Community revitalization projects awarded $384k in Berks County

Governor Tom Wolf has announced the approval of nearly $36 million to 220 community revitalization projects across the commonwealth. The funding through the Neighborhood Assistance Program supports nonprofits, businesses, and resident projects in distressed areas or low-income neighborhoods.

“Communities from every corner of Pennsylvania will benefit from this funding – the result of public-private partnerships and cooperation,” said Gov. Wolf. “We are pleased to continue supporting NAP applicants who are committed to advancing and improving communities by making thoughtful plans to address the issues impacting their neighborhoods. These projects make the state stronger as a whole and keep it the best place to live, work, and play.”

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The program also provides for COVID-19 and social justice related assistance. In recognition of the unprecedented level of challenges these events posed for residents of the commonwealth, a special emphasis was placed upon, and priority was given, to projects that sought to address critical issues related to the pandemic, its aftermath and recovery, social justice and support for policy changing movements, and improving opportunities for marginalized populations.

NAP encourages private sector investment into projects that will help improve distressed communities by providing tax credits to businesses that donate capital to support projects that address neighborhood and community problems. NAP can be used for projects in categories including affordable housing, community services, crime prevention, education, job training, charitable food, blight, special population issues, veteran’s initiatives, and long-term community revitalization.

In Berks County, the approved funding will support:

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Habitat for Humanity Berks County will receive $100,000. HFHBC has created a six-year strategy for housing development and neighborhood revitalization in the City of Reading, creating safe, affordable housing.

Reading Hospital Foundation will receive $176,250 for A new Mobile Mammography Coach for the opportunity to provide members of our community with access to screening closer to their home or place of employment. The Mobile Mammography Coach will be effective at reaching medically underserved women in Berks County.

Kutztown University Foundation will receive $103,125 in planning 8 weeks of programs/webinars throughout the year including Helping Employees Navigate in 2021, HR Compliance, Human Resources Managing and a 4-week Business Skills for Success (Accelerated) certification program. The events will allow business owners and early-stage venture founders to come together monthly for an exchange of information, challenges, and insights.

Helping Harvest Fresh Food Bank will receive $5,500 that will help purchase food (and related food distribution expenses) to provide emergency food assistance to community members in need. Foodpurchased will be stored at Helping Harvest’s distribution center and then supplied to the 320 charitable food programs we support in Berks and Schuylkill counties.

The new approvals raise the total amount of tax credits provided under the Wolf Administration to nearly $174 million in NAP funding supporting 1,128 projects statewide. The investment will result in more than $225 million in additional funds leveraged through corporate contributions.

Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin joined staff at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank today to announce their NAP project and highlight how critical Charitable Food Program funding is to help support the work of food banks across Pennsylvania.

“NAP funding can support improved community health, property renovations, address food security and blight, and so much more in neighborhoods throughout the commonwealth,” said Sec. Davin. “This program is incredibly valuable in encouraging public-private partnerships that lead to community improvements and a better quality of life for Pennsylvanians.”

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