FY 1998 SuperNOFA Guidebook

Coordination of Competitive Grant Programs
Example 1: Brownfields

An older city located in the Northeast faced the problem of what to do with its abandoned and underutilized industrial sites. Once the engine of prosperity for the city, these sites had become eyesores that had negative impacts on the surrounding neighborhoods. To make matters worse, the city�s previous efforts to redevelop the sites had been unsuccessful because potential businesses feared that the sites were environmentally contaminated. In search of a way to turn these burdensome sites into sparks for job creation and neighborhood revitalization, the city assembled a special task force to address the issue. The task force recommended a comprehensive renewal strategy, combining both residential and business development with strong links between the old industrial sites and their surrounding neighborhoods. The city fully supported the plan and made it a priority in its Consolidated Plan. It allocated its own general funds, HUD CDBG, and other financial resources to begin implementation at an initial demonstration site, yet it needed additional project startup funds and help to make the program more comprehensive. To fill these needs, the city looked to HUD�s competitive grant programs.

The city decided to focus its efforts on one of the sites that had the most development potential. During the initial marketing of the site, the city discovered that several businesses were interested but were reluctant to commit to the project because of contamination issues. The city conducted some initial soil assessments and found evidence of moderate contamination. It applied for funding from the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative to help finance initial clean-up and replace the site�s aging infrastructure. This money was combined with clean-up money provided by the state�s Department of Environment and a Section 108 loan to enable a developer to acquire and clear the land which was owned by one of the industrial companies formerly located at the site. These HUD resources, combined with those committed by the State, city, and the private sector, spurred implementation of the economic redevelopment portion of the plan.

The city still needed to create firm links to the surrounding community. It actively pursued local hiring commitments from businesses locating at the site. It obtained commitments from a local community college to conduct customized job training for neighborhood residents. It also committed some of its Community Development Block Grant resources to the physical redevelopment of the area, including the creation of a park at a former industrial site. To further its efforts to link the neighborhood to the business redevelopment strategy, the city applied for additional HUD competitive grants. Since homes in the area had been built in the 1940s�about the time that the plants that used to dominate the area had been built�many of them contained lead-based paint hazards. The city sought funds from the Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Program, which it planned to use to assess the extent of the lead-based paint hazards, remediate the hazards, and provide on-the-job training and certification in lead paint hazard control to residents of the area. As part of a broader initiative to rehabilitate some of the dilapidated housing in the area, the city decided to apply for Youthbuild funding. The grant would enable young high school dropouts in the area to receive classroom and on-the-job training in housing rehabilitation. Both Youthbuild and Lead Paint trainees would make substantial, direct contributions to rehabilitating housing in the area, which would give them a renewed sense of pride in themselves and the neighborhood and provide them with skills enabling them to acquire stable, well-paying jobs.

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Content Archived: July 19, 2012