WASHINGTON, DC –Congressman Jim Himes and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch today announced three grants totaling $7,933,312 will help prevent homelessness and provide affordable housing and economic opportunity in Bridgeport. This first influx of Recovery funding comes the week after President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law.

“These funds are vital to the City’s ongoing efforts to create affordable housing and provide the necessary public services to those who need it the most – those who have lost their homes or are on the brink, “said Mayor Finch. “We are very thankful for the attention paid to this extremely important funding stream by our Congressman, Jim Himes.”

Congressman Himes will be working with local government officials to ensure that this economic recovery funding gets to southwestern Connecticut.

“The Recovery Act is already addressing some of our most severe challenges,” said Congressman Himes. “Just two weeks after I voted for the Recovery Act, we’re already seeing investment in Stamford that will help keep families in their homes—one of the most important steps we must take to turn our economy around.”

Specifically, the grants for Bridgeport include $1,351,004 from the Homeless Prevention Fund (HPF), $883,094 for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), and $5,699,214 in Section 9 funding. The CDBG will give priority to projects that will begin within 120 days of the grant award and will focus on projects to undertake a wide range of activities intended to create suitable living environments, provide decent affordable housing, and create economic opportunities. The HPF money will target individuals who are on the brink of homelessness with support for a range of assistance including help with security or utility deposits, moving costs, and short-term rental assistance. The Section 9 funding comes in the form of a capital fund award which will increase resources available for investment and management activities for public housing, including the modernization and development of new homes.

Earlier this week, President Obama announced that by April 1st, 95% of Americans will see their paychecks increase because of the Making Work Pay tax cut in the Recovery Act. Withholding taxes are set to decrease by April 1st.

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Congressman Jim Himes represents Connecticut’s 4th District, which includes the communities of Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield,  Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan, Norwalk, Oxford, Redding, Ridgefield, Shelton, Stamford, Trumbull,  Weston, Westport, and Wilton.