Since 1975, Newton has spent nearly $12 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in eligible neighborhoods to make vital enhancements to the city’s physical and social environment. Improvements are undertaken with the goal of improving the quality of life for the city’s low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents. According to federal CDBG regulations, these area-benefit activities may only be undertaken within neighborhoods where 51 percent of the area’s households have an income that is 80 percent or less than the area median income (AMI). None of the census block groups within the city of Newton meet this requirement.
Consequently, HUD allows cities and counties to use an “exception approach”. In order to be designated as a target neighborhood eligible for CDBG funding, a neighborhood must be within the highest quartile of the City in terms of the concentration of low- and moderate-income residents. Based on data from the 2000 U.S. Census, 16 block groups were eligible for designation as target neighborhoods. However, as a result of limited CDBG funding, Newton has a policy to limit the number of target neighborhoods, prioritizing the eligible areas by highest LMI concentration and connecting contiguous block groups where possible.
Four block groups fell into the highest percentage category (37.1 to 47 percent) of low- and moderate-income residents—one in West Newton, one in Newtonville, one in Newton Corner and one in Nonantum. These four portions of the city were thus designated as CDBG target neighborhoods (see map below). Portions of both Newton Corner and Nonantum have been eligible for neighborhood improvement projects since the inception of the program, while portions of Thompsonville, Newton Highlands, Auburndale, Lower Falls and Upper Falls have all been eligible in the past for CDBG funding.
For more information on the neighborhood improvements program, please contact Tiffany Leung, Community Development Planner, at 617.796.1146 or firstname.lastname@example.org.