More than $1.3 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding flows into Malden each year, helping the Cty build parks, rehab aging homes, improve infrastructure, and partner with local non-profits on issues including health, homelessness, education, hunger, senior transportation and more. A product of the War on Poverty and a desire for local control,
CDBG has for 45 years been the primary federal program for cities to address the causes and consequences of poverty.
That’s on the mind of City leaders in Malden and across the country as they observe National Community Development Week starting April 22, 2019, which celebrates the successes of the CDBG program in moving communities forward. Mayor Gary Christenson has planned a visit to a CDBG-funded health clinic, and CDBG parks projects are popping up across the City as the construction season picks up.
In Malden, the CDBG budget is set by the Mayor and City Council and administered by the Malden Redevelopment Authority (MRA). In the 2018-2019 program year, CDBG funds support:
- Preventing and addressing homelessness through community partners like Housing Families, Youth Harbors, and Just-A-Start.
- Improvements at Maplewood Park, Forestdale Park, Coytemore Lea Park, FitzGerald Park, and construction of a new community garden on the Northern Strand Community Trail.
- Rehabbing Malden’s aging housing stock, including removing lead hazards and addressing code issues.
- Improving Malden’s walkability for all people by installing ADA-accessible sidewalks throughout the City.
- The Immigrant Learning Center’s English language classes, the YMCA and YWCA’s Youth Services programs, Malden Neighborhood Basketball League, the Malden Teen Enrichment Center, and other educational programs.
- Programs for seniors like the Mystic Valley Elder Services Senior Meals Program, and the Senior Center’s Senior Transportation Program.
CDBG funds have also been leveraged to fund large-scale projects like the redevelopment of a toxic brownfield into the River’s Edge development, building the Malden Senior Center, and constructing Lincoln Commons.
National Community Development Week also celebrates the federal HOME program, which provides funding to local communities to build affordable housing. The MRA administers HOME funds on behalf of the North Suburban HOME Consortium, which consists of Malden, Medford, Everett, Arlington, Melrose, Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop.