UPDATE: The New Bedford Mayor's Office said Friday afternoon that one project proposal in fact did come in earlier that day.

The office spokesperson also noted that "program staff continue to expect other proposals to follow, based on the healthy interest expressed during the earlier public engagement process."

NEW BEDFORD — City officials are extending the deadline to apply to New Bedford's Vacant or Abandoned Property Rehabilitation Program to Dec. 30, as no proposals have yet been submitted.

The goal of the program — which was launched in July — is to use federal COVID relief funding to help developers turn vacant or abandoned properties into productive use, according to a release from the city.

A mayor's office spokesperson said the program has yet to receive any submitted proposals to redevelop city properties.

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Support for the program comes from the city's federal American Rescue Plan Act relief funds.

The program specifically targets "substantial" projects — those that will cost at least $750,000 — that have other sources of revenue and are ready to go forward quickly.

Financial support from the program cannot be more than half of the total cost of the project, and funded activities must also start within one year of the grant being awarded, city officials said.

The deadline for submission has been pushed back from Sept. 30 to Dec. 30.

According to the program documents, eligible projects can be residential, commercial, or industrial properties, or even vacant lots.

They must also be within the city's Qualified Census Tract, which runs from Tinkham Street in the North End down to the hurricane barrier at Clark's Point.

Demolitions or renovations cannot reduce the total number of occupiable housing units, and chain stores and franchises are not eligible for the program.

New Bedford's Historical Commission will evaluate the projects for their quality, and must give their approval before improvements can begin.

More information about the program can be found at www.newbedford-ma.gov/arpa/.

Questions or applications may be emailed to arpa@newbedford-ma.gov.

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