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The public was invited to three workshops in September to provide input on priorities for $3.7 million in grants aimed at preventing crime and revitalizing neighborhoods statewide.
The grants will be administered by the Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund, which was created in 2014 to support crime reduction, neighborhood revitalization, and economic development programs statewide, including programs in and around Downtown Development Districts and high crime areas.
The workshops began with a presentation detailing the purposes and goals of the Fund followed by solicitation of public suggestions about effective crime prevention and neighborhood development strategies. Applications for specific projects or proposals are not being accepted or considered at this time. Applications for grants will open this fall.
The $3.7 million in grant funds were allocated to the NBBF by the Department of Justice, with the agreement of the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee, from settlements with national banks for alleged misconduct in the national financial markets.
“The purpose of these funds is to provide some help to the hardest hit neighborhoods in our State in terms of crime and the economy,” said Former Attorney General Matt Denn, who proposed directing settlement money to the NBBF. “I know there are neighborhood groups that are working every day to make their communities safer and better, and that have innovative ideas that some funding could make happen.”