OverviewIn 2021, DECD created the CT Communities Challenge, a competitive matching grant program that funds multiple projects in an effort to improve livability, vibrancy, convenience, and equity of communities throughout the state.
The Program is intended to create potentially 3,000 new jobs. It is DECD’s goal to allocate approximately 50% of the funds to eligible and competitive projects in distressed municipalities.
Successful projects include multiple of the elements below:
- Transit-oriented development that densifies commercial and/or residential land uses near transit hubs.
- Downtown / major hub development that improves or reuses existing property (Brownfields remediation may be a component of such application).
- Essential infrastructure that facilitates future development.
- Housing to support affordability, accessibility, and local workforce.
- Mobility improvements that increase connectivity to transit and promotes economic activity, including pedestrian, ADA, and bicycle improvements.
- Public space improvements that provide amenities to the community, including open spaces, public art projects, wayfinding, and lighting and safety improvements.
In total, the CT Communities Challenge program has awarded more than $95 million in support of projects in 21 cities and towns. These awards are expected to create over 2,300 units of housing, more than 300,000 square feet of office, retail, and restaurant space, and at least 12 new public space projects. For every dollar DECD is investing, CT Communities Challenge projects are leveraging over three dollars in non-state investment. The program is also meeting the goal of investing more than half of the funding in distressed municipalities.
News & Announcements: See Governor Lamont’s announcements of CT Communities Challenge Awards:
- Round 1: April 6, 2022 announcement of awardees.
- Round 2: December 20, 2022 announcement of awardees.
- Round 3: August 10, 2023 announcement of awardees
*New Haven - $6,000,000 grant award for the “Grander” Grand Avenue Roadway & Streetscape Revitalization Project: This project will implement public safety and traffic improvements that celebrate the diversity of Fair Haven neighborhoods, support economic development, and provide a cohesive pedestrian experience from Downtown New Haven to the Quinnipiac River along Grand Avenue. This project supports transit-oriented development by providing traffic and pedestrian upgrades on a major hub on the proposed Bus Rapid Transit plan for at Grand Avenue and Ferry Street. It will help to support and to facilitate major residential and commercial redevelopment activities occurring along Grand Avenue, while providing increased pedestrian and bicycle connectivity to downtown and surrounding public amenities, including the Mill River greenway and Quinnipiac River Park. Creation of a public square in the Fair Haven neighborhood by redeveloping an underutilized City-owned parking lot will create a major destination for residents of the neighborhood, allow for community events and gatherings, and promote public art.
*This grant award consists of de-allocated funds returned to the program from previous CT Community Challenge awards. New Haven’s Grand Avenue project was the first project not originally awarded in Round 3.
Contact: Questions regarding the Application should be addressed to CTCommunitiesChallenge@ct.gov. Any clarification or supplemental information will be added to this webpage.
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