We, the undersigned national, state and local organizations, write to express our support for the CDBG Program and urge Congress to appropriate at least $3.5 billion in formula funding for the program in FY 2019. For nearly 45 years, CDBG has served as the cornerstone of the federal government's commitment to partnering with state and local governments to strengthen the nation's communities and improve the quality of life for low- and moderate-income Americans. Every state, territory and Congressional district receives or has access to CDBG funds. CDBG provides crucial funding for economic development, public improvements, public services and affordable housing. It remains the principal source of federal revenue for states and localities and their program partners to use in developing and implementing flexible community development solutions.
CDBG is a critical resource for communities nationwide to use in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods; producing and preserving homeowner and rental housing, providing fundamental infrastructure, vital public services and public improvements, and spurring economic development and public-private partnerships at the local level. CDBG plays a vital role in attracting investment in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. For every $1.00 of CDBG funding another $4.09 in private and public funding is leveraged. According to HUD, since FY 2005, the program has assisted over 1.435 million low- and moderate-income households rehabilitate their homes, provided down payment and/or closing cost assistance to credit worthy home buyers, and assisted homeowners with lead-based paint abatement. Moreover, since FY 2005, CDBG-funded public improvements directly benefitted over 45 million low- and moderate-income people nationwide and CDBG-funded public services assisted over 139 million low- and moderate-income people nationwide. Additionally, the program has created/retained more than 401,000 economic development related jobs since FY 2005.
CDBG has been chronically underfunded. The program has been cut by $1.4 billion since FY 2001. As a result, local communities have been forced to decrease or halt programs that assist low and moderate-income persons. We deeply appreciate Congress supporting $3.3 billion for CDBG in FY18; however, this amount falls well short of the $4.4 billion provided for the program in FY 2001.
The need for CDBG is absolute. Based on a CDBG Coalition survey, CDBG grantees annually receive far more local applications for funding than can be met with their current CDBG allocation, with most estimating that over half of the applications are not funded.
Restore CDBG Funding. With the increase in the FY19 budget caps, now is the time to continue to restore program funding. Given the continued stark underfunding of the program and the ongoing need, we urge you to provide at least $3.5 billion for CDBG in FY19.