Lewiston, ME –U.S. Senator Susan Collins was in Lewiston this afternoon to congratulate the City, in partnership with Community Concepts, on receiving a $1.3 million Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Lewiston is the first city in Maine to receive this funding award from HUD.
Senator Collins also toured a nearby building today undergoing lead abatement and participated in a roundtable discussion with Lewiston city officials and stakeholders.
“This highly competitive grant will allow the City of Lewiston to not only plan the renovation of the downtown district, but also to take initial steps to transform the neighborhood, improve the city’s affordable housing, address lead hazards, and boost the local economy,” said Senator Collins. “When I wrote to Secretary Carson last fall in support of Lewiston’s application, I emphasized both the city’s aging housing stock and the commitment throughout the city to ensure that your neighbors in need have safe and affordable places to live. Throughout the application process, it was your record of accomplishment that made all the difference.”
“The ongoing revitalization of Lewiston is remarkable,” Senator Collins continued. “You are improving lives and creating opportunity. This investment will further support your work and benefit the people you serve.”
In her remarks, Senator Collins also applauded the numerous partners who worked in conjunction with the city and with Community Concepts to successfully secure this funding, including the John T. Gorman Foundation, The Healthy Neighborhood Planning Council, St. Mary’s Hospital, Bates College, Tree Street Youth, Maine Immigrants and Refugee Services, The Root Cellar, the Raise Op, and the Lewiston School Department.
Last September, Senator Collins, the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, sent a letter to HUD in support of the grant application submitted by the City of Lewiston and Community Concepts. In the letter, Senator Collins emphasized the need for this funding as 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.
Since 1965, Community Concepts has offered a variety of housing, economic development, and social services for the communities of Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties of Maine. These services support both the basic needs of low income families and promotes self-sufficiency.