Communities Grant Program to Send $45 Million to 12 Connecticut Cities for Improvement Projects

Ned Lamont

A total of 12 cities will be receiving funding through Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s new grant program.

The governor announced $45 million will be awarded through the Connecticut Communities Challenge Grant Program, which works to leverage $74 million in nonstate, private funding to prop up projects aimed at improving livability and vibrance of cities.

“Investing in our communities is a key part of our plan to accelerate long-lasting and equitable economic development in Connecticut,” Lamont said in a release. “This new grant program we launched will have wide-ranging impacts as we emerge stronger than ever from the pandemic, creating new jobs, improving the vibrancy and quality of life in our neighborhoods, and making all corners of the state even more attractive for investment and opportunity.”

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Iowa Awards Two-Thirds of Strengthening Communities Grants to YMCA or YWCA Projects

Kids at a table, wearing masks, with teacher who is wearing a mask

Projects in the rural communities of Clinton, Hampton, Keokuk, Lake City, Maquoketa, Red Oak and Stanton will all together receive $250,000 in Strengthening Communities grants, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced Thursday.

The Iowa legislature appropriated funding for the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund for the Strengthening Communities grants. The grants support communities of fewer than 28,000 residents (based on the 2010 Census) that are renovating facilities or undertaking construction projects that promote “youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.” Organizations must present a minimum of 50% of the grant amount they request. The funding must be secured, dedicated to eligible expenses, raised through public and private funding (not including state funding), and be spent between 2022 and 2024.

The funding will support the following projects:

$65,000 for the YWCA in Clinton’s reconfiguration of childcare spaces and youth classrooms to expand capacity and improve efficiency to help increase child care accessibility and provide a safe environment.

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Developers Pause, Pull Out After St. Paul Passes Rent Control

St. Paul School District

Earlier this month, St. Paul voters chose 53%-47% to impose a 3% cap on rent increases per year.  Despite the rule not activating until May 22, developers already are pausing and pulling out of projects.

The cap is strict: it doesn’t account for inflation, small or large landlords, new or old buildings, “regardless of change of occupancy.” The goal is to obtain stable, affordable housing prices, but there are also wide-reaching unintended consequences.

Pre-election, Mayor Melvin Carter said he supported the initiative.

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University of Michigan-Flint Grant to Support 300 Jobs, $10.4M Investment in Flint

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $3.8 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Recovery Assistance grant to the University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, to construct the university’s new College of Innovation and Technology.

The grant, to be matched with $4.9 million in local funds, is expected to create 126 jobs, retain 175 jobs, and generate $10.4 million in private investment.

“We are grateful to Secretary Raimondo and the Biden Administration for investing in University of Michigan-Flint’s College of Innovation and Technology,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This grant will help us usher in a new era of prosperity by supporting over 300 good-paying jobs and generating $10.4 million in private investment.” 

Mayor Sheldon Neeley welcomed the investment.

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Lumber Demand Drives Georgia Home Prices Higher

A beige house in a suburban community during the day

A spike in lumber prices has compounded the state’s housing crisis, Georgia housing advocates said.

The price of lumber increased by 300% this spring compared with the same time last year, reports show. The building material reached an all-time high of $1,515 per thousand board feet on May 28.

The price of oriented strand board, which is most often used for sheathing, has increased by 400% since last spring.

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Report: Clarksville Among Country’s Fastest-Growing Metro Areas

Clarksville, TN watertower

In a housing market booming across the country, Clarksville stands out.

A recent National Association of Realtors report shows that while the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin metro area is one of the largest growing markets in the country, it is Clarksville that ranks as the fifth-fastest growing housing market in the U.S. in terms of new housing permits.

Clarksville’s growth coincides with a jobs boom in Nashville, which is located less than an hour away, but it also has seen its own boom with the growth of small businesses and employers such as Hankook Tire.

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Gov. Whitmer Announces 21 Road Rebuilding Projects

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced 21 state highway projects for the 2021 construction season.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) projects are funded through its budget and the $3.5 billion Rebuilding Michigan bonding program.

Whitmer announced the projects on Tuesday. 

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