Syracuse officials looking to give out $500K for community centers to repair, upgrade buildings

A new funding opportunity will be available to Syracuse’s community centers. The city is directing $500,000 in federal relief dollars to improve the structures that house the neighborhood resources.

Syracuse Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens said officials plan to award at least 10 grants of up to $50,000 to community centers with smaller operating budgets, which may leave them without the resources or capacity to apply for larger grants. Only organizations with budgets less than $4 million will be eligible.

“People’s boilers may need to be replaced, people’s heating furnaces may need to be replaced, maybe there’s some roofing that needs to be done—that type of thing,” Owens said at a Common Council committee meeting Tuesday. “Maybe people do want to expand a service provision for technology—we’re not going to pay for computers, but we will help you build out the space.”

City of Syracuse Neighborhood and Business Development Commissioner Michael Collin said this proposal is unique in the fact that it intends to cover solely physical improvements.

“We know that there’s always the possibility to get funding for programming—it is exceptionally difficult for these agencies to get the critical money that’s needed to be able to have the infrastructure that simply allows the programming to exist, and so our intent here is to be able to do that,” Collins told the committee members.

The city plans to call officially for applications by late summer. Officials intend to host a support session to guide organizations through the process.