NEW BEDFORD — Got an idea how to improve the quality of life in New Bedford?

City officials want to hear from you.

Residents are being asked to give their opinions on what to do with more than $6 million in federal funding for housing initiatives and community development set to arrive in the next fiscal year.

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New Bedford officials are inviting public input at two meetings that will be held by the Housing and Community Development office next week.

The meetings, scheduled in-person at Carney Academy on Jan. 10 and via Zoom on Jan. 11, are a chance for residents to discuss the best ways to use federal ARPA and other funding headed our way.

The funding comes from a variety of sources, including around $2.7 million in Community Development Block Grants, nearly $1 million in the HOME Investment Partnership Program, and $230,000 in Emergency Solutions Grants.

On top of that, the city will also be getting $3.1 million in HOME funding through the American Rescue Plan Act, which will help people and families experiencing or at risk of being homeless.

Funding is expected to become available on July 1.

Those who plan to apply for CDBG, HOME, or ESG grants are encouraged to participate in the meetings.

Input will be used for officials to develop a strategic plan to address needs in housing, public facilities, parks and playgrounds, community services, homelessness resources, and economic development.

At the meetings, residents will be able to comment on how they think the quality of life in the city can be improved, and to suggest specific additions to neighborhood facilities or services.

They'll also be asked how they think the ARPA funding could be used to help with affordable housing, supportive services, tenant-based rental assistance, homeless prevention services, and non-congregate shelters.


Both public meetings will include presentations from city staffers on community needs, recent accomplishments, and eligibility and timeframes for each source of funding.

The meetings will be held at 6 p.m., one on Jan. 10 in person at Carney Academy, 247 Elm St., and the other on Jan. 11 via Zoom.

More information, including Zoom meeting details, can be found at the city's Housing and Community Development office website.

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