DENNIS, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ — Governor Deval Patrick today announced that 46 cities and towns across the Commonwealth will receive $26.8 million in federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to support housing rehabilitation, public service projects and local infrastructure. Governor Patrick made the announcement at Dennis Town Hall. Dennis, jointly with Harwich, received $994,000 for housing improvements and childcare assistance.

“These grants are critical investments to help communities fix-up homes and roadways and provide much-needed local services for residents while putting people to work,” said Governor Patrick. “We thank the Obama Administration and our Congressional delegation for their continued support of our communities.”

“The Community Development Block Grants help improve the quality of our municipalities,” said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. “As we continue to invest in cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth, this funding will go towards revitalizing our streets and neighborhoods, helping to put our communities and residents on the path to economic recovery.”

“These investments save lives and build community and at a time when cities and towns are strapped for cash it means more now than ever,” said U.S. Senator John Kerry. “We’re talking about money that creates construction jobs, builds safer homes, and help families and neighborhoods that need it most. This is why I fight back every time anyone tries to cut or eliminate CDBG funding, and together with Governor Patrick we’ll keep working to protect this money that revitalizes neighborhoods across the state.”

“I strongly support Community Development Block Grants because they are critical to many Massachusetts communities, especially in the last few years as local budgets have been strained by the challenging economy,” said U.S. Senator Scott Brown. “The public projects and infrastructure improvements will go a long way toward helping these forty-six cities and towns weather the tough times and, hopefully, spur more economic development.”

“Thanks to this much-needed CDBG funding from the Governor’s office, the City of Everett can continue key community investments this year, including rebuilding Cedar and Bennett Streets, and support vital assistance programs for the elderly, the hungry and those in need of legal services,” said Congressman Edward J. Markey. “I commend Mayor DeMaria for his continued commitment to Everett’s residents, and I will continue to fight in Washington, D.C. for full funding for this crucial program.”

“Federal CDBG money is used in so many ways to improve neighborhoods, enhance residential services and assist local businesses,” said Congressman Mike Capuano. “I am pleased that the City of Chelsea will benefit from this funding, which will be used for several initiatives, including renovating distressed housing and supporting summer programming for young people.”

“This is one more example of how federal spending can help serve the basic needs of our communities,” said Congressman Barney Frank. “We are spending too little on such projects, not too much.”

“Community Development Block Grants are critical to local initiatives from employment training to housing assistance to care for abused and neglected children, which is why the recent attacks to this funding by some in Congress are so devastating to our communities,” said Rep. Bill Keating, whose district received five grants. “The CDBG program is one of the most flexible and valuable resources available to our cities and towns – providing economic opportunities, building community character, enhancing quality of life, and revitalizing our neighborhoods. I am certain the grants to Dennis, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Provincetown, and Truro will make a positive impact to the towns’ residents in countless ways.”

“These federal grants will help small cities and towns across western and central Massachusetts invest in their future,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “From roadway improvements to housing rehabilitation, this critical assistance will help communities fund important projects that help improve the quality of life for our friends and neighbors. I have been an outspoken supporter of the CDBG Program for many years because I know what it means for job creation and our local infrastructure.”

“These funds will allow communities across my district to undertake much needed improvements and maintain vital social services,” said Congressman John Olver. “Given the lingering effects of the recent economic downturn, such investments are more important than ever. I welcome today’s announcement and offer my congratulations to all the awardees.”

“These grants allow communities like Salisbury to provide more affordable housing, improve infrastructure, and support local residents,” said Congressman John Tierney. “It is critical that we continue to invest in our local communities and help them to strengthen needed programs and create jobs at the same time.”

“I would like to thank the Patrick Administration for granting nearly a million dollars to the towns of Dennis and Harwich, “said Representative Cleon H. Turner. “These funds will be put to great use to improve housing and childcare assistance, and I look forward to seeing the long term benefits it will offer our Cape communities.”

The CDBG program is the Commonwealth’s largest available resource for neighborhood revitalization projects and helps meet the housing and public service needs of low- and moderate-income communities while building and repairing infrastructure vital to the health and safety of all residents. The infrastructure projects help communities create and maintain jobs while providing important improvements to the lives of residents in each city and town. Historically, 40 percent of CDBG funds distributed have been used for these job-creating projects.

The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and funds are distributed by the state Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to cities and towns in Massachusetts with populations of less than 50,000. Eligible communities with populations greater than 50,000 receive program funding directly from HUD. Communities may apply for CDBG funding for activities including: housing rehabilitation projects, infrastructure repair or replacement, construction or rehabilitation of public facilities, neighborhood improvement projects, economic development loans and other business assistance programs, social service upgrades, downtown improvement projects and architectural barrier removal and planning. The maximum grant for a single community is $1 million. Regional applications are accepted.