Beautiful Blocks Program Open for Applications Members News February 28, 2022 Applications are now being accepted for the second year of BeautifulBlocks in the City of Carbondale.Beautiful Blocks is a home improvement program which provides matching grants of up to $1,000 per property to groups of residents to help them make exterior improvements to their homes. After a successful inaugural cycle in Carbondale, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania is pleased to once again partner with the City of Carbondale to offer Beautiful Blocks to residents of the Pioneer City. The Beautiful Blocks program seeks to make neighborhoods throughout Carbondale more attractive places to live. Eligible exterior improvements include everything from painting and mailboxes to larger projects like sidewalks and lamp posts. Grants will be awarded through a competitive application process. Applications will be judged on project impact, coordination, and the likelihood of neighbors continuing to work together in the future. Pre-applications are being accepted until March 21. Awards will be announced in May, with work taking place throughout the summer. Residents must match their grant awards dollar-for-dollar, unless they meet certain income guidelines. Residents whose household income is less than 80% of the area median income are only required to provide a 20% match. For example, if a resident meets these income guidelines and receive the maximum $1,000 grant award, they must personally contribute at least $200 towards their project. Otherwise, participants must match the $1,000 grant with $1,000 of their own funds. According to NeighborWorks President & CEO Jesse Ergott, “After a successful first year in Carbondale, we look forward to building on the positive impact of Beautiful Blocks to the City of Carbondale. We appreciate the support of our community partners in supporting this program, and encourage Carbondale residents to join with their neighbors in improving their neighborhood through Beautiful Blocks.” “Mayor Justin Taylor is very excited about getting into our neighborhoods with Beautiful Blocks to create meaningful relationships with our residents, the City of Carbondale, and NeighborWorks NEPA,” Michele Bannon, Carbondale City Clerk and member of the NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania Board of Directors, said of the program’s expansion into Carbondale. “We see that building strong relationships between neighbors allows for a thriving, unified, and safe community dedicated to making Carbondale a great place to live, work, and raise a family.” In the first year of the Beautiful Blocks program operating in Carbondale, three groups of neighbors participated, with more than $15,000 in grant funding awarded. This grant funding helped to leverage more than $30,000 in funds invested from participating homeowners.Carbondale residents interested in participating in the Beautiful Blocks program can download pre-application instructions and access the pre-application document by visiting the program homepage at https://www.nwnepa.org/programs/beautiful-blocks.html. More information about NeighborWorks can be found at www.nwnepa.org.