Grants For Crime Reduction, Community Programs and Projects Available from Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund

Applications are being accepted from community organizations for $1.3 million in funds to support crime reduction, neighborhood revitalization, and economic development programs statewide, with special emphasis on programs in and around downtown areas and neighborhoods, Attorney General Matt Denn and Delaware Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism Director Cerron Cade announced Tuesday. Applications are due Dec. 20.

Among the listed goals of the grants from the state’s Neighborhood Building Blocks Fund (NBBF) are to:

  • address unmet needs of high crime areas statewide
  • improve resources and opportunities for at-risk juveniles and adolescents
  • increase the use of planning that incorporates crime prevention strategies
  • enable projects by neighborhood-level organizations that may not traditionally receive grant funding

The current round will cap grant awards at $50,000 and will give priority consideration to applications for less than $10,000 as well as for partnerships between community organizations.
The grant funds were allocated to the NBBF by the Department of Justice, with the agreement of the General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee, from settlements with national banks for alleged misconduct in the national financial markets.

“The purpose of these funds is to provide some help to the hardest hit neighborhoods in our state in terms of crime and the economy,” said Attorney General Denn, who proposed directing settlement money to the NBBF. “I know there are neighborhood groups that are working every day to make their communities safer and better, and that have innovative ideas that some funding could make happen.”
“We look forward to getting these funds into our communities statewide through creative and effective programs,” said Cade, director of the Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism, who chairs the NBBF board. “The grants can go a long way in giving great ideas legs they need to come to fruition and make a positive impact.”

Prior rounds of NBBF grants since 2015 have included juvenile activities, including summer and after-school programs; neighborhood improvement, including vacant lot projects; lights and façade improvements; public safety and recidivism activities, including police foot patrols and programs for released inmates, surveillance cameras, and safety courses; and downtown district planning activities in cities and towns throughout Delaware.

The application with the full list of purposes and requirements is available at Applications are to the Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism, which administers NBBF.

A board — including representatives of the Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism, the Department of Justice, the Delaware State Housing Authority, the Office of State Planning, and former Wilmington Mayor James Sills as a public representative — consider the applications. Awards are expected to be made in the first few months of 2018.