October is Community Economic Development month! The Centralina Community Economic Development department is celebrating this month by reflecting upon the ongoing economic development projects. This year Centralina supported Mecklenburg and Union County with their Community Development Block Grant Entitlement programs.
Christina was promoted to Director of Community Economic Development at the start of the fiscal year. To celebrate her successes with Centralina, we sat down with her to pick her brain and learn more about Christina and her goals as Director of Centralina CED.
Centralina Regional Resilience Collaborative: Working Together to Minimize the Impact of Future Disasters and Economic Shocks
The Centralina Economic Development District (EDD) partnered with Centralina Regional Council and the nine-county emergency management (EM) directors to launch the Regional Resilience Collaborative (RRC) in April 2021. The RRC program examines the viability and resiliency of EM disaster recovery plans and economic resilience needs to ensure the region benefits from greater efficiency in responding to current and future natural and man-made disasters and economic shocks.
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.