Cicilline, Malliotakis Introduce Legislation to Help Community and Senior Centers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and U.S. Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) introduced the Community and Senior Center Support Act, bipartisan legislation that waives the rural-area requirement for the USDA Community Facilities Grant Program, providing community and senior centers across the country access to millions of dollars in federal funds to help build or improve these essential community facilities.

“Community and senior centers provide essential services in cities and towns across America, and especially in Rhode Island,” Cicilline said. “This bill will make it easier for more communities to secure federal funding that is often necessary to build and maintain these facilities. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure this bipartisan bill is signed into law.”

“New York City has a rapidly increasing senior population and our community and senior centers provide critical programs and resources for the older residents in our community,” said Congresswoman Malliotakis. “For years, we’ve sadly seen the de Blasio administration attempt to decrease funding for the Department for the Aging (DFTA) when he should have been doing the opposite. I’m proud to work with Representative Cicilline on legislation that will make federal funds more accessible for community and senior centers that are in desperate need of assistance to repair or build new facilities.”

Community and senior centers provide essential resources to towns across the nation. From health and fitness programs to nutrition and meal support to childcare and educational services to volunteer and employment opportunities, these gathering places bring together Americans of all ages. Unfortunately, many towns cannot afford this essential community infrastructure.

The USDA Community Facilities Grant Program offers direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across America. Public bodies, non-profit organizations, and federally recognized American Indian Tribes can use the funds to construct, expand, or improve facilities.

A summary of the ways the Community and Senior Center Support Act will benefit Americans of all ages is included is included below:

  • Direct Loan and Grant Program: Provides affordable funding to develop community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria
  • Loan Guarantees: Provides loan guarantees to eligible lenders to develop community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria (lender may be located anywhere in the US)
  • Technical Assistance and Training Grant: Provide grants to public bodies and private non-profit corporations to provide associations Technical Assistance and/or training with respect to community and senior center programs. Once needs have been identified, the grantee can assist in identifying public and private resources to finance those identified community needs.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria
  • Economic Impact Initiative Grant: Provides funding to assist in the development of community and senior centers in communities with extreme unemployment and severe economic depression.
    • Eligibility: have a “not employed rate” greater than 19.5% and the median household income of the community being served must be below 90% of the state non-metropolitan median household income
    • Grant assistance is based on a graduated scale determined by population, median household income, total project costs, and financial need
  • Community Development Initiative Grants: Provides grants to help non-profit housing and community development organizations, low-income communities, and federally recognized tribes support community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria
  • Tribal College Initiative Grants: Provides funding to Tribal Colleges to make capital improvements to community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria
  • Direct Loan and Grant Program: Provides affordable funding to develop community and senior centers.
    • Eligibility: no additional criteria

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