National Community Development Association : Letter to Congress Seeking at least $3.8 Billion for CDBG in FY 2020
CDBG Coalition

Letter to Congress Seeking at least $3.8 Billion for CDBG in FY 2020

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We, the undersigned national, state and local organizations, write to express our support for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and urge Congress to appropriate at least $3.8 billion in formula funding for the program in FY 2020. 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. 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 works. CDBG is a critical resource for communities nationwide to invest 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 areas. For every $1.00 of CDBG investment another $4.09 in private and public funding is leveraged.

The need for CDBG is absolute. Based on a CDBG Coalition survey, CDBG grantees annually receive far more applications for funding than can be met with their current program allocation, with most grantees estimating that over half of the applications they receive are not funded. Further, the number of program grantees has increased from 594 in 1975 to over 1,200 today.

CDBG has been chronically underfunded. The program has been cut by $1.1 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 recent years; however, this amount falls short of the $4.4 billion appropriated to the program nearly two decades ago in FY 2001.

Restore CDBG Funding. Now is the time to continue to restore program funding. Given the continued underfunding of the program and the ongoing need at the local level, we urge Congress to appropriate at least $3.8 billion for CDBG in FY 2020.