George Tremblay’s letter on Hurricane Sandy Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Action Plan

South County towns may receive over $14 million in federal disaster funding to compensate for Superstorm Sandy. Projects in area towns are competing for those funds. A large portion of the funding must be spent on projects for low and moderate income households. Charlestown is proposing that the Churchwoods project receive some of that funding. Below is Town Council member George Tremblay’s letter of support to Laura Sullivan of the Rhode Island Office of Housing and Community Development.


Dear Ms. Sullivan:

I attended your power-point presentation at the Charlestown Town Hall, and was encouraged by the prospects for using Hurricane Sandy Relief Funds via Community Development Block Grant to support much needed senior housing in Charlestown.  There is currently no senior housing facility in Charlestown.  Recognizing this deficiency, the Town authorized a 24-unit project (ChurchWoods) appropriately located in the village center, and invested its own bond money to get the project started, only to be thwarted by a failed partnership with the RI Housing Authority.  Details of this disappointing impass are contained in a letter published in the Providence Journal. (Letter available at this link: http://charlestowncitizens.org/2013/07/04/the-affordable-housing-quagmire-gets-deeper/)

We are eager to submit this Low/Mod-income project toward qualification for HUD-sponsored Hurricane Sandy/CDBG Disaster Relief Funds.  Funding would rescue our stalled ChurchWoods Senior Housing project while addressing the housing crunch faced by seniors unable to afford skyrocketing costs for flood insurance in the areas so badly hit by Hurricane Sandy.  Relief brought by the availability of alternative housing created with these funds couldn’t come at a better time for senior citizens displaced, or threatened by displacement, by Hurricane Sandy and the rising costs of home-owner insurance for those living in this flood-prone zone.  We are working to preserve the quality of life of our senior citizens by supporting their opportunity to age in place, and funding for the ChurchWoods senior housing project would be a big step in that direction.

Thank you for taking our concerns into consideration for eligibility for the Sandy Disaster Relief funds.

George Tremblay
Member, Charlestown Town Council