Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Federal Funds
The Town of Narragansett is eligible to apply to receive federal funds under the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program, which was established by the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.

The Town of Narragansett has participated in this program since 1991. Its purpose is the development of viable urban communities through the provision of decent housing, suitable living environments, and expanded economic activities, principally for persons of low- and moderate-income.

An activity to be included within a Community Development Block Grant Program must be consistent with these purposes. In addition, each activity must address one of the following objectives:
    • Aid in the prevention or elimination of slums and blight
    • Benefit low- and moderate-income families and individuals
    • Local programs may also include activities designed to meet community development needs having a particular urgency

Community Components
The Town of Narragansett is a community that includes a combination of urbanized, suburban, seasonal, commercial, port, manufacturing, academic, and research components. The Town may be considered a relatively prosperous suburban and resort community. There are, however, groups of residents that are, or are considered under HUD guidelines to be, of low or moderate income. According to the 2000 Census, 194 families were below poverty level, including those with related children less than 18 years, or with children under five years.

Other income-related Census indicators of families below the poverty level that often suffered difficulties are those with female householder, no husband present, with related children under 18 years or related children younger than five years. In addition, according to 2000 Census data, there were 2,615 individuals of varying age groups below the poverty level. Other groups presumed to be of low and moderate income are the disabled (675 individuals) and the elderly (1,647), of which 100 live below the poverty level.

Service Visits
The number of service visits by Narragansett low and moderate income residents to social service agencies serving this area attests to the existence of the numerous social problems associated with low- and moderate-income populations.

Nearby service agencies include:
    • Galilee Mission to Fishermen
    • Health Center of South County
    • Jonnycake Center
    • South County Community Action
    • Women's Resource Center
Others as far away as Westerly have documented service to Narragansett residents. In addition to income, another concern is the age of Narragansett's housing stock, approximately 32% of which was constructed prior to 1960. This suggests that a significant number of dwellings may be substandard by today’s standards. Commonly encountered substandard conditions include lead-based paint, failed septic systems, and deteriorated structures.

Low and Moderate Income Population
In response to the needs of the low- and moderate-income population, the Town of Narragansett has established a series of community goals and objectives. They include assistance to persons and families who are or are presumed to be of low- and moderate-income through the provision of specially targeted service and facilities.

This general goal is intended to ensure that public facilities and services are accessible to all segments of the population. They include the physically handicapped, support of medical, and health care services to low- and moderate-income persons, support of programs and facilities offering prevention and treatment of substance abuse, programs for the benefit of abused spouses, children, and elderly. There is a continuing community need in this area, to which the Community Development Block Grant program greatly serves.