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News Updates

Garland's "Lend a Hand" Celebration Earns National Recognition

The National Community Development Association (NCDA) is recognizing the City of Garland’s “Lend a Hand to Grow Garland” activities during National Community Development Week, April 6-11. The 2015 John A. Sasso National Community Development Week Awards will be given during the NCDA’s national conference in late June.

The City of Garland worked with Bank of America and Green Extreme Homes to coordinate a week of important neighborhood projects.

Bank of America generously donated a home to Green Extreme Homes so that it may be turned into an affordable, energy-efficient home for a local veteran. To further show Bank of America’s commitment to veterans, the company’s employees volunteered their time on April 10 and 11, to help with the cleanup and site preparation.

“We are delighted that Bank of America is investing in our community with their generosity and their energy,” said Mayor Athas. “Partnerships such as the one between the City, Bank of America and Green Extreme Homes can make a difference for individual families, for neighborhoods, and for the entire city.”

The City of Garland launched a second project during the same week, “Lend a Hand to Grow Garland Volunteer Week.” More than 65 City of Garland employees rolled up their sleeves to help with landscaping, cleanup, renovation and demolition for several properties that will be sold to veterans and first-time homebuyers through the GREAT Homes program.

The GREAT Homes program is administered by the City’s Housing and Community Services Department and is an innovative approach to re-energizing Garland’s existing housing stock through energy-efficient, aesthetic upgrades while maintaining the architectural integrity of Garland’s more mature neighborhoods. The program offers creative financing terms that benefit the homebuyers and also provide a dollar-per-dollar return on investment back to the City. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has deemed Garland’s housing initiatives a “best practices model” for other cities in Texas to duplicate.

Spearheaded by the National Community Development Association, the week-long celebration brings together residents, government officials, businesses, media, and nonprofit organizations to support the mission of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME. National Community Development Week also serves as a venue for educating the public about the programs. This year marks 41 years of the CDBG program and 24 years of the HOME program.

The John Sasso Awards program honors the first president of the Model Cities Community Development Directors Association, which eventually became the NCDA. John Sasso was a leading force nationally in promoting CDBG and NCDA programs and activities.