and positive outcomes for families.