Community investment fund accepting applications; 875 million dollars ready to be cashed

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Over the next five years, a massive infusion of state money will be scattered throughout Connecticut.

It’s called the 2030 Community Investment Fund: a five-year state grant program backed by $875 million in funding.

A huge injection of taxpayers’ money will revive the fund. Leaders hope this will bring an equitable change to the landscape of the state.

“There are so many needs in our communities. It’s a matter of fairness,” said State Rep. Bobby Gibson, vice chairman of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus.

Each year for the next five years, the CIF Board of Directors will award $175 million. The money will be targeted to help underserved communities like Hartford.

State Senator Doug McCrory, who represents Hartford, issued the challenge to the universe.

“Show us something that will transform your community, because that’s what you need. This is what we need. It’s what all of our neighborhoods need,” McCrory said.

Who can apply? There are 54 towns or cities considered underserved. New Haven and Waterbury fall into the category. Towns like Wethersfield and Enfield can also apply.

They are considered public investment communities.

House Speaker Matt Ritter said Homestead Avenue in North Hartford is an example of space this fund could benefit from.

“They’ve had these old warehouses for many years that we have to tear down and put back upright. But first you have to clean the floor,” Ritter said.

News 8’s Jodi Latina asked, “More focused on programs like this rather than a revamp of the XL Center?”

“I mean, XL Center would come out of a different pot of money. For me, it’s a regional asset and a regional attraction,” Ritter said.

Community development corporations and non-profit organizations that serve one or more of the designated cities may also apply. The money can be used for the following:

  • Clean up an industrial wasteland
  • affordable housing
  • Water and sewer infrastructure improvements
  • Pedestrian safety and traffic calming improvements
  • Energy resilience or clean energy projects
  • Land acquisitions and capital projects for the construction of libraries and centers for the elderly.

The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) manages the program. The CIF Board of Directors and the Office of the Governor review the nominations and then recommend the winners.

The Government Bonds Commission approves grant proposals. Projects that hire locals, raise outside funds and use project working agreements will be given priority.

“It’s a big effort with a lot of power behind it and a really ambitious goal,” said Alexandra Daum, Deputy Commissioner of the Ministry of Economic and Community Development.

Small businesses will also be able to get money for microloans and gap financing. The deadline to apply for the first round of funding is July 25.

Projects will receive money in October.

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