CUMBERLAND - Five local projects will be awarded a total of $1,425,000 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Community Development Block Grants.

"Throughout Maryland, we are committed to revitalizing communities and creating new opportunities," Gov. Martin O'Malley said. "These Community Development Block awards allow us to support localities and counties across the state as they work to improve the quality of life for the residents in their community."

In Allegany County, funding will be provided to the county's housing rehabilitation program with grants and loans for low- and moderate-income homeowners. The CDBG funding for this project will total $250,000.

A $475,000 grant will be provided to the county to extend a water line to 150 customers in Bowman's Addition. Funding from the Maryland Board of Public Works totaling $148,000 was already slated for this project in June.

In Midland, $250,000 will be used to replace 6,000 feet of water lines as part of improvements to the water system.

Garrett County will receive funding for two projects. Garrett County Community Action Committee Inc. was awarded a $350,000 grant for the infrastructure for the construction of a 30-unit rental housing development for seniors and disabled people in Oakland.

Community Action has worked on similar projects for workforce housing in the past in several areas in the county, including CDBG funding awarded in May to help homeowners make repairs to their houses.

In Friendsville, there will be $100,000 awarded to provide funding to assist with the rehabilitation and replacement of sewage collection lines to eliminate infiltration and inflow issues.

"From benefiting low- and moderate-income residents to addressing blight and improving aesthetics to providing necessary infrastructure improvements, these projects each address one of CDBG's national objectives in some way," Raymond Skinner, DHCD secretary, said. "That's why the department is proud to be a partner to these jurisdictions and gratified that we can help them achieve their goals of enhancing their communities."

The CDBG program is designed to provide decent housing and foster a suitable living environment and to expand economic opportunities, specifically for people of low and moderate income. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees the program and Congress allocates funding to the program annually.

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