Weymouth: Community grant funded project calls for extra cash

Wednesday night the town of Weymouth held a public hearing to review money disbursement under the Community Development Block Grant program for the past fiscal year which ended June 30th. For the past 36 years, Weymouth has been recognized as an entitlement community under the CDBG program which helps fund affordable housing units and repair of public facilities.

The $969,000 grant budget funded public services, such as daycare and foreclosure counseling, as well as community projects like road improvements.

Weymouth Housing Coordinator John Parnaby described a recent affordable housing unit built on Pond Street, “Now it’s nearing completion. Its twenty units of housing; all the housing is affordable family housing. Some of the units will be Section 8 assisted units and six of the units were assisted under the HOME program where those units have some type of a rental control based on the tenant’s income.”

The Josiah Reed House is a historic building used as retirement housing for low to moderate income residents and is a CDBG funded project that is undergoing exterior improvements. The projected budget for the exterior preservation was $30,000 but now the project is calling for an extra $15,000.

Jody Lehrer the community development coordinator for Weymouth explained why it is necessary to dip into the grant bank, “As the workers were doing the work on that building they discovered other needs that you don’t always know when you first go out and inspect a house. Like there was a significant amount of rot under there and it had to be addressed or they wouldn’t have been able to make the fixes they needed to fix.”

Lehrer stated that the extra $15,000 will be deducted from the contingency fund which is the unused money from the 2010-2011 grant budget.

The town is currently reviewing their performance under the CDBG program and will give the Housing and Urban Development department an evaluation report by the end of September.

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.