Maloney Introduces Bill to Help Cities Build Parks
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today introduced the Revitalizing Cities Through Parks Enhancement (RECIPE) Act to establish a $10 million grant program to help non-profit community groups establish small community gardens and parks. The grant program will help this organization obtain leases for vacant, municipally-owned lots and provide funding for the transformation.
"Neighborhoods in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, and many urban communities around the country, are in dire need of a safe, green community space where our children – and adults – can gather and play," said Rep. Maloney. "Most cities don’t have the space or resources to create these community parks, so it’s up to us to step in. We have the power to turn vacant lots into gardens and parks which will beautify our neighborhoods, increase property values, and provide safe, clean areas for our children to play. Open spaces and community parks are a critical part of urban infrastructure. This legislation has the power to do good for so many communities at home in New York and across the country.”
Qualified community organizations will receive grants for the establishment of community open space in urban areas from the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Grants made under this Act to any single qualified community organization in any one fiscal year may not exceed $250,000.
Only nonprofit community organizations which have histories of serving the community, maintain accountability to residents of the community through significant representation on the organizations governing board, are involved in activities to better the neighborhood, and comply with standards of financial accountability required by the Secretary are eligible for such grants.
In order to be eligible for these grants, municipal property which is located in an urban area must be free of structures, owned by the unit of general local government in which the property is located, and subject to a binding commitment that makes the property available for use and improvement under this Act as community open space for at least seven years.
These grants may be used for the establishment of community open space (including beautification, construction or installation of facilities for improvements for such property, clearance, demolition, removal, design and site improvements), to lease or otherwise obtain the use of eligible municipal real property for establishment of community open space, to maintain community open space, to cover other administrative costs related to the establishment, development, maintenance, administration, or management of the community open space, except that not more than 10 percent of any single grant made under this Act may be used for costs under these specific uses.