Richland County Receives National Honor for Community Development Initiatives

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Richland County Community Development is once again the recipient of a national award for showcasing the many resources provided to residents through Community Development Block Grants.

The John A. Sasso Award – named after the founder of the National Community Development Association – was presented to Richland County at a national conference held this week in Miami. This is the third time Richland County has been honored with the award, which recognizes organizations that make great efforts to promote and celebrate the programs and opportunities afforded to individuals through Community Development Block Grants. CDBG grants are issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help communities address their unique needs.

“This award means a lot for several reasons,” said Valeria Jackson, Richland County Community Development Manager. “A main reason is it shows that these funds are not ineffective. So many people’s lives are touched and upgraded, either directly or by improvements to their neighborhoods, through the programs supported by CDBG funding."

During this year’s National Community Development Week, held April 17-21, Richland County Community Development spotlighted some of the projects made possible by CDBG grants, focusing on those that serve local low- to moderate-income families, including:

·         -A reading extravaganza at St. Lawrence Place, a facility for families transitioning from homelessness

·         -A tour showing facility upgrades at Epworth Children’s Home

·         -A ribbon cutting for 12 new affordable housing units built through a collaboration with the City of Columbia and Columbia Housing Authority

Richland County Council recognized Community Development staff in April by presenting a resolution that commends their efforts to provide fair housing for residents and enhance neighborhoods through special projects.