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Beautiful Blocks Program Expands to Carbondale, Open for Applications

Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural year of Beautiful Blocks in the City of Carbondale.

Beautiful Blocks is a home improvement program which provides matching grants of up to $1,000 per property to groups of residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes. After two successful years in the City of Scranton, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is pleased to partner with the City of Carbondale to expand Beautiful Blocks to residents of the Pioneer City.

The Beautiful Blocks program seeks to make neighborhoods throughout Carbondale more attractive places to live. Eligible exterior improvements include everything from painting and mailboxes to larger projects like sidewalks and lamp posts. Grants will be awarded through a competitive application process. Applications will be judged on project impact, coordination, and the likelihood of neighbors continuing to work together in the future.

Pre-applications are being accepted until April 30. Awards will be announced in June, with work taking place throughout the summer. Residents must match their grant awards dollar-for-dollar, unless they meet certain income guidelines. Residents whose household income is less than 80% of the area median income are only required to provide a 20% match. For example, if a resident meets these income guidelines and receive the maximum $1,000 grant award, they must personally contribute at least $200 towards their project. Otherwise, participants must match the $1,000 grant with $1,000 of their own funds.

According to NeighborWorks President & CEO Jesse Ergott, "After a successful two years in Scranton, we look forward to expanding the positive impact of Beautiful Blocks to the City of Carbondale. We appreciate the support of our community partners in supporting this expansion, and encourage Carbondale residents to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in this exciting program."

Beautiful Blocks in Carbondale is made possible with support from Lackawanna County Commissioners Jerry Notarianni, Debi Domenick, Esq., and Chris Chermak; with additional support from Charles W. Grimm Construction, Inc; CLIDCO; CC Cleaning; Brian Kelly and Associates; Adams CATV; Northeast Inspection Consultants, Inc.; Carbondale Family Health Center, Part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers; Cipriani & Werner, P.C.; Reuther Bowen; Pleasant Mount Welding; and Community Bank, NA.

“Mayor Justin Taylor is very excited about getting into our neighborhoods with Beautiful Blocks to create meaningful relationships with our residents, the City of Carbondale, and NeighborWorks NEPA,” Michele Bannon, Carbondale City Clerk and member of the NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Board of Directors, said of the program’s expansion into Carbondale. “It is important to help shape our neighborhoods into great places to live in order to connect with people, to feel safe and secure, and to reach for our goals in life.”

In 2019 and 2020, the first two years of the Beautiful Blocks program operating in Scranton , a total of 25 groups of neighbors participated, with more than $155,000 in grant funding awarded. This grant funding helped to leverage more than $330,000 in funds invested from participating homeowners.

Carbondale Residents interested in participating in the Beautiful Blocks program can download pre-application instructions and access the pre-application document by visiting the program homepage at https://www.nwnepa.org/programs/beautiful-blocks.html. More information is also available by contacting Gerard Hetman, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Community Development Specialist, at (570)558-2490 or ghetman@nwnepa.org.

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