Governor Hochul Announces More Than $23 Million for Key Community Economic Development Programs

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced over $23 million has been awarded to support 101 communities across the state through part of Round XIII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. The award will help promote smart, sustainable and equitable community planning, development and construction of projects that focus on accessible economic, community, environmental and recreational improvements in all New York’s regions.“An investment in smart growth and sustainable community development is an investment that will pay dividends for generations to come,” Governor Hochul said. “These programs are essential elements in the State’s bold, innovative efforts to create a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable future for New Yorkers of all backgrounds, incomes and abilities.”Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, Chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils said, “This is how we build a more equitable future across our state. By investing in our communities and funding crucial economic development programs, we can ensure more New Yorkers have access to the opportunities, tools, and resources they need to succeed.”New York State Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, “Sustainable, equitable and resilient community development forms the backbone of New York’s renaissance in community and downtown revitalization. These grant awards will help reinvigorate waterfronts, reimagine and redevelop abandoned industrial sites and create resilient and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods.”Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, “These grant awards funded through the REDC initiative reflect projects and programs that are actively designing a sustainable future for New York, one that emphasizes smart growth and building on regional strengths. By revitalizing waterfronts and giving new life to former industrial areas, we are strategically boosting local economies around the state.”Funding has been provided through four Department of State (DOS) programs— Local Waterfront Revitalization Program; Brownfield Opportunity Area program; Smart Growth Planning and Zoning; and Smart Growth Countywide Resiliency Planning program.A full list of DOS grant awardees is available here. Funding for these programs were included in Round XIII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. Regional Councils reviewed projects and provided scores that reflect how well a project aligns with a region’s goals and strategies.A full list of Round XIII REDC awards can be found here.DOS provides resources to communities to support revitalizing their waterfronts, redeveloping abandoned industrial areas, and plan and zone towards a more economically and environmentally strong future through smart growth and climate resiliency.The four programs are:Local Waterfront Revitalization Program—$16.4 million for 47 communitiesBrownfield Opportunity Area Program—$2.7 million for 12 communitiesSmart Growth Community Planning and Zoning Program—$3 million for 37 communitiesSmart Growth Countywide Resiliency Planning—$950,000 for 5 communitiesLocal Waterfront Revitalization Program ($16.4 Million)The Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) provides grants to communities to develop a community-driven plan with a vision for their waterfront, guided by several environmental policies to ensure projects work in harmony with waterfront natural resources and ecosystems. There are currently 93 approved LWRP plans in the State representing 113 municipalities.The projects funded through the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) LWRP help local communities expand public access to their waterfronts and protect the environment, while also boosting tourism and economic development opportunities. These awards cover a variety of planning, design and construction projects that focus on accessible economic, community, environmental and recreational improvements. A list of communities receiving LWRP awards is available here.Brownfield Opportunity Area Program ($2.7 Million)The Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA) Program transforms brownfield sites – neighborhoods or areas within a community negatively affected by real or perceived environmental conditions – from liabilities to community assets. The program provides planning grants for the development of BOA plans which are submitted to the New York State Secretary of State for approval, or “designation.” Designated BOA plans receive priority State funding and are also entitled to an additional 5 percent brownfield redevelopment tax credit as part of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Brownfield Clean-up Program. The BOA program also provides grants for pre-development activities in State-designated BOAs, such as environmental, housing and economic studies; infrastructure analyses; marketing strategies; public engagement; zoning and regulatory updates; Phase II Environmental Site Assessments; and new to the program this year, county-wide pre-planning to identify and inventory brownfield, vacant and abandoned sites within a large geographic area. The State currently has 71 designated BOAs. A list of communities receiving BOA awards is available here.Smart Growth Planning and Zoning Grant Program ($3 Million)The Smart Growth Planning and Zoning Grant Program provides grants to communities to develop municipal-wide comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances, as well as targeted area plans and zoning, such as downtowns, central business districts and transit-orient development districts. Communities must commit to incorporating the principles of Smart Growth into their planning and zoning. A list of communities receiving Smart Growth Planning and Zoning awards is available here.Smart Growth Countywide Resiliency Planning Program ($950,000) This program provides funding to counties to develop countywide plans that address climate change resiliency, risks and vulnerabilities and identify strategies for planning and implementing projects in a socially, environmentally, fiscally and economically sustainable way. More information about this funding opportunity is available here.A list of communities receiving Smart Growth Countywide Resiliency planning awards is available here.All the above awards are funded through the State’s EPF, which Governor Hochul increased from $300 million to $400 million in the Enacted Budget for Fiscal Year 2022. The Department of State, through the Environmental Protection Fund, provides matching grants on a competitive basis to eligible entities.About the Consolidated Funding ApplicationThe Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Learn more about the CFA here.About the Regional Economic Development CouncilsThe Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of the State’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, 10 Regional Councils were established to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom-up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. Learn more at

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