Federal agencies are disclosing more American Recovery and Reinvestment Act construction plans. The Housing and Urban Development Dept. on May 5 outlined how it will allot $980 million in Community Development Block Grants, some of which is expected to go for infrastructure. The Dept. of Transportation on May 7 announced it will divide $743 million in stimulus aid among 11 transit projects. On May 8, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $111.9 million for brownfield cleanups, including $37.3 million from the stimulus.
HUD’s stimulus CDBGs will be split among some 1,200 states, cities and counties by a formula that includes an area’s population, poverty and age of housing. New York City gets $48.3 million, the largest share. Chicago receives $22.4 million.
Jeff Falcusan, a National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials policy analyst, says there were hopes the stimulus would have more than $1 billion for CDBGs, but the final figure “was seen as a victory.”
HUD officials said on May 4 the agency “strongly urges” grantees to use stimulus CDBGs “for hard development costs associated with infrastructure activities that provide basic services to residents or activities that promote energy efficiency and conservation through rehabilitation or retrofitting of existing buildings.” ARRA directs stimulus CDBG recipients to emphasize projects whose contracts can be awarded within 120 days of a HUD grant agreement. Cities and counties must notify HUD by June 5 about how they plan to use stimulus CDBGs. States must submit their plans by June 29.
DOT’s transit funds will go to projects with existing “full-funding grant agreements.” Stimulus aid won’t hike DOT’s funding, but money will released sooner. New York gets $274 million for East Side access and Second Avenue subway projects.