Community Development Block Grant-FAQS
- What is the purpose of the grant?
The purpose of the grant is to eliminate blight and to create jobs and housing for low to moderate income individuals.
- What area is covered by the grant?
The grant area consists of the area bounded by Tavern, Brown, Elm and High Streets.
- Where is the money being spent?
The money is earmarked to be spent in areas specified by the grant including administration, housing creation, façade program, loan pool, Epes Supply Redevelopment, Main Street Redevelopment, Market Analysis and Vectec E-Commerce training.
- Who can get money from the grant?
Business and property owners whose buildings and stores are in the specified grant area are automatically eligible to get money from the grant.
- Can you only get money for façade work?
A loan pool is also available for business expansion or start up. You can also receive up to $25,000 per unit for creating housing for LMI qualified candidates.
- What street improvements can we expect and when?
Street improvements are going to be addressed in a future grant because the scope of the proposed project cannot be covered by the amount of money in the block grant. Improvements will include brick sidewalks, bump-outs at intersections and re-contoured sidewalks that slope to accommodate the handicapped. Don’t expect to see this in a major way until at least a year from now assuming we get the grant that we are applying for.
- What is D.B.I. and what is their role versus the town’s role?
D.B.I. stands for Downtown Blackstone Inc. and our role is to carryout the ongoing process of downtown revitalization. Our role is to promote the grant, thereby securing participation. The town’s role is to administer the grant, i.e. pay bills and disburse funds and keep records of how the funds were utilized and report to DHCD.
- Who manages the grant?
The Town of Blackstone manages the grant.
- When are we going to see something actually get done?
Expect to see some transformations take place this fall in the area of October or November at the rate we are progressing barring setbacks or unforeseen delays.
- Do I have to put a lien on my property in order to get work done on my façade.
No. You must commit to a grant easement which means you will be obligated to maintain the improvements for 10 years or repay the funds granted to you on a prorated basis.
- Are the strings attached to participating in the grant?
Yes, please refer to the PDF downloads on this page for details.
- What is happening with the “hole”?
Both the town and the owner will look for a buyer for this property and also the 29 feet that the town owns, however, a "green space" should be developed in the mean time to dress up this area to satisfy DHCD. The town's 29 feet could potentially house informational kiosks about Blackstone, public restrooms and a stage or movie screen. Whatever plans the town proposes will be advertised and public input sought.