Richland County’s redesigned neighborhood grant program will begin accepting applications on Dec. 1.
The Neighborhood Enrichment Grant program, which replaces the Neighborhood Matching Grants, was developed in response to community input. Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded annually for projects that improve quality of life for all residents within the applicant’s neighborhood.
The revamped program removes the requirement of a monetary match by neighborhoods, according to a news release from the county. It also includes a larger pool of potential projects and separate, income-based funding for certain neighborhoods.
“We saw a lot of confusion around how the match component of the grant worked,” said Brian Crooks, planning services manager for Richland County. “By removing the required match to the grant, we feel this opens more opportunities to neighborhood groups wishing to apply. It helps simplify the process and allows for smoother implementation and planning of projects from the grant.”
Potential applicants are encouraged to attend one of several upcoming training sessions beginning Nov. 17. Twice-daily sessions will take place at the County Administration Building at 2020 Hampton St. on Nov. 17, Dec. 1, Jan. 5 and Jan. 12.
“This new grant program is going to make funding more accessible to neighborhoods in the County,” said Councilwoman Yvonne McBride, who represents District 3. “We hope these training sessions will encourage residents to learn how they can apply to make their communities even better places to live.”
Grant projects must provide a public benefit to neighborhood residents, involve residents in all phases and be achievable by June following the award year. Examples include neighborhood entrance signs, community festivals, after-school tutoring programs and community gardens.
To apply for grants, visit www.richlandcountysc.gov and navigate to the grants webpage or email NIP@richlandcountysc.gov.