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Senators Push For CDBG Funding

In the wake of President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Department of Housing and Urban Deployment (HUD), including the complete elimination of funding to the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with 41 other senators, urged federal appropriators to put $3.3 billion in federal funding toward the (CDBG).

“Investing in economic development programs is essential to the health of our families and the economic strength of our communities,” said Gillibrand. “The CDBG program has revitalized communities across New York State and has helped create new jobs and bridge the gap in quality housing for residents in need.”

The senators’ letter to the Senate Committee of Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development outlines the positive impact of the CDBG.

“The CDB program is one of the Federal government’s most effective means to revitalize low- and moderate-income communities across the country,” the letter states. “CDBG makes its way into local economies through an extensive network of local organizations and remains a needed resource for families and communities.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson had stated the CDBG would continue, but under a different name.

“If you look at various budget stories, it says we’re going to eliminate HOME, we’re going to eliminate CDBG, this, that and the other,” Carson said during a press conference in Miami. “What you need to concentrate on is: The parts of these programs that are functioning well—and that are maintaining people—are going to be preserved. There may be a different nomenclature. We may not call it the same thing …We are clearly going to maintain these programs that are going very well.”

Other HUD programs, such as the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, are slated for elimination. In all, the presidential budget blueprint proposes cutting HUD’s budget by $6.2 billion in 2018, including cuts to CDBG, Choice Neighborhoods, and the Self-help Homeownership Opportunity Program. Carson has said previously—in an email to staffers—that the cuts were not official.

“Please understand that budget negotiations currently underway are very similar to those that have occurred in previous years,” Carson wrote. “This budget process is a lengthy, back and forth process that will continue. It’s unfortunate that preliminary numbers were published but, please take some comfort in knowing that starting numbers are rarely final numbers. Rest assured, we are working hard to support those programs that help so many Americans, focus on our core mission, and ensure that every tax dollar is spent wisely and effectively.”

Read the full letter to the Senate Committee of Appropriations Subcommittee here.

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a contributing writer for DS News. He is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing, and has studied abroad in Athens, Greece. An East Texas native, he also works part-time as a photographer.

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