Concord Avenue is one of the main gateways into the City of Monroe, Union County. In 2015, City officials created the Concord Ave Master Plan with the purpose of having a road map with a vision for economic, housing and community revitalization along this corridor, including the enhancement of connectivity to services and facilities for both residents and visitors.
In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A section of the CARES Act authorized the Department of the Treasury to establish and manage the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for unanticipated but necessary expenditures incurred by states and local governments due to COVID-19. The state of North Carolina received about $4.07 billion in federal CRF funds and established the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to maintain the CRF monies awarded to the state under the CARES Act.
The Community Development Block Grant program provides annual grants to entitled cities and counties to provide decent housing and a suitable living environment by expanding economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons. Since 2016 Centralina has served as the CDBG Program Administrator for Mecklenburg and Union Counties to ensure they are following HUD program rules and regulations and help manage the program requirements to get federal dollars moving as quickly and effectively as possible.
One of the struggles for many elderly low- to moderate-income families in North Carolina has been the ability to maintain their homes while living on fixed incomes. Many families are faced with the painful decision of either paying for expensive medicine, food and utilities or attempting to pay for essential housing repairs. In many cases, the repairs are delayed and as more time passes, the repair issues become worse and more expensive.
Centralina Regional Council and the Centralina Economic Development District (EDD) recently hosted the Regional Recovery Summit. The Summit was the first of three fall virtual workshops that will be held by the Regional Resilience Collaborative. Started by Centralina Regional Council and the Centralina EDD, the Collaborative will assess the viability and resiliency of emergency management plans and coordinate resources so the region can pursue greater efficiency in responding to current and future natural and man-made disasters. “It’s vital to know how we recover from these disruptions in a way that moves our communities forward and leverages the strengths of government and non-government partners,” said Geraldine Gardner, Executive Director of Centralina Regional Council.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo announced six programs, collectively called “Investing in America’s Communities,” that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) will execute to equitably invest the $3 billion received from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.
In the 2022-2027 update to the CEDS, the EDA introduced a new requirement for economic resilience, an area’s ability to prevent, withstand and quickly recover from major disruptions. The requirement promotes planning for implementing resilience and establishing information networks. The CEDS economic resilience component supports a stronger and more resilient Centralina region.
In March 2021, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) approved the Centralina Economic Development District (EDD) Disaster Relief Coordinator Grant to support increasing capacity and coordinating inter-local resources to enhance economic resiliency and disaster response systems. The EDA and the Centralina EDD recognize that the increased frequency of natural hazard events, the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing need for immediate recovery and resilience, requires regional collaboration to strengthen response and recovery efforts. The project supports regional emergency management capacity, to meet and plan for recovery, response and resiliency efforts.
After over ten years of dedicated service to our region and a 40+ year career in the Carolinas, Michael (Mike) Manis will be retiring from his position at Centralina Regional Council effective May 31, 2021. An expert economic developer and devoted public servant, Mike led the Community Economic Development Department and served as the President/COO of the Centralina Economic Development District (CEDD), a 501c3 affiliated organization of the Council. During his decade of service Mike made significant contributions to shaping the region’s economic development strategy and supporting Centralina’s local government members secure resources and technical assistance for transformational projects in their communities.
Older adults often express a desire to remain living independently in their homes as long as possible. In order to meet this collective preference, especially in the coming decades, communities will not only need to offer more senior housing, but also housing that is more accessible and affordable. Continue reading to learn about 1) older adult housing trends 2) ways communities can help 3) housing grants / programs and 4) community planning policies.