SPRINGFIELD – The Mental Health Association, a recent recipient of a Community Development Block Grant from the City of Springfield, will use the funds to replace existing vinyl siding on one of its community-based residences.

The CDBG program is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development that makes such grants to state and local governments to improve infrastructure and economic revitalization efforts that will be of particular benefit to low- and moderate-income individuals.

MHA will use its grant to replace the siding on a four-bedroom residence in Springfield that is part of its Integration and Community Living division for people with a range of disabilities referred by the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services.

A previous CDBG award from the city in 2019 helped MHA replace the front steps and renovate the bathroom of the home that was built in 1954 and that has been used by MHA since 2003 for individuals referred for emergency respite as they stabilize and transition to more suitable accommodations.

“Grants for capital improvements are not easy to come by and to have received $25,000 from the city is a big deal for us,” said Kimberley Lee, MHA’s Vice President of Resource Development and Branding.  “It allows us to contribute to the aesthetic upkeep of the neighborhood, but also to ensure that we continually provide environments that are safe and clean for the individuals in our care. Renovations are expensive, especially now when costs for materials have skyrocketed during the pandemic. Having funding that will pay for 95% of this project is huge.”

MHA, which provides a range of outreach and residential services to individuals with mental health and substance use disorders as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities, expects to have work completed by June.